Lethargic Hen - any information you can give would be SO appreciated!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lavender99, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Lavender99

    Lavender99 New Egg

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    Apr 4, 2011
    Hi -- we have two backyard hens: one is fine, up and pecking around the garden... and one started lethargic behavior yesterday morning.

    She laid an egg yesterday and sat on it all day....but she is also very lethargic, just sitting wherever she is. She can get up and move around, but will only move a few feet and then right back in the coop.

    We took the egg but now she's sitting in the base of the coop. She usually runs from us but will now let me get right up next to her which is very strange. I picked her up and put her outside, she sort of half-heartedly pecked at some food but went in the coop and sat again (not in the nesting box, but in the base).

    She is puffed up and is a bit huched over, and looks like a "king penguin" as one of my kids said, which is a good description. Eyes look clear, nothing else looks amiss. She looks healthy, just hunched. They have fresh food and water.

    I was hoping that she was just broody but she is just sitting and not exhibiting her usual fiesty behavior which makes us very concerned. Aren't they still a bit more "with it" when they're broody? She just seems out of sorts. Now that she's in the base of the coop she just wants to sit in the sun, which also worries me because I don't want her to get overheated.

    She is probably about 3 years old -- both of our chickens were given to us a year ago by somebody who couldn't keep them so we're not exactly sure of the age but I think that's her approximate age.

    Can anybody help? I have no idea who to call or what to do....and am so worried, she's such a good girl!

    Thanks so very much!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  2. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Sorry you are having this problem... I do find these are often symptoms associated with older hens. Does she have a poopy butt? My guess is egg bound. You can try giving her a soak in warm water. Good luck!
     
  3. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    Not sure have you seen her poop what does her comb look like I would check her for mite/lice and also maybe see if a vet can do a fecal test for worms also how does her crop feel it could be sour crop. I am not sure but those are the top three things I would look at since she laid and egg yesterday I would not think egg bound yet.
     
  4. Lavender99

    Lavender99 New Egg

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    Apr 4, 2011
    Thank you both so much -- yes, since she did lay an egg yesterday I wonder if she can be impacted yet? Might be? And her crop looks OK but I should probably take a closer look as I had not thought about that. I did just mix up some yogurt, shredded apple, oats and she ate quite a bit, but is still sitting and looking very sad. I'll see if she perks up after her meal and if I can get a closer look at her.

    As for mites, any thoughts on how to check for those? Are they visible on teh otuside of the feathers or just by the feather base?

    A warm soak might be a good idea, I've never done that before -- do you just hold them in the water for a while?

    I truly appreciate the quick response. You guys are the best, and I feel much better just talking to somebody about this!
     
  5. crazygoatlady915

    crazygoatlady915 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
    Idaho
    How hot is it in your area? Could she have overheated, or could she be dehydrated?
     
  6. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    look under the feathers at the base of the wing and around her vent also on the back mite/lice like those spots. I was asking about the crop does it feel hard, soft, watery. I would do a search for sour crop there are some really great post about what to do. Good luck I hope your hen gets better.
     
  7. Lavender99

    Lavender99 New Egg

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    Apr 4, 2011
    Thanks again -- to update I checked for mites (none); got a closer look at crop and it seems fine so that's good. Weather here is in the 60s...not too bad so hopefully dehydration isn't a problem though I do worry since she hasn't reall had any water today (I watered down her yogurt though so got got some fluids).

    I gave her a nice long warm bath this evening to see if she perhaps was eggbound - and there were worms in the water when she got out (yikes). I got the de-worming medicine today but think I need to take her to the vet, as she will not take anything by mouth (she's half-heartedly eating). She's still incredibly listless -- just the fact that she let me bathe her and dry her with a hair dryer shows that she's definitely not herself!

    So if all is well tomorrow I will get her to the doctor first thing...not sure what else to do.

    Thank you for all of your help and suggestions today! So great to have a community like this!
     

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