Lethargic, head down, hen acting strange

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ZJchicks, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. ZJchicks

    ZJchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2013
    I have a hen who is around 4 years old and suddenly acting not herself. She is acting kind of confused and disinterested in foraging. She still does come out into the yard some but doesn't really scratch or peck at things. Last two nights she went into the best box area instead of roosting. I am taking her inside tonight and will do probiotics and electrolytes. Should I atast and antibiotic?
     
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    The thing to do first is to examine her thoroughly. Check for any injuries, swellings or abnormalities. Assess her body condition. Feel her keel bone.... does it feel reasonably covered or is it sharp with just skin covering it. Does she feel about normal weight or very light? Check her crop. Does it feel full or empty. If empty, offer some moist food... bread soaked in warm water or egg and see if she will eat. If it is full, withhold food overnight and check in the morning to see if it has gone down. Does she smell bad....from her mouth or her vent? What does her poop look like? When was the last time she laid an egg? Could she be egg bound? A warm bath in Epsom salts and massaging and lubricating her vent may help. If you suspect it is an egg, insert a lubricated finger gently into her vent to see if you can feel it. Giving her a crushed calcium tablet to eat may help her to pass it. Sometimes a soft shelled or shell less egg will cause them a good deal of discomfort until they manage to expel it, so that could be the problem. It's important to dry her well after her bath to ensure she doesn't get chilled. A hair dryer on warm setting works well.
    Many people will also suggest checking her over for lice and mites but in my experience, these parasites will take advantage of a sick chicken rather than be the cause of the illness. That said, a severe mite infestation will cause anaemia, but you would expect to see other chickens also looking sick in that circumstance and if you are in winter and a cold climate, mites are less likely to be a problem. .

    Antibiotics should only be used when you know or are reasonably sure there is a bacterial infection and then it is important to get the correct antibiotic. Ruling out all other causes first is the appropriate action.

    You may find that being brought into the warmth and given a bath and blow dry and something to eat/drink will revive her, but worth keeping her in overnight and checking poop and crop emptying even if she perks up.

    Good luck with her

    Barbara
     
  3. ZJchicks

    ZJchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2013
    Well I have started her on Tylan and she seems completely disinterested in mealworms and seems underweight. Fingers crossed
     
  4. ZJchicks

    ZJchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2013
    She does seem underweight. I checked her throughly for mites and lice and no signs. She hasn't laid an egg in a very long time that I know of, though she is coming out of molt. I found an egg in an odd place today that could have been hers. Only so many blue egg layers. I worried about her being egg bound...

    Her crop has some food in it but not nearly as full as the others.
     
  5. ZJchicks

    ZJchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2013
    Her crop seems like it did not empty overnight. Why would that happen? She only ate two mealworms today and then gave up on the rest. I touched her beak to the electrolyte/probiotic water a few times but she does not appear to be drinking on her own.
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Hi

    Sorry I haven't been online to reply. I've had broadband problems. How is she now? If she's still alive and her crop is not emptying then warm sloppy oily feed and massage may help but it could be there is a tumour in her system causing a blockage.
     

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