Just bad luck, or am I doing something wrong?

vantain

Songster
Sep 2, 2018
700
1,288
178
Southern Minnesota
So here's the story. I got 4 Isa Brown hens in April of 2018. Of the four, I had one that became ill in March of 2019. She died in late May. Symptoms seem to be internal laying, as she had continuous issues with soft shelled eggs, on an off for most of that March. After that, it progressed to her pooping broken egg masses, and spending a lot of time in the nesting boxes attempting to lay, but never doing so. It was messy, and I tried many things with her before she became so ill, that she couldn't stand anymore.

Fast forward to January of this year. Another hen in sort of similar conditions, where she was spending a lot of time in the nest, but never laid an egg. This went on for about 3 months. She was inside for some time in January, due to it being so cold outside, but then she seemed to recover, and then went into a molt. So she stopped laying for a few weeks, but then resumed. About a month after resuming laying, she started having the issues again, spending a lot of time in the nest boxes. However, she also got to the point where she stopped eating, but would still drink water. She lost so much weight, and was just wasting away, despite all my efforts. I ended up putting her down in mid April, when she could barely stand.

Here I am now with a third one of those hens, suffering a similar malady. She will not eat her feed, but I think she is drinking a bit. She has stopped laying altogether, but is also wasting away from lack of nutrition. She will eat apples, and yogurt, or at least she did today. I tried to give her some scrambled egg, but she was not interested in it. I wormed her and the other remaining Isa Brown, and completed the 5 days of that just yesterday. No change in her condition. I have started giving her Baytril, which I started yesterday, no change today yet. I also started them on Corid, just to be safe. Right now, she is just sitting in the run, looking miserable, and is starting to appear very weak.

I know the Corid treatment won't show results for at least a few days, but I'm afraid this chicken does not have a few days left in her. I think I'm losing her, despite all my efforts. Her crop has been clear in the mornings, until today. Today it was not completely empty. She is pooping ugly bright green poop. I have another thread about this.

Am I doing something wrong, or could there be something wrong with their environment? Should Isa Brown hens live longer than two years, or is this absolutely expected of this breed? I should mention that the fourth Isa Brown I have is ok at the moment. Though, a few weeks ago, she had a couple of days of being egg bound, but that seems to have cleared up.

I'm worried, because I have 8 other 5 week old chicks in the coop brooder right now, in very close proximity to these birds, and I don't want them to succumb to the same things eventually. I'm worried for them.

Anything I should consider for the 8 chicks I have to be safe with them? I'm so confused and worried.
 

FifasRanch

In the Brooder
Sep 21, 2017
20
4
49
Hello! I am very sorry to hear that your hens are not doing to well! I have six Isa Brown hens and I got them in April of 2019. I have no issues with my hens right now and they are a year and one month old. I did some research and I found that an Isa Browns life span is from 2-3 years and the egg laying slows down as they get around 2 years old. Also bright green poop may be a sign of intestinal worms, of Marek's disease ', avian flu. It can also be from a large intake of green plants. I personally think your hens are passing from age since they are all passing away around the same time and your other breed of chickens is fine. I would just watch to make sure your other breed of chickens is not getting any symptoms as your Isa Browns!
 

Kirbys Hens

Hatching
Aug 15, 2020
3
4
3
Hi.

How are they going now? I know your post was a while ago, but I came across it while I am here a bit upset as I am losing one and this has helped with the healing.

Isa Browns are an interesting breed. They are very friendly. They are bred to be consistent egg layers and this causes a lot of problems. I have had a few since 2012 and have had some problems over that period, but mine are not for egg production and simply as pets and part of my family. I love them all dearly. I have 4 at the moment. One is one of my original chickens and is now nearly 8 years old, two younger ones who are nearly 2 years old, and one who is about 7 and is a rescued battery hen, but she is not well and I am expecting to lose her tomorrow as she is at the vet again now and not doing well.

My chickens have had hormone implants since when they were about 18 months of age. This stops them for laying for a period of time and I continually give them one when it runs out. The vet recommends it as it helps their body cope and lowers the chances of tumors. Having said that, I have had 2 chickens over the years get put to sleep due to problems caused by tumors. One was a rescued battery hen, the other was one of my original girls who developed a large tumor at 4 years of age.

The part you mentioned about them becoming weak, tired and losing weight sounds similar to what my sick girl Daphne is going through now. She had blood tests a couple of days ago which showed her red and white blood cells were really low. One of my other young girls provided some blood for Daphne to have a small transfusion to see if it helped. She is at the vet on medication until the more detailed results come through, but looks like it might be a blood cancer or similar.

All the best.
 

vantain

Songster
Sep 2, 2018
700
1,288
178
Southern Minnesota
Hi.

How are they going now? I know your post was a while ago, but I came across it while I am here a bit upset as I am losing one and this has helped with the healing.

Isa Browns are an interesting breed. They are very friendly. They are bred to be consistent egg layers and this causes a lot of problems. I have had a few since 2012 and have had some problems over that period, but mine are not for egg production and simply as pets and part of my family. I love them all dearly. I have 4 at the moment. One is one of my original chickens and is now nearly 8 years old, two younger ones who are nearly 2 years old, and one who is about 7 and is a rescued battery hen, but she is not well and I am expecting to lose her tomorrow as she is at the vet again now and not doing well.

My chickens have had hormone implants since when they were about 18 months of age. This stops them for laying for a period of time and I continually give them one when it runs out. The vet recommends it as it helps their body cope and lowers the chances of tumors. Having said that, I have had 2 chickens over the years get put to sleep due to problems caused by tumors. One was a rescued battery hen, the other was one of my original girls who developed a large tumor at 4 years of age.

The part you mentioned about them becoming weak, tired and losing weight sounds similar to what my sick girl Daphne is going through now. She had blood tests a couple of days ago which showed her red and white blood cells were really low. One of my other young girls provided some blood for Daphne to have a small transfusion to see if it helped. She is at the vet on medication until the more detailed results come through, but looks like it might be a blood cancer or similar.

All the best.
The hen I talked about last in my thread, recovered. She still lays eggs, but only once or twice a week. Not long after my post, she went broody. Since then, she also molted, and now seems to be fine. Thanks for asking. She and another ISA Brown I have are both 2 1/2 years old, and living with 8 other mixed breeds now. The eight are 16 weeks old, so they keep the older girls on their toes.
 

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