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lethargic, droopy hen: not egg bound, no lice, no worms, so what please!?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 2overeasy, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. 2overeasy

    2overeasy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
    Birchwood, TN
    Poor Aunt Bea! She has been droopy for days. Leaves the coop last then goes down to the barn and stays all day just kind of, I don't know, poofy, I guess, and just standing around. She'll eat enthusiastically when I throw scratch every morning, or if I throw a handful of horse feed on the barn floor.
    I've read quite a bit on here about a variety of things, so I've narrowed down a few it isn't: I did a "gyno" exam ;-) and my finger went all the way in, so no egg. No sign of lice or bugs of any kind. And as best as I can see, her poop is fine. No cuts, breaks, respiratory signs...
    She's approx 4 yrs old. There are 27 other chickens of varying ages and all are healthy. Property totally fenced so no intruders bringing disease and no new chickens since I ordered chicks in May. Henhouse is large, airy and clean.
    The rooster keeps attacking her and just crouches down and let him, tucking her head in.
    So, I brought her in for the night. Gave her some polyvisol, scrambled eggs w/spinach which she gobbled up. Just sat on the sofa and held her for a while then put her to bed in a large dog kennel.
    Okay, so I've tried to give as much info as possible, so... please help!
     
  2. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2009
    Central PA
    What type of food do you normally feed her, and how is she eating (besides the scratch and eggs you gave her)? Have you checked her crop to make sure it is emptying properly? I have a hen whose crop was impacted and the first sign was droopiness and weight loss. And what did you use to worm her?

    Edited to say - I wonder is the rooster is over-mating her and causing some internal damage?
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  3. 2overeasy

    2overeasy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much for replying.
    And good questions. So first, I'm not really proficient at the crop thing. I know what it is and I know where it is. That's just about it.I suppose I would have to feel the crop of a couple of my healthy chickens so I have something to compare hers with
    As far as eating, all I know of her eating, is a little scratch, a little horse feed. I keep layer crumbles in the feeder in the hen house but since she spends her day in the barn, and gets picked on by others then I doubt she makes it to the feeder often.
    The rooster is without a doubt NOT breeding her. He makes no attempt to mount her, just attacks her, pecking at her head.
    Finally, I haven't wormed her, but her poop looks good so I determined not wormy. Is that possibly wrong?
    Thanks again!
     
  4. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds to me as if your hen is on the bottom of the pecking order and may not be getting enough to eat and be getting picked on by others. Keeping her isolated for a few days might give you a better idea if you are dealing with an illness or a pecking order issue. I suspect pecking order. If this turns out to be the case, you might want to have more than one feeder and waterer available to make sure she has an opportunity to eat and drink. Also, if you have never wormed, it is possible she may have a worm over-load, which can cause droopiness, lethargy, and weight loss. You might want to do some reading on this site on worm over-load symptoms, and consider worming your flock.
     
  5. 2overeasy

    2overeasy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
    Birchwood, TN
    Thanks. No, I've never wormed them. It would make sense though, I mean I do worm my cats, dogs, and horses. So I was just reading howlinggood's post on "bizarre" thing in her/his flock and saw the discussion on wormer. So I can get panacur and do the whole flock? And how long do I not eat the eggs after worming?
    I'm going to look up "worm overload" right now...
     
  6. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use Eprinex pour-on to worm mine - no withdrawal time is needed. Others use Valbazen. I would recommend either one. You might want to read up on each of these before you decide which you prefer.
     
  7. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2009
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    See post #2 in this thread for worm symptoms https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/514372/another-question-what-are-the-signs-and-symptoms-of-worms
     
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I had a roo that would attack (mean) a few particular hens. He was removed, I can;t have a roo being mean to my hens.

    I have some Polish that were hiding in the bushes all the time. I built them a pen. They are so happy now, not being bullied or scared, for the first time in 4 years all 3 are laying!

    So it might be a combination of things. Can you feel her keel bone? Is she skinny?
    Smart thinking to compare her crop to the other crops and see if they are alike.
     

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