Lethargic old hen...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sunny Side Up, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Grayce is an old EE hen 4-5 years old I think. She's part of a 15-bird laying flock, one of several here, so I haven't been observing her particularly closely. I know that every hen in her flock is not laying, or at least not frequently, so I really don't know if/when she has laid her last egg. She & her coop-mates have been eating/drinking/acting/pooping well, with no major health issues lately until now.

    For the past week or so she has been acting more & more lethargic. When I open their coop in the morning she will be setting on the floor and won't move until I approach her. Then she jumps up & scoots away from me. But she spends more & more time during the day setting on the ground.

    It's not a leg issue because she can move well when inspired. She is heavy & free from mites. Her abdomen isn't swollen, mushy, or hard. Her crop is normal. Her breathing is normal, not congested or wheezy. There is no nasal discharge. Her comb is a bit pale.

    Fearing it might be something contagious I have her in a separate pen. She ate a bit yesterday when I placed a dish of her favorite, wetted chick starter topped with scratch. She hasn't eaten or drank much today, just setting on the bottom of that cage. She did move to go inside the straw-lined box there.

    I didn't see any poops in that cage or box, but she does have some loose stuff down her backside under her vent.

    Okay, just typing this all out has me thinking it's probably an internal laying issue in its beginning stages. Please let me know if you think it might be anything else, with any other remedy for it.

    If it's internal laying then I'll let her back in with her flock-mates to finish out her days, when it gets too bad and she gets too uncomfortable I'll gently help her to The Other Side of the Road. I know there are things that some folks do for their hens, some of those things I've tried with no success with other old hens. I'd rather not add to Grayce's troubles by trying them on her.
     
  2. wermfud

    wermfud Out Of The Brooder

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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    The heat can cause them to slow down laying as you know. Eggbound is a possibility. You could soak her in warm water, massage her underside while she's soaking for about 20 minutes. Remove her and wear a plastic disposable glove and put olive