Lethargic hen with ruffled feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sally8, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Sally8

    Sally8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2011
    Sally is a yr old Deleware hen
    A week ago I noticed that her feathers looked ruffled but our temps are in the teens at night. She stays alone when with her 7 sisters. I've brought her in the house (mudroom) in a dog cage with food and water and she seems content. Drinks alot. I think her breast bone protrudes but it's always been that way. When I let her back out, she immediately ruffles up, sticks her head in her feathers and will just stand there. She can walk ok. I've given her electroltes in her water. poop seems ok.called our vet to have her poop ck'd for parasites but they don't handle chickens. Not sneezing, coughing, no visible signs. The only recent change was that I switched from straw pine chips. (2 wks ago) Has anyone had this experience? Thanks.
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    If you have not wormed her, I would go ahead and do so. If she has no other symptoms other than being tired and cold, she may be loaded with worms. All chickens have them and should be wormed at least once a year.

    Have you checked her for egg bound? If she is still pooping than if she is egg bound, the egg would be further up the canal. Feel from between her legs up to her vent from the outside. Many times you can feel an egg somewhere in the ovaduct. I doubt an egg is near the vent if she is pooping, although you can put on a latex glove with KY jelly on it and feel for one if you think an egg may be stuck. If there is an egg somewhere stuck, you can also sit her in a warm bath for 15 mins and many times the warmth will move the egg.

    Keep her warm at night under a heat lamp or in the house. Cold birds do not heal well. Make sure she keeps eating and drinking. If she shows any other signs of respiratory issues, or strange color poop, you could start her on antibiotics. Good luck!

    Oh, and [​IMG]
  3. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    Check her for mites then check her crop. She may have an impacted or sour crop.
  4. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    Do you have an entire flock? Are they all the same age? I agree with twocrowsranch... I will only add that you should use the Search option here on BYC (upper right of the page... opposite your log in name, etc.)...

    Search these topics and look for posts by dawg53... "Worming"... "Giving oral medications", "Worming with Valbazen", "Treating mites with Sevin Dust"... "How much Valbazen".....

    If you have never wormed at all.. worms are likely at anything over seven or eight months... (even six)... Symptoms can mean she has had worms a while, and is at risk.. chickens can die from worm infestations, from the effects of worms on their system.

    Valbazen is a good, safe first time wormer. It must be given orally, individually to each chicken one at a time... I have a neighbor help me.. he catches one at a time inside the coop.. brings it out, he holds and helps, we open the mouth and I use a syringe (no needle) to give 1/2cc/ml per standard chicken... or 1/4cc/ml per small or bantam... and some -- the very heavy ones, the largest.. I may give a touch more.. like 3/4 cc/ml.. to the largest only.

    You have to be careful to give it back and to the side, not to get it into the airway.. it does not taste good and they will not swallow this on their own or take it on bread, at least mine won't.

    After dosing one, we let it go.. mine free range duing the day.. this way I know who's been done and who hasn't, there are no double doses and no one missed. I buy Valbazen at my local feed store.. it normally comes in a bottle that will expire before you use it, so it's good if you can share it with someone... the cost and the medicine. I also get syringes there..
    Valbazen treatment should be repeated in ten days.. ten days after first dose, give another... same process.. WITHHOLD EGGS (don't eat them) from the first dose to the 15th day after the second or last dose.. If you see tapeworm segments in any poop (become a poop watcher... tapeworm segments look sort of like short white rice) it will take more than two doses to get rid of them, they are harder.
    Do not eat the eggs for 24 days (if giving two doses)... from first dose on.. eggs are good to eat on 25th day after first dosing.. 15th day after second dosing.

    You can look for posts by dawg53 on worming and worming with Valbazen and dosages of Valbazen and egg withholding with Valbazen. Also, buttermilk is a good, easy to give probiotic and can be given on about the fourth day after dosing -- mix some with their food (I mix some water, the buttermilk and some feed to make a nice wet mash) this helps restore their intestinal health after worming. Valbazen works slowly, over a few days.. so.. let it work first.

    There are many opinions and there are some other options for worming.... but, Valbazen kills all types of worms, not just one or two.. and giving individually, orally so that you know who got what, etc.. is best.
    Trust posts by dawg53 on this subject. Please, use the search option for any and all symptoms you have.. except "lethargy" or "lethargic".... that's too general.

    You can also search "Eggbound"... for information and treatment of that, if that is a concern. Mostly, young, new layers get eggbound, in my experience.. it can happen to older hens, but seems to generally be my young ones that have just been laying a short time.

    If you Search "normal poop" you will find a thread with a link to a UK site with pictures of normal and not so normal poop. It's helpful.

    Best of luck and welcome.
  5. Sally8

    Sally8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2011
    Update on Sally: She is no longer with us. She was severely egg bound. I have 7 other girls, 2 Deleware (Sally and Sally) 1 Rhode Island Red (Red), 1 White Leghorn (Foghorn) 2 Easter Egger's (Cackles and Peckles) 1 Barred Rock (Mrs. Rock). They are all 10 - 12 months old. I only started dabbling with chickens in May and have learned so much. I now know that Sally was the one layiing the egg with only a membrane but wasn't smart enough to ck further. I do get 1 larger egg every day and it comes from on e of the other Delewares. Will watch her very closely now. Since I got 7 eggs today, I know that we are good so far. Thank you all.

    Also, am the mom to 12 cats (all were stray) 3 dogs (all were stray) and 3 goldfish (I actually bought!) 1 husband, 2 Children and 3 grandchildren.[​IMG]
  6. mama dixie

    mama dixie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2011
    I am so sorry you lost her... I have a favorite hen showing the same signs she is about a year and a half to two years. did your hen also have a pastie bum? mine does. did you take her to the vet or how did you find out she was egg bound. I am so sorry to ask I know you are very sad to of lost her but it may help me save mine. I did feel to see if there was an egg in mine and felt nothing but I will look closer in the am...

    again I am so sorry you lost her.....
  7. Sally8

    Sally8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2011
    I'll be honest in saying that I don't know if her butt was pasty or not. I put her in the bathtub full of warm water and she loved it. She relaxed and put her head and neck over my arm and closed her eyes. I just cried! I could see her trying (like contractions) but could also see several egg shapes in her abdomin (sp). I lubed up my hand and tried to get the one egg out but she was sooo hot. Also, the area with of skin with the egg shapes had turned blackish. As I said, I didn't know anything about chickens before May. I called my vets as I have other pets but they didn't deal with chickens and didn't know who did. I read on here someplace that you can give them aspirin but wish I knew someone who had already gone through this to talk to.
    Good luck to you. Let me know how you make out.
    I've been looking on the internet to see if once the hen becomes unbound if she will continue to have these problems or not..
  8. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    Thinking parasites (internal, external) too.

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