Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


9 Years
Jul 19, 2010
South-west Idaho
I've got a roughly 2-yr old white bantam cochin hen that I purchased from a hatchery last year. She's the smallest in the flock & very skittish around me (the other 3 follow me around a lot). She's never laid an egg. The last several days, I've been noticing her getting smaller & smaller. She used to big a little fluff ball, and you couldn't distinguish her neck or much of her tail from her body because of all the fluff. That was when it was hot out last summer. Well, now her body is very slender, and you can distinguish neck & tail & see her feet (mostly). She's been losing feathers (not sure if its a full molt because there's no bald spot) for the past several weeks. I've watched the other birds peck at her, and she only eats when none of them are around. When she's eating, if another bird comes by, she'll run a few feet away & watch them. I've tried to give her her own food, but since she's scared of me, & the other girls aren't, they all rush over & eat everything before she can. Well, this morning, while I was out feeding them, she was missing. I found her buried in the nest box (literally, she had straw under her & over her body). She was still breathing, so I carefully pulled her out & brought her into the "hospital" (the back room into a large tote). I put a bed of pine shavings & brought in some straw for her to sleep on. I also gave her a bowl of regular food, BOSS, & water. I want her to gain some of her weight back, but I don't know if there's anything physically wrong (i.e. worms). I'm hoping that separating her will also get her used to me as well as letting her eat in peace. She did peck at the crumbles, and she ate some of the BOSS, but she was super timid about it (she stood as far back from the food as possible, pecked & then looked around).
What would you guys suggest to help her gain weight? How can I tell if she's got worms or some other ailment that's keeping her from gaining weight?
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You can send a stool sample into your local vet to see what her worm load is. You can visually inspect her stool for worms, although this is of limited value unless she has a raging case of them (sometimes worms are not visible to the naked eye). Some high protein feed and treats should help her to pack on some weight.
Visually inspect her for lice/mites. I agree with CMV. If you suspect worms, take a fecal sample to a vet to determine if she has worms and/or what type so that she can be treated accordingly.
She may have parasites but it sounds like a large part of her condition is due to timidity. Maybe she has been bullied alot and when she sees nothing is going to happen to her she may eat well and de-stress.

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