Is my hen sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by teriz1091, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. teriz1091

    teriz1091 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 6, 2015
    Kansas
    This hen is 1 1/2yrs old, hatched in Sept of 2015. She started laying in Feb of 2016, & laid very well for a few months. She quit laying when it got hot, but I figured it was just due to the heat. She's never started back up. I think she laid one egg a couple months ago, but that's it.

    For background, we live in the city & have a trio of hens. They eat regular layer pellets with some kitchen scraps every so often. The other 2 hens lay almost every day.

    As seen in the picture, this hen also has a problem with her feathers on her chest. She's been like this quite a while. And while the other hens' feathers are soft, hers feel very dry. They did all molt in the fall, but it made no difference in the feathers on her chest.

    Any ideas for what may help her?
    Thanks!
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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Normally, she would about to have her first molt if she is 18 months old. Her feather loss is around her crop. Could be be picking them out or maybe one of the others is picking them? Does her crop empty by morning? Is she eating and drinking okay? Has she lost weight near her breast bone, or does she have any fullness in her lower belly? How do her droppings look?
     
  3. teriz1091

    teriz1091 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 6, 2015
    Kansas

    To be honest, these are the first chickens my husband & I have owned, so we are still new to them. I very easily could be wrong about whether or not they molted. And it may have been more into the winter, instead of the fall. All 3 seemed to lose a decent amount of feathers & looked kind of scruffy for a while.

    I haven't seen her pick at herself, & I've never seen any of them pick on each other at all. She seems to eat & drink fine, from what I've seen. I haven't noticed any strange droppings in their pen, but I also haven't been watching for them.

    I know I'm going to sound silly here, but again I'm new to this. What is her crop? I will have to keep an eye on her, & also get my hands on her to feel for the weight loss & belly.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Sometimes we never see the feather picking that may go on in the coop. Beard and neck feathers are popular. Sometimes they "groom" each other on the roost or just hanging out. But chickens with an impacted crop or sour crop, may peck out their feathers over the crop in the upper right chest under the neck. That is where the water and food is stored before moving on through the digestive tract. It can become impacted or plugged with grass or food that requires grit to help digest it. Sour crop is a fungal or bacterial infection that can result from aprevious impacted crop or overgrowth of yeast in the GI tract.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  5. teriz1091

    teriz1091 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 6, 2015
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    Update - when I went out to the pen this morning, the red hen had a small amount of blood on her chest. We picked her up to look at her, & it looks like a few feather shafts were bleeding. A lot of the problem area has the shafts of feathers still present, but only like 1/4 - 1/2" of shaft, no feathering on the ends left. Is that from her or another hen pecking at her?
    This description may not be the best. I can try to get a picture tomorrow.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    They are probably pecking them and breaking them off. Try increasing the protein in their diet to 20%,mand make sure they have plenty of room. Getting them outside to roam around can really help. Spray her bare spot with BluKote to hide it. How is her crop feeling in the mornings? Is she digesting her food?
     

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