lethargic hens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by missychicky mom, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. missychicky mom

    missychicky mom Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2011
    Hi-
    I am posting for missychicky. She has four three + old hens who are being very lethargic. They are staying in their coop all day. Mostly they either roost in the run or roost in the coop. The coop has a 60 watt red light in it to keep them warm. We are in Oregon and it has been rainy, windy, and overall nasty. At the moment the temperature is 45 degrees and they are huddled in the coop. They still eat, and they seem extremely thirsty. Their weight is between 4.5 to 6 pds (as of several weeks ago). They are being very quiet - and we have Austrolorps who usually are EXTREMELY talkative, and they do not seem interested in much, I offered them a worm and they were more interested in huddling . Their poop is brown and runny. The head hen (Jasmine) is molting at the moment, the other three finished molting recently. They were wormed about 2 months ago and they usually get ACV water (I don't think it is at the moment)
    We are not sure if they are just old (nobody is laying anymore :-( ) a little cold, or something else. I plan to get them a heat lamp as soon as I have the extra $10.00 to do so.
    Should we be worried or is this just old age in chickens?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm not sure whats going on, but i can definitely tell you its not old age.
    One of my chickens is 6+ and still occasionally lays. Maybe not as much as she use to but she occasionally still does.
    chickens can live as old as 10+
    When chickens go through a molt, they don't lay for a while.

    Sounds like something else is going on with them?...hopefully someone else will have a better idea..
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  3. rbaker0345

    rbaker0345 Big Mamma Brahma

    They could have coccidiosis, it generally becomes prevalent when conditions become damp and humid.
     
  4. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I thought that was only common if they are under a year, otherwise there immune systems prevent them from getting it.
    Normally with cocci you would also see blood in their stool
     
  5. missychicky mom

    missychicky mom Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2011
    I don't worry too much about the lack of laying. Our Americana (Easter Egger) gave up last spring, I am not sure when the Silver Wyndotte gave up, sometime this summer. One Austrolorpe gave up recently and the other one is finishing her molt.
    The worry is that they don't want to do anything but stay in the coop. Normally they run around the yard and beg for scraps at the back door.
    They could be stressed I suppose, we have a small back yard and it seems as if everyone around us has been re-doing their back yard with power tools- which worries the heck out of our head hen.
     
  6. missychicky mom

    missychicky mom Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2011
    I have not seen any blood. Their poop does look a bit different then normal- more brown instead of white and green. I figured it is because they are probably getting too much protein.... they have trained us into giving them a tin of cat food every day......
     
  7. mommissan

    mommissan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope you everything turns out okay. I know my girls get the blues when it rains, and they stop laying for a day or so. The poop thing makes me curious.
     
  8. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The stool color can change from their diet so i wouldn't start worrying to much about it unless it gets really weird.
    If there poo gets too dark, lay off the treats and see if that fixes the problem.
    There behavior could be due to the cold, less sun, or the stress of a molt (if they are still going through it).
    Luckily it doesn't sound like the chickens are showing many alarming symptoms so i think they are ok.
    Just keep an eye on them and see if they show any signs of illness.
    Good luck!
     
  9. missychicky mom

    missychicky mom Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2011
    hum.... thank you foxypopproxy. I have to admit, the weather is giving us "chicken slaves" the blues too.....

    maybe I will go to the pet store on friday and get them a bunch of crickets (11 for a dollar!) they usually go crazy for them- hopefully that will cheer them up!
     

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