lethargic hen with pale skin, drooping comb and dramatic weight loss

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mineymoe, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. mineymoe

    mineymoe Hatching

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    Apr 19, 2010
    I have a 2 and a half year old sex link hen that is lethargic, has lost a lot of weight - she is just feathers and bone now but used to be very thick - her skin is pale and beak is dry and pale, her comb droops. She eats but not as aggressively or as much as she used to. She had her first molt about nine months ago and never started laying eggs again after she molted. She started growing spurs about 6 months ago. We have 4 other chickens, two of them the same age as her and two chicks 5 months old. The other chickens are all fine. I have looked at her bottom and picked through her feathers and I don't see any bugs/mites anywhere (if she had them would I be able to see them?) Any ideas what might be wrong or how to treat the sick chicken? Thanks for your help.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  2. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Songster

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    Mar 13, 2010
    You may or may not be able to see the mites if they are there - mine had tiny, almost transparent with red tint mites.
    Have you checked to be sure she is not eggbound or internal layer? Do they have access to oyster shell? Any injuries?

    If all of these are clear, then you could treat for mites - you would have to do her, teh other chickens and the coop though. You also might look into vitamins for her.


    here's a "bump" for better advice [​IMG]
     
  3. mineymoe

    mineymoe Hatching

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    Apr 19, 2010
    Thanks for your response. How do I tell if she is egg bound or internal layer? Yes...we have oyster shell available and as far as I know she hasn't had any injuries.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  4. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Songster

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    I don't really know well enough to explain it. I have read about setting them in warm water and massaging their underbelly to see if you feel anything - that egg bound will make them walk funny. I think internal layers have bits of egg / shell that come out of their vent....

    Try the search function and look up egg bound?
     
  5. mineymoe

    mineymoe Hatching

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    Tell me if I'm wrong....I've been reading about mites on some other internet sites and it seems to me that the chicken would need to have a pretty bad infestation of mites to cause the extreme symptoms she is having. With such a heavy infestation I would think that it would be fairly easy to see that many mites or at least see their excrement on her skin and feathers... I'm not finding anything (but I feel all itchy everywhere!...ew).

    I don't think she is egg bound - She is so thin that I would think it would be easy to feel an egg - all I am feeling is bone and she isn't walking funny.

    Now that I think about it...in June we went on vacation and we had one of the neighbors kids take care of the chickens and gather the eggs while we were gone. I found out later that she brought her friends with her and that they chased the chickens around trying to catch them....it's possible that the chicken got hurt.

    I don't know what to do...I don't want her to suffer or be in pain and if it is something that can be easily fixed I'd sure like to try. We do not have any vets around here that will treat chickens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010

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