Lethargic and self isolating

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by littlechick915, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. littlechick915

    littlechick915 New Egg

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    Oct 21, 2013
    Hi all,
    I have (2) new hampshire reds and (1) barred rock. They have been together all their lives and will be one year old in May 2014. I have a fenced in garden where their coop is and I allow them to free-range during the day there. I feed them layer pellets and assorted veggies as well.

    One of my NHRs (Amelia) has been smaller from the start, the runt of the group if you will. She was the last to start laying, she started at the beginning of December I believe. In the past week, she started getting snippy. She would run over and peck at the barred rock for no reason. The other NHR is at the top of the pecking order and would peck back at Amelia. They all lay in the same box and a few times I found several NHR feathers, still clumped together, in the layer box. I also opened the box once (oops!) while the larger NHR was laying to find Amelia sticking her head in and screeching at the other hen. I figured this was just her testing the pecking order now that she has started laying, as I hav eheard of similar issues.

    On 12/23 my husband went out at the end of the night to check for eggs and found Amelia sleeping alone in the laying box (until that time they've all piled in the other nesting box). There was also some .... version of an egg in the laying box. It had absolutely no shell, not round shaped at all. Like a membrane with a spot of yellow in the middle.
    After that, we kept an eye on them - there wasn't any more pecking and when we looked the next few nights, Amelia was sleeping with the other hens again.

    Today I came home and found her curled up in a random spot in the yard, her head against the fence. They only nap under our raspberry bush, or in the coop so this was abnormal. Usually when they see me look out the window, they all get up and look at me, but Amelia couldn't care less. My husband said she had been acting lethargic all day and was always napping.
    I went out and she didn't come running to the gate with the other hens. She barely ate any seeds out of my hands as well. She moves really slowly and just sat on my lap with her eyes closed for about 10 minutes, which is weird because Amelia is our skittish hen and usually won't allow us to pet her more than a few times.
    I took the waterer out of the coop and she ended up drinking a bunch of water which was good... when they all hopped in for bed (she did hop back in the coop herself, albeit a little less graceful than normal) she went right back upstairs to the waterer and stood there drinking.

    I am hoping it is a mix of being cold (today is in the 30s here in CT) and possibly dehydrated? I know it is normal for chickens to stop laying over the winter so I am hoping the shell-less egg is unrelated to her behavior.
    Any advice, thoughts? Any thing I should look for?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Welcome to BYC. I'm not an expert but she could either be egg bound or be getting egg yolk peritonitis. I would take lubricant and a rubber glove and examine the inside of her vent for an egg, while feeling of her abdomen with the other hand. Giving a Tums or 1/2 calcium tablet crushed in some yogurt would be good if she is egg bound. If you feel an egg, soak her in a warm bath for 30 minutes to help pass an egg. Dry her very well with a towel. Here is a link on EYP: http://www.avianweb.com/eggyolkperitonitis.html
     
  3. littlechick915

    littlechick915 New Egg

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    Oct 21, 2013
    Thank you! I am going to see how she is doing in the morning,and if she is still acting lethargic, then go from there.
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    You would think three silly hens could get along. A roo would probably give them something else to think about. Or a Jersey Giant hen who will overshadow them but rarely insists on pecking order because the size says it all.
     
  5. littlechick915

    littlechick915 New Egg

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    Oct 21, 2013
    Haha - I know! It's only been since Amelia started laying eggs that we had all the problems.

    Today I went out and she came out of the coop, making little noises and eating like normal. She still moved a little slower and her hop out of the coop was pretty sloppy.
    After a few minutes out of the coop I noticed that her backside was dirty, and as I went to go investigate, she pooped out what can only be described as a very runny egg. It was very white with a little yellow, which was matted with feces. I tried cleaning her off, which she did not like. I at least got her vent clean before I had to head into work. My husband will be home with me tomorrow so I can clean her off properly if she doesn't do it today.
    I am concerned though - this will be the second egg that did not form completely. Is there something going on that I should worry about? She seemed unphased by what was going on with her other end, and was moving around pretty normal. How can I ensure all of the egg pieces came out?
     
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    spring hill, florida
    Like Eggcessive says, the hen may need more calcium in her diet. I found the best results for me was to add the oyster shell directly to the feed, and the fines at the bottom of the bag are great to use.
     
  7. littlechick915

    littlechick915 New Egg

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    Oct 21, 2013
    Just want to say thanks! I am happy to say Amelia is doing just fine. I got home that night and she was energetic and all cleaned up. She has been acting normal since. I fed her some yogurt with 1/2 a tums in it, and my husband did the same this morning. I'll keep the yogurt up until we can get some oyster shell.

    Thanks again! I am really glad it wasn't anything more serious - but we are definitely going to stock up on some Chicken-RX supplies so we are better prepared next time -- especially since our nearest farm-supply store that carries these sorts of things is over 50 minutes away.
     

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