Internal layer? Sleepy hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by thistlecreek, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. thistlecreek

    thistlecreek Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2014
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    I have 7 hens that are 6 months old. We consistently get 6 eggs a day. The ladies are free ranged or confined to a large portable run every day. Everyone is happy & active except for one of our Anconas.

    This hen has never laid and now she's acting lethargic. She's been like this for the past 4-5 days. I've gotten her to eat some worms and yogurt, but otherwise she is uninterested in food (though i did see her doing a small amount of foraging just now). Her vent looks completely normal and a digital exam revealed nothing. There is no swelling in the area. The inside of her mouth looks normal and her crop, apart from feeling pretty empty, seems fine. Her face & comb are pale, but they redden up when we try to catch her and from time to time. She has been checked extensively for mites/lice. Today, her poo was thin, white and was mostly bubbles (maybe from the yogurt?).She still tries to run away when we go to catch her but otherwise she just lays around or stands with her tail down or occasionally forages in the grass (but doesn't seem to eat anything).

    We suspect she may be an internal layer because she is the only hen to have never laid. They have free choice of oyster shell & get an organic layer pellet.

    How do I know when/if to cull her? I don't want to have a suffering hen, but I also don't want to cull her if there is a decent chance of her recovering and laying. Right now I'm just trying to keep her comfortable & let her relax where she wants.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  3. thistlecreek

    thistlecreek Out Of The Brooder

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    At 6 months old, don't you think she should have laid at least one egg? I think that is what I find most perplexing. I'll pick up some wormer just in case though. THank you for the link. Her poo looked more like the hen with kidney problems :-(
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  4. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought you might identify with that photo a bit, but she is awfully young to have kidney problems yet. Someone once told me "if you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras". In her case, at her age, I would go with the easiest answer first. It may not be worms, but if that doesn't work, you have a HUGE experience pool to draw from here on BYC. We will always help if we can :) There are LOTS of things that can cause the symptoms she is exhibiting.

    As far as egg laying goes, she is on the cusp. I have had birds who haven't laid their first egg until they were 8 months old. One of my blue laced red wyandottes didn't lay until she was 9 months. Each bird is different, and she may just not be ready when everyone else tells her its time :) Just remember, since she may begin laying any day now (even if she makes you wait forever), wormer means withdraw period from eating her eggs, so you might have to separate her to ensure you aren't eating HER eggs....incase you don't decide to worm the whole flock (which I would wait on until you see how she responds to the wormer).
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  5. thistlecreek

    thistlecreek Out Of The Brooder

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    Central Iowa
    Luckily, we only have one other white egg layer(a different ancona), so to keep her stress down, we'll just throw out any white eggs and keep her with everyone else. I was planning on feeding her to our dogs if we culled her (waste not), but I guess I won't now since I've wormed her. I used a pea-sized amount of fenbendazole. I am just surprised she hasn't laid at all since her comb has been huge for a while now, but we will wait and see! As long as she's not in visible distress, she can take as much time as she needs. :) thanks for the advice.
     
  6. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :) Happy to help. If you don't want to separate her, just keep a SUPER close eye on the rest of the flock...in case it is something contagious other than worms. Also, it seems like you checked her over pretty thoroughly, so I didn't think to ask the first time, is the area between her legs overly firm? I don't have a lot of experience with egg bound hens or internal layers, but if something like that were suspected, the more experienced members of BYC seem to recommend giving her a soak in warm water (enough to cover her whole abdomen) for about 20 to 30 minutes, and massage down from the bottom of her keel towards her vent incase she is trying to pass a giant egg or something.
     
  7. thistlecreek

    thistlecreek Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, we wormed her 5 days ago and there is no change. She is definitely starting to lose weight (I can only get her to eat a little bit of yogurt at a time). She is definitely not egg bound. Any other ideas? Should i just cull her? think the meat would be ok for the dogs? I wormed her with Fenbendazole. I hate to lose a layer but with absolutely no change, I'm not sure what to do!
     
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    The symptoms sound like she might be egg impacted, not much you can do about it. You can cull her if you wish and feed the dogs. The fenbendazole residue in the meat wont hurt your dogs. You can do a necropsy as best as you can on her while processing.
     
  9. thistlecreek

    thistlecreek Out Of The Brooder

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    Well Daisy was culled today after she never left the coop. I necropsied her the best I could and I found cyst-like nodules all throughout her abdomen. Her ovaries didn't have any big yolks on them. Her gizzard also had a lot of grass in it. Any ideas of what this could be? I should have taken a picture. She was vaccinated as a chick for coccidiosis. She also developed sour crop yesterday probably from the yogurt I had been giving her. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Sorry for you loss... Were the cysts free floating or attached?

    -Kathy
     

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