1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

lethargic hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lablover, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

    572
    9
    124
    Apr 7, 2012
    About one month ago, one of my red sex link hens became very lethargic. She appeared to be molting with loss of feathers on her back and tail. Her comb became very small/pale. She did lay an egg for a few months. She eventually separated herself completely from the flock, and seemed to be in a daze. She lost a lot of weight and sadly passed away. I have no idea what was wrong. The rest of the hens were fine. Now, the remaining sex link is doing the same. Her weight is still up though, but I'm not sure if she's eating. She separates herself during the day, and appears to sleep. What do I do? She walks around very hunched up, and her neck seems to be pulled back into her body. When she's hunched up, it's like her lower back is sticking up well above her wings almost as if she's trying to pass an egg, and can't. She also hasn't laid an egg in several months. Her poop was watery and a dark green as if she had been eating grass, but I'm not sure that she actually was. I also have an EE that only quit laying a couple of weeks ago. Today I noticed her standing in that hunched up way, but she at least stays with the flock and pecks around. I will upload pics later.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,342
    2,299
    471
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    You may have some chickens who are internal layers. There could also be coccidiosis in the flock. You will need to examine everyone of the sick birds starting with their crop first thing in the morning to make sure it is empty. Check their poops--diarrhea with or without blood might indicate coccidiosis. Check them for lice and mites--mites can make a chicken very weak and anemic. Also worm them with Valbazen, Safegard liquid goat wormer, or another broad spectrum wormer. If you think it is cocci, give them Corid liquid 2 tsp per gallon for 5-7 days. Here is a link for internal laying: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/decrease-in-egg-production-causes.html
     
  3. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

    572
    9
    124
    Apr 7, 2012
    I read a bit about cocci, but how will I know if it's that for sure? Is the watery poop considered diarrhea? If I treat for cocci, will it hurt if they don't have it? I have a rooster, 3 pullets just about ready to lay, and 4 hens total. Would everyone be treated? Do I worm them and treat for cocci? I was reading about cocci treatments, and withdrawal periods were mentioned. What are those?

    The symptoms of egg binding also sounds possible. But she's hasn't laid an egg in months.
     
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    23,601
    1,304
    386
    Jul 24, 2013
    Unless you have your birds tested for Coccidiosis (some vets do this, though I'm not exactly sure how), you won't know for sure. But it is better to be safe than sorry. Treating for Coccidiosis will not harm your birds even if they don't have the disease. After the treatment, though, be sure to provide them with some good poultry vitamins as Coccidiosis treatments often deplete certain vitamins from the body.

    IMO, internal laying is likely. If another bird dies, you might consider doing a necropsy and trying to determine the cause. Like Eggcessive suggested, I would also worm your flock.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,342
    2,299
    471
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Egg bound is different from internal laying. Click here for info: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/decrease-in-egg-production-causes.html Some strains of coccidosis will cause blood in the poop, so that makes it easier to diagnose than the ones that don't. Corid will not harm your birds. Yes everyone should be treated, and there is no withdrawal time for eating eggs (that means it is safe to eat them during treatment.
     
  6. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

    572
    9
    124
    Apr 7, 2012
    Do I worm or treat for cocci first? Can I get the wormer and treatment at Tractor supply? I was skimming their products and found Corid for bovines. Is there a separate kind for chickens?
     
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I would treat for cocci first since it can be a fast killer. Worms can kill too but it's a longer process. This way you can at least rule out the possibility of coccidiosis. Then treat for worms and just keep working your way down the list so to speak. Make sure to check for external parasites as Eggcessive mentioned. It could also be it's none of these things and you have some other disease process going on but you have to start somewhere and these things are the most obvious and easily solved possibilities.

    Corid is labeled for calves, you can get the powder or the liquid, doesn't matter. Dose for the 20% powder is 3/4 teaspoon per gallon of water, dose for liquid is 2 teaspoons per gallon. Make it up fresh every day and treat for 5 to 7 days.

    You should be able to find at least the Safeguard liquid goat dewormer at Tractor Supply, maybe Valbazen too which is the one I'd recommend. I usually order mine on-line.
     
  8. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

    572
    9
    124
    Apr 7, 2012
    Ok, so I do get the corid for calves at tsc. I'll try to find the liquid. Is it best to just have one waterer going during the treatment?
     
  9. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

    572
    9
    124
    Apr 7, 2012
    Also, what vitamins do I get?

    If it is internal laying, what can be done? Eggcessive, I didn't find any info about internal laying from that website.

    I didn't initially think it was a disease since it originally only affected one hen, and the rest are fine. But now, I'm not sure at all.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,342
    2,299
    471
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by