Lead Hen Became ill Today: Head-bobbing, Fresh Rotten Egg, Laying Down all day

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Pancakestheworm, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. Pancakestheworm

    Pancakestheworm In the Brooder

    11
    23
    34
    Nov 19, 2017
    At the moment, I do not have a lot of information on the chickens condition. I wasn't able to check the chicken out fully before she went to the coop to sleep. I figured it was probably hard enough for her to get to the coop that I shouldn't disturb her.

    My Lead hen, who also happens to be my oldest hen, has suddenly gotten ill within the day. She was completely fine this morning, but when I checked her in the evening, she was head nodding and did not want to get up. She also has lost a lot of feathers and is molting, which im assuming is a stress induced molt due to her illness considering none of the other chickens are molting.

    None of the other chickens in the flock are exhibiting her behavior. Since I just discovered this, I do not know how her eating and drinking has been, and she has not been quarantined yet. ( Partially because I don't have a space to keep her aside from with the flock.)

    I also picked an egg from the coop today, and when we cracked it open, It was VERY rotten. The whole egg was green and blue and darkly colored, and it was FRESH that day. I am not sure if my ill chicken laid this egg (I'm assuming she probably did since shes the only one who's ill and the other eggs are fine.)

    Her stool is slightly more liquid than usual, and redder, But i don't think its blood and It's not exactly so bad that I would say its diarrhea. ( Also since this issue just poped up, it may not be showing in her stool yet.) When I checked on her in the evening, she was in her roost with her head bobbing, like she was trying to keep herself from falling forward. She was also sleeping as far away from the other hens as possible.

    Tomorrow I will clean our their chicken pen, since I have no in a while and it definitely wont hurt to give her a new clean environment to be in. I'm very worried because I have been looking up the symptoms and seeing what other people have said, But a lot of them say their chicken died before they could treat it, and in some cases the medication was very expensive. I unfortunately do not have the money to spend on treatment, so I'm going to have to stick to home remedies and hope for the best. I will check on my chicken tomorrow and examine her as well as take pictures so i can better understand what is happening to her.
     
  2. FarmerGirl101

    FarmerGirl101 Songster

    870
    1,395
    202
    Jun 20, 2016
    California
    Can you please post a stool pic
     
    Flockandfowl46 likes this.
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

    17,221
    15,188
    882
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Can you post some photos of her poop and of her?
    Photos of the rotten egg if you have it.
    How old is she?
    What do you feed your hens, including treats?

    From your description your hen is very ill. Do you have a way to separate her, even within the coop and/or run so she has access to her own food/water and can be by herself and not picked at by other chickens?

    It's very hard to know what's going on with chickens at times. Give her a good going over - check her crop first thing in the morning before she eats/drinks, look through her feathers for lice/mites, feel of her abdomen (under the vent between the legs) for any bloat/swelling or what may feel like a water belly.
    Red poop can be due to diet, but if it did not look "normal" to you, please get some photos.

    It sounds like she is very ill. If the earliest you can tend to her is in the morning, get her hydrated first before you offer her any food.

    Keep us posted.
     
    puffypoo22 and Rick M like this.
  4. Pancakestheworm

    Pancakestheworm In the Brooder

    11
    23
    34
    Nov 19, 2017
    I couldn't get a picture of her stool. it washed away in the rain last night. I separated her from the flock and gave her her own food and water so hopefully that helps. I'll keep checking in on her today when I can.

    I had to look around on the internet a bit to figure out how to check her crop ( I never have before ) I'm very inexperience with this, so I'm not sure what results I got. Her left side of her crop area was squishy and seemed empty. It also was not lumpy. The right side was more firm but wasn't lumpy.

    I checked her belly and it didn't seem swollen or squishy or abnormal in anyway to me. I checked her eyes, ears, comb and wattles and they too looked relatively normal, aside from the wattle and comb being paler than usual. I checked her vent and some of the feathers around there were ruffled and missing, but I saw no blood and her vent looked relatively clean. Her vent's skin color was slightly redder than the rest of her body, I'm not sure if that's completely normal and I'm just over-worried or if its a symptom.

    Not sure if this is relevant, But I did notice that one of her spurs and the "toe" that comes with it was completely gone. Her leg showed no sighs of damage or an open wound and it looked as if the spur was never there to begin with. ( Her having spurs is normal but I have never seen her loose one before ). Both her spurs are curled upwards, in a very awkward position, and from what I remember, one of them was bent at a higher angle and looked a bit strange so it would not surprise me if it died and fell off.

