Lethargic, broken feathers, older hen, CHECK WHAT?!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DaniLovesChickens, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. DaniLovesChickens

    DaniLovesChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Michigan
    [​IMG]
    ISA Red (I think most people call them Production Reds) hen. I'm not sure exactly how old she is. She was given to us as an adult about 2 years ago, so I would guess 3 years old, poss 4. I noticed probably 1 1/2 to 2 weeks ago (I have a disease and have been out of it for the better part of the last week so time kind of is weird) that she seemed "not herself". [​IMG]

    She was falling asleep on her feet, with her head/neck pulled back into her chest. She also seemed to be walking a little gingerly, like she has a stomach ache. Her crop feels fine, not as full as normal, put there is food there. Her abdomen doesn't seem to be hurt. Her legs and feet are fine.

    Her feathers looked very ragged and her butt feathers appeared thin and dirty. Upon further inspection, I noticed that a lot of her feathers are broken on the rear half of her body. I found one "scab" below and to the side of her vent that was about the size of a pencil eraser. I looked under her wings. I didn't find any sign of parasites.

    She feels lighter even though she is eating. She comes to eat veggies and stuff too but I don't see her pecking or scratching at any other time.
    It has been hot so I'm worried that the heat is making whatever is wrong worse. In at least the last couple of days a couple of the "not-so-nice" hens have been picking on her.

    I do put apple cider vinegar in their water when it's really hot. They always have lots of fresh, clean water and plenty of food. They are pasture fed. There coop is clean. We feed them veggies and fruit when it's hot.

    It sounds a little bit like this and a little bit like this. [​IMG] I don't know what to check, what to do. I can't afford to take her to the vet or anything but a fecal sample would be fine if I isolated her so I could get one. I do have a broad-spectrum antibiotic on hand that I can use (if absolutely necessary). I really hope someone can help me![​IMG]

    The more I look at info in my book the more confused I am and I just don't know!

    Thank you!!!
     
  2. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Has she been wormed?
    With the feather condition around the vent, I am thinking mites or lice, though.
     
  3. DaniLovesChickens

    DaniLovesChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    170
    4
    101
    Jul 18, 2010
    Michigan
    I've never wormed any of my chickens (we have 50).

    I looked for mites, we had them last year, so even though they are small I have seen them before. I was thinking maybe lice. The broken feathers and one scab on butt sound like the symptoms. I looked on her but didn't see anything though. The color that they are supposed to be would be a little difficult to see on her feathers. I will see if my son will help me with her so I can try and get a closer look - maybe a magnifying glass?

    If it is lice, what do you treat it with? I did read that it needs to be treated and then retreated in 7 then 14 days. That sounds really expensive so I really hope that that is not what it is.
     

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