Lethargic hen laying down with wings out tail down

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Shezadandy, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    Floppsie is a Speckled Sussex approximately 9 months old- we got her as a day old shipped in so she's been with us the whole time. She was laying next to the fence in weird places with her tail down and wings out.

    She did lay an egg today. It was a small egg (she almost always lays 1.6 oz) but today's was smaller than average at 1.4oz. I cracked it and it was totally normal in appearance. It was laid sometime mid-afternoon. Not sure if that eliminates egg bound from the list of suspects.

    Her crop seems empty - don't know that I'd call it soft and squishy, but her flockmates all have full round crops and she does not. Her abdomen is maybe a little tight. She's way too quiet - easy to catch, pick up and handle - and is currently in the house in a large dog crate.

    At this moment I don't have any droppings I can attribute to her because I just separated her about an hour ago, however I did see what looked more like a broody poop (nobody's broody- I check my boxes and chickens every couple/few hours, no lingerers)- very large, round and dry-- maybe it's hers, maybe it's not, but it did stand out.

    About 4hrs ago she went for the scratch just like all the others and seemed normal most of the day- noticed her odd position a couple hours later.

    Normal food includes Flock Raiser, free choice- she's #3 in the pecking order and has no problem accessing food and water. They regularly get watermelon rinds, carrots, occasional cantelope rinds/seeds and cabbage.

    I mixed save-a-chick electrolyte and probiotic into her available water and left some Flock Raiser in there too- so far no real interest in either.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Do you offer oyster shell free choice as well?
    Has she been wormed?

    Monitor her poo, hopefully she is thinking about being broody.
    She could have some crop issues or possible internal laying/reproductive disorder developing.

    Encourage her to drink in case she is dehydrated.

    Let us know how she is doing.


    http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx
    http://www.hobbyfarms.com/livestock-and-pets/6-causes-of-chicken-swollen-abdomen.aspx

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments
     
  3. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    Thank you! Yes, free choice oyster shell topped off daily (have broody raised chicks mixed with the flock which is the reason for all-flock). She was the first one to lay of the 10 pullets and for whatever reason she's almost always laid the smallest egg- very consistent pattern, just small. As yet I haven't wormed her- I've got safeguard for goats and valbuzen (spelling?) on hand. Still waiting for some poop to confirm if that one was hers or not. Since we moved her inside she's laying with her tail up which is an improvement. Thinking best case, maybe she overheated though today wasn't all that bad.

    I will update a little later, thank you again!
     
  4. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    Today I put her back out with the flock and she looked pretty normal- back to talking again and I didn't see her laying down like she did yesterday. Tonight her crop is full and she's back in her spot on the roost. Hopefully it was a temporary overheat situation but of course I'll keep a close eye out.
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hot weather can definitely cause problems like you describe, so keep an eye on her. If she does it again, move her to a cooler area and get her hydrated.
    Hopefully she will continue to do well.
     
  6. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    Thank you so much for checking back. Yesterday I had the 'teenager' chickens out in the adjacent pen. Everyone was either hatched under a broody here or received as day-olds shipped through the mail, and the same birds have met on previous occasions in the same situation. But, I did hurt my knee and I couldn't put them out there (have to be able to bend knees and move to catch wily teenagers)-- so they hadn't been to that area for a week. My Speckled Sussex pair in particular are like guard dogs on patrol- I wonder if she over did her patrol act and overheated- that's the only thing that changed. Previously the teenagers were in there consecutive days, so maybe their reappearance put her on high alert. Hopefully that was it. Nobody else has/had exhibited any problems.

    I've still got the big crate set up for her inside just in case, and I checked every hour or two all day- will continue same tomorrow.
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
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    I'm sorry to hear you hurt your knee.

    She may have overdone it while patrolling, you never know.
    I have a rooster so he is constantly on the move even though I don't free range. I've noticed he doesn't even take a dust bath until my top hen gets done bathing, then she "patrols" while he dust baths. Chickens are funny.

    Hope you get better soon and all stays well with your flock.
     
  8. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    Thanks- stupid knee! It's hard to say what tipped the scales for her- warm, warm week ahead- today she's bright-eyed and bushy tailed- so far so good.
    Hopefully in the next couple weeks I'll get a coop built for that pen coop built so the teenagers can safely stay 24/7 without needing to be caught and returned to safety-- then their presence will be a constant until it's safe to integrate. There is a 6 week old cockerel (2lbs already!) in there- the teenagers have 2 cockerels at 16 weeks-- hoping once they're ready, they'll take over the patrol duty and the speckleds can just go be hens- hopefully one steps up to rooster duties like your guy! Thanks again!
     

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