    This is how she looks when she is healthy ( Unfortunately its about a year old ): Best.jpg


    This is how she Looks today. IMG_20180922_074600.jpg IMG_20180922_074721.jpg

    Video of her Head-nodding:
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

    17,221
    15,188
    882
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    When you checked her crop was it this morning before she had anything to eat/drink?

    In the video, she does not look like she feels very well, the head bobbing is likely due to the crop. Massage her crop several times a day. You can give her a little coconut oil (1tsp) to hopefully help loosen up what is in there. I like to refrigerate the oil, then break it into small chunks, they will usually gobble that up on their own. She needs to be drinking, but food it not that important if the crop is not clearing.
    Sometimes there is an underlying condition like worms, coccidiosis overload, infection or reproductive problem that is causing the crop problem. If you can collect a stool sample to have it tested that would be good.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
    The above article can help you determine which crop problem she may have, read that and let us know which one you think it could be. Hopefully, you can get it cleared up and she will start to feel better.

    Do you know when she last laid an egg? She may be starting to molt as well.
     
    littlepip likes this.
  6. Pancakestheworm

    Pancakestheworm In the Brooder

    11
    23
    34
    Nov 19, 2017
    I checked her crop early this morning. Hopefully it was just after the sun rose so hopefully it was early enough that she didn't eat or drink. I watched some videos on how to empty a chickens crop and a lot of them show massaging the crop then turning the chicken over so their crop empties out their mouth, but I'm worried that this might be dangerous since I don't want the chicken to breath any in and I don't want to cause her more stress than I need to. Should I just message her crop and fill her with water / coconut oil or is it necessary to turn her upside down and make her vomit her crop up?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  7. Pancakestheworm

    Pancakestheworm In the Brooder

    11
    23
    34
    Nov 19, 2017
    I just decided to go out and force feed her some water and i messaged her crop for about 10 minutes.The right side of her chest is much larger compared to the left so I'm thinking she has impacted crop. Her breath isn't smelly so I don't think its sour crop. I'll go out and message her crop a couple more times today and give her more water to see if this helps her. Her crop was very hard when i started but it softened up a lot after some massaging. Fingers crossed this helps her!
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

    17,221
    15,188
    882
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    The crop is on the right side only. I would just make water available for the day and massage the crop several times throughout the day. Give her coconut oil a couple of times. She should willingly drink, I would be very careful force feeding water into her, you risk aspiration. Same with vomiting a chicken (emptying the crop) they can easily choke. Sometimes you do have to do that, but I would see if it could get the contents moving first. Crop issues can take several days to clear.

    If it was very hard when you first started and it's softening up, you are doing good.
    I'm sure she is getting hungry, you can give her a little soft cooked egg or wet chicken feed. I would only give her a small amount, but make sure she has been fully hydrated first.
     
    puffypoo22 likes this.
  9. Pancakestheworm

    Pancakestheworm In the Brooder

    11
    23
    34
    Nov 19, 2017
    I will try not to force feed her water again. I just wanted to do it the first time because her crop was so hard that massaging it without any water in her seemed impossible. I let her go sleep with the flock in the coop tonight because I only have one place for them to sleep and she gets very stressed if she cant be with them all safe and sleeping. I also made sure I offered her a small amount of food. Her condition hasn't worsened so that's good. She still mostly lays around but she gets up and walks a bit more. Still head bobbing but I'm hoping she will maybe start to get better soon. I will check her crop in the morning and hope that its empty. Thank you for the help so far!
     
    puffypoo22, Wyorp Rock and Rick M like this.
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

    17,221
    15,188
    882
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    :hugs I understand. I agree, you do need water in the crop to help massage it and get it moving. I usually drop water beside the beak and they will take it in, but will provide you a link below that shows how to give water/meds orally so you lessen the risk of aspiration. You do need smaller syringes, and I would only give a couple ml at a time.

    It's good that she is able to stay with the flock. Being separated and stressed will make it harder for her to recover - I do everything I can to keep a bird with the others if at all possible. I hope you come back and report that she is much better today!
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...er-construction-check-back-for-updates.73335/
     
    puffypoo22 likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: