Lethargic hen, yellow granular poo, not eating

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gypsygardens, May 6, 2011.

  1. gypsygardens

    gypsygardens New Egg

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    May 4, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    Hi. I've been trying to help one of my chickens out all day and I believe things might be getting a little better but not sure.

    She's a golden comet, age 2 years, not sure of her weight, but she's a healthy size. She's one of my bigger chickens and they are all the same breed (I have 6 in all). They're fed Countryside Natural layer feed. I offer oyster shell and gravel separately. They have a spacious coop, a small run, and a large yard they free range in whenever I am home. I usually use pine shavings on the floor of the coop but used straw the past couple months.
    I guess this hen started showing some strange behavior on Monday, but I only realized something was wrong today (Friday) and realized that maybe the strange behavior is all connected. On Monday night I went to close the coop door and found only five chickens. I looked in the places they sometimes roost outside the coop (high shelves in the shed, etc) and didn't find her. Then I found her just sitting on the ground 5 feet from the coop. There were plenty of raised things right around her that she could have gotten up onto at least, but she was just there on the ground sleeping. I took her into the coop just thinking that chickens are strange. On Tuesday evening we had a huge storm blow through (tornados nearby) and it blew down the fencing to their run while I was at work. When I got home around night fall (during a second storm) the coop was empty except for the one chicken. I thought it was a little strange that they all flew the coop in between storms but the one. The other chickens came back in the morning and were fine, continued free ranging, but the one stayed in the coop. I thought maybe she was going broody. I noticed her several times throughout the day in the nesting area, but I also noticed her standing in other corners of the coop with her face to the wall. She stayed inside in the nesting area all day Thursday as well. She was acting just like the other chicken that went broody last year so I really didn't question it. The only difference was that the broody hen always jumped up to eat when I came in in the mornings. All my chickens lay in the same spot, so I have no idea if any of the eggs I collected over the past few days were from this chicken. But I do know that on a couple days in the past week, I kept thinking she was working on laying after I had collected the other eggs but I never found another egg.

    When I went in this morning I noticed yellowish poo stuck to her and a few piles of poo that had granular yellow stuff in them. I took her out of the coop washed her up (she fought none of this and did not even make any vocal protests) and began to question if she was egg bound. I've never had an egg bound chicken so have nothing to compare it too, but she did seem to have a bulge low down below her vent, kind of in between her legs. She refused any water or food. I gave her a warm bath which she relaxed right into. Her breathing seemed labored. After about 15 min she stood up and passed some very liquidy... poo? It looked like it could potentially have been the inside of an egg and had the consistency of egg white. I drained the water and ran another warm bath with her and used my finger to feel for an egg. I didn't feel anything but she passed more liquid and some poo. For awhile she was extremely lethargic, barely standing up on her own. I let her dry off in the warm sunroom and she finally started drinking some water (with AC vingegar) and was able to stand strong. She continued to drink water for the rest of the day but refused all food including oatmeal. I finally decided to try raw milk and she was very excited by this. She had another large watery poo still with some granular yellow stuff and nothing solid. She is asleep in the living room now and is actually sleeping sitting down (she was asleep standing up most of the day). She poo'ed recently and there was a bit that was mostly solid but still had the granular yellow bits as well and a bit of watery stuff as well, but definitely FAR closer to normal. She also seemed to be a bit closer to fiesty, making feeble attempts at vocal protests the last few times I picked her up during the day. It seems that there is still a bulge in her rear area but seems to be right behind the vent now. Her vent seems to constantly be moving in and out even while sleeping.
    So this atleast seems to be some improvement from this morning but I'm still worried. If an egg broke inside of her, shouldn't the bits of shell come out? And how big is the risk of infection? If there still seems to be a bulge, is it possible there is another egg still stuck? Is it possible that the egg bound diagnosis is wrong completely? If she was egg bound, would she have lasted this long? Could there be something else that is causing the yellow granular poo and lethargy? I've read lots of poo descriptions and looked at all the pictures and I haven't seen anything granular. It's weird. Looks almost like corn meal. Does this ring a bell with anyone? I want to do whatever I can to help her. I'm willing take her to a vet even though I'm sure it's way outside my budget. Unfortunately, it's the weekend so I'd have to wait until Monday. I'm very into herbal medicine and have tons of herbs on hand, just need to know what might help her.

    I think I've given you all the information I could possibly have! Sorry for the long post! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I suspect this is going to be something in the egg laying system, egg peritonitis or internal layer or something; I have no experience with these things but it sure sounds like the descriptions I've read. There are a couple of threads on the FAQ page about eggbound. I found more info by doing a search for "internal layer" with speckledhen in the author box.

    I wish you both well.
     
  3. gypsygardens

    gypsygardens New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    May 4, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks. I'll research internal layer. Her poo is looking healthier and healthier, but she is still very lethargic!
     

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