Lethargic Hen/Broken beak, Is this the end?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by EHook518, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. EHook518

    EHook518 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 7 month old barred rock hen is not acting like herself. I have searched threads here and found similar situations but I am still unsure as to what to do. She is either just sitting on the perch sleeping or standing with the other chickens looking miserable. As far as I know she has not started laying, all my others have been producing an egg every day. I checked to see if she was egg bound and I could not feel an egg (I was hesitant to do this because I do not want to hurt her). Also, I was out of town and something must have happened because she broke the tip of her beak off. She has not shown much interest in eating but is drinking water. I added ACV to their water and tried to get her to eat a mash of her layer crumbles and scrambled eggs but had no success. I have not wormed my chickens and of course all the feed stores are closed today. Here are some pictures, one of her beak and the other of what she looks like now. Please help, I don't want to lose this bird, she is so sweet.
    *Update* I gave her a bath/soak in warm water and epsom salts, she was very happy with that. I dried her and put her in a small crate with some mash. She is perkier and picking at the mash. She also drank some of the bath water.
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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  2. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How is her weight? Is she getting skinny or maintaining roughly where she should be?

    How does her crop feel? Is it full, empty, squishy, hard lumps?

    I haven't had a hen with trama before so I can't speak to what it could be but it wouldn't surprise me to find she went through some kind of shock. Hopefully others with experience on that will post...
     
  3. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    X2. Make sure she has access to fresh water and feed. Try some limited "treats" as well. If she has a broken beak, she has had an incident of some sort and she may be injured. Chickens are much tougher than most realize. Let her take it easy and watch her.
     
  4. EHook518

    EHook518 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Her weight is good, she looks and feels just like my other hens. Her crop was a little on the empty side, she hasn't been eating much. She is slowly eating her mash (I stuck some raisins in there to get her interested and those are gone) and drinking. I just opened up her crate and she pooped, it looked totally normal. I was joking with my husband that she was depressed she was the only one not laying eggs but then she started to really worry me. I am worried that without her full beak she can't eat the same but she has more beak than some I have seen on here. I think she is liking living inside, you wouldn't even know she is here. I have been reading so much on egg-bound hens but she doesn't fit the description totally. Tomorrow I will get some wormer, I wish my crystal ball had been working yesterday when I was at the feed store!
    Thank you Chick_In_The_Burbs and wsmith!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  5. Pozees

    Pozees Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry you are having these problems, it's always hard when one of our chickens isn't well. Chickens are tougher than we think, but they can also succumb quickly to shock and dehydration. Offering her things that will be easy to eat and contain moisture will help, and things with added benefits like probiotics will support her immune and digestive systems - so you might try a little warm (not hot) oatmeal and some plain yogurt, and if you have any squash or pumpkin I might stir in a bit of that as well. Raw pumpkin seeds are thought to be a natural wormer, but they usually don't really like them very well, so you can grind some and sprinkle the powder into the soft food. Unpasteurized ACV like Bragg's is helpful, and it sounds like you have already added ACV to her water so that's a great step.


    You are doing what you need to support her while she recovers by keeping her warm and ensuring she is getting some water and food, the more the better. It may turn out that she is just generally not well, and nothing you can do will change the outcome, but there is no way to know that for sure right now. You will know in 2-3 days whether you are winning the battle. If you suspect she has some sort of bacterial infection you can try one of the broad spectrum antibiotics available at the feed store, although I try to stay away from them as much as possible. The fact she isn't yet laying at 7 months of age is troubling, and there may be a chronic problem you just can't see.

    Best of luck with her, keep us posted - we will cheer or weep with you whatever happens.
     
  6. EHook518

    EHook518 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for your response. I am feeling hopeful since she is eating and drinking. My other hens who are also 7 months just started laying last week, I wonder if her beak injury has thrown her off. I have antibiotics but like you I am waiting till the last resort. I have fed my girls pumpkin seeds many time, they gobble them up. I will add some to her mash tomorrow. She is a funny chicken, not very bright but you can't help falling in love with her. She is the bottom of the pecking order so I think it helps that she is on her own right now. Thank you for your support.
     
  7. Pozees

    Pozees Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, okay, if her nestmates just started laying then that may have no bearing on her present condition - did you get them from a breeder or a hatchery? Hatchery hens are usually quicker to lay, although I have 5 Speckled Sussex from a hatchery that were really not any faster to lay than birds bred to Standard of Perfection, which happens when that is either intrinsic to the breed and they are pure, and/or when the hatchery is buying eggs/chicks from a breeder who strives for the Standard.

    Here's hoping she has a fast and complete recovery!
     
  8. rbaker0345

    rbaker0345 Big Mamma Brahma

    Her posture looks painful, I am wondering if she could have been hit by a car or closed in a door. Keeping her separated until the bruising and trauma subside is a good idea. The beak will probably never be right again, but as long as she can eat, hey....
     
  9. suncatcher

    suncatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I too agree on keeping her as quiet as possible, since she is at the bottom of the pecking order a little alone time might do her good. Was she able to roost with everyone else before her trauma? Since she is eating some and drinking water, I would think this is a good sign. You can also add some electrolytes to her water to if she is not eating enough. Wish all the best for your little hen!
     
  10. myfinefeatheredfriends

    myfinefeatheredfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad to hear she is doing better after the bath. I have a cross beaked hen (she was born that way though) and she learned to eat/drink on her own just fine so I think your girl will be ok. Maybe whatever happened to cause her to break her beak also frightened her to where the stress caused her to become that way. I know it's going out on a limb but anything is possible.
     

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