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Leghorn hen has not molted, few new feathers are fragile and she's been losing weight

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chido, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Chido

    Chido Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm worried about this hen i got. I've had chickens for 2 years now, and I've seen most of my chickens go through their molt for the first time. There is this hen, though, that worries me. We got get from the feed store as a pullet last september and she's been a pretty good later. thee thing is, she's over a year old, her back is bare because of my rooster, but on the 5-6 months she had a saddle on, she never grew feathers back. The other hens did.

    Her eggs never came out normal, they were always slightly misshapen, and she's laid shelless eggs a few times in the last year. I've been trying to get her to molt by keeping her in a crate in the garage at night, and let her out later in the day to simulate short days, but it hasn't worked. Now I've noticed she's thin, and the few feathers that came out are thin and fragile, and they break easily. She's also been less active lately and isn't too interested in pellets. I've given her scrambled eggs and she devours them, though.

    I don't know if she's sick, if she's finally gonna molt, or if there's always inherently wrong with her body. does my description sound like something you guys have seen before?
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    That bird wants some protein. In addition to that are all the other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are equally important. Get some 20+% starter/grower crumbles or gamebird crumbles. Mix 1 big Tablespoon of Red Cell with a pound of crumbles mixed with a small handful some oyster shell. If the bird doesn't eat well you might try an A&D injectable. I wouldn't shorten the days anymore. Let that bird get plenty of sun to activate that vitamin D3.
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Sometimes misshapen eggs/egg shells are an indication of disease. When that is the case it's often very hard to pin point exactly where or what the problem is. I've had a couple of hens who started to lay eggs with odd, rumpled looking shells, progressed to soft shelled, thin shelled eggs, and eventually died of egg laying related problems.

    Has this flock been on a regular deworming program? If not, I would definitely start there. I would also boost her diet with some extra protein as Micheal Apple suggested and I agree with just letting her out as normal rather then restricting her daylight.
     
  4. Chido

    Chido Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2011
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    I just dewormed the flock a month ago. I gave her a whole scrambled egg which she devoured. she's always laid weird eggs since she started almost a year ago, and now that I think about it she hasn't really laid an egg in a few days. I'll increase her protein intake and hopefully that will fix the problem, if not I'll take her to the vet.

    The feed store is close today and tomorrow, so I can't get her starter/grower feed yet, and I need to find where they sell that Red Cell thing. Meanwhile, besides the cooked egg I gave her, what else can I feed her for now?
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a Barred Rock hen who I believe has Egg Peritonitis. She was dropping the contents of an egg, then a crumpled soft shell would be expelled shortly thereafter. She had a hard molt in December and blew all her body feathers at once. She was stumbling around like a drunk. I supplemented with vitamins, minerals, and extra protein. She came back in about 3 weeks. I am now getting hard, fully developed eggs sometimes, but they are irregular with a crumpled appearance. She appears as healthy as can be. All new feathers grew back quick in that three weeks.
     
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Most feed stores carry Red Cell. It is an Equine supplement lots of poultry breeders use. Poultry Nutri-Drench is a good product most feed stores carry, but it is more of a quick way to get those nutrients in a bird. I hate that messy dropper they sell in the 4oz bottle. A syringe is easier. Dang vets will just empty your bank account. If supplementation doesn't work then it is genetic and likely egg peritonitis.
     
  7. Chido

    Chido Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I went to check on her like an hour after I gave her the egg, she seemed a bit perkier, but there was a chilly wind blowing so she was hurdled up a bit and fluffed up. I gave her a sliced of ham, and she ate it all. I'm gonna buy that red cell thing on Tuesday if they have it at the feed store, and I ordered mealworms that should arrive on Tuesday too. Meanwhile I'll go buy more ham tomorrow on my way home, and a bit of ground beef to cook and give her. thank you guys for the advice :)
     

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