Lethargic hen but I THINK I have a battle plan

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chickadee95, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Chickadee95

    Chickadee95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2012
    Hi all,
    I have 3 BO hens and 1EE, that all started laying within the month. My EE started laying about 2 weeks ago and has not missed a day, until 3 days ago. Her eggs are easily monitored b/c they are the only blue/green eggs. In the past she has been extremely energetic, fast on her feet, and the first to run to me for treats. She loves treats and would always partake in eating them. She stood with her head and tail raised high.
    Within the past 3 days I have noticed these symptoms:
    She stands with her body hunched up (head pulled close to body, tail pretty much parallel with the ground.)
    She walks EXTREMELY SLOWLY. I'm 100% sure something is wrong simply from her walking
    She does not make ANY quick movements (doesn't zoom toward treats like she used to, lets the other girls bump her out of their way
    2 days ago I found her IN the nest box, but NO EGGS have come!
    Lime green solid/watery poop was found in nesting box today. In a differrent box than where the 3 BO's eggs were laid. I am assuming this was her.
    Yellow diarrhea found under roost, evidently one night's worth of poop. (not sure whose this is, exactly)

    No limping, no enlarged crop that I can see. Clean, normal-looking vent.

    After much research, this is what I believe it could be: mites, worms, egg bound problem, vitamin deficiency.

    Tomorrow I will go to the feed store and get some type of dewormer to put in their water. This will be their first time being dewormed.

    I will also purchase Diatomaceous Earth and put it in the nesting boxes, in the coop bedding, and in the run where they dust bathe most often.

    I will most likely bathe her in warmer than body temperature water for 20 mins tomorrow to relax her abdominal muscles. I will isolate her until she dries in the garage because it is mid October and cold outside.

    What do you guys think about some type of vitamin/mineral deficiency?? A friend of mine had a lethargic hen, took her to the vet, and he gave her an injection of vitamin B (I think) and she perked right back up. Is there anything I can do from home, any way to add a supplement? If so, what could she be lacking?

    Does this treatment plan sound okay? Is it okay to start all these treatments at once or will it stress her body out. So you have any other suggestions??

    The 3 buff orps are acting 100% OK.

    These girls are my pets, I really want to do what I can for them. The EE's name is Prometheus. I can provide any other info if you want it, or fill out the 10 questions if you want.

  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Worm your birds orally 1/2cc safeguard liquid goat wormer undiluted. Redose them again in 10 days. If your feed store doesnt carry it, Jefferslivestock.com has it, or call them.
  3. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    The tail down, in conjunction with the other symptoms definitely suggests egg binding. I'd treat for this as a priority, as it can be fatal in very little time. Warm-bath her ASAP - now! - and repeat daily until she passed an egg. If possible, give her a quick calcium boost - feed her Tums if necessary.

    The other problems you're considering are possible, but egg binding is the urgent one. Treat for this while you sort the rest.
  4. Chickadee95

    Chickadee95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2012
    This afternoon I gave all 4 of them 1/2 cc paste equine dewormer. This morning the chicken acted the same, but this afternoon she was what i would call 75% of her normal self. Head and tail upright, in a U shape. She was pecking and scratching when I let them out. She was walking, going for treats. Still no extremely quick movements like the others, though.
    Still no eggs.
    We keep the coop on a farmer's property, he felt her abdomen and didn't feel any eggs. If she is eggbound, will I be able to feel them somehow. It was too late to bathe her tonight, I will tomorrow.
    Also within the next few days I will start her/ them on Duramycin 10. Is it ok if they all get this in their water??

    THANK YOU for the replies!!
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Why duramycin 10? There isnt any indication of a respiratory disease. Dont medicate "just because." Also FYI; duramycin 10 has a 21 day withdrawal period.
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I agree with dawg53- it doesn't sound like a case for antibiotics to me...but you do want to make sure you redose with the wormer as directed since the worm life cycle must be broken.

    It wouldn't hurt to give some vitamins as you were leaning towards and some nice treats like scrambled eggs to boost nutrition. Here is a link to vitamin deficiencies in case you are interested:

    another one with pics

    (I don't believe this is due to a vitamin deficiency however. Basically worms can kill chickens and so with that yellow poo I'd be suspicious of worms for sure.)
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    The lime green poo bothers me. It usually means they haven't eaten for a long time. Feel her keel and find out how skinny she is.
    If your chickens haven't had contact with other chickens, I would doubt they have a respiratory infection. I would think if they have an infection it would be a wound .

    If you want to check for an egg, oil up a finger and check.
    I would want to monitor what she eats and drinks, and see how much she really is taking in.

    I can't say anything much about worms, but Dawg is the go-to guy for worms.
  8. Chickadee95

    Chickadee95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2012
    The man at the feed store said that when his chickens get sick he gives them antibiotics but you have good points-it's not respiratory at all. I love these second opinions, thank you! I won't use and antibiotics.

    In 10 days I'll repeat the dewormer. And I'll give them some scrambled eggs today!! I know for sure that she ate some bread.

    She doesn't feel extremely thin? I did feel her keel and it wasn't too prominent.

    So does lethergicness generally point to worms?

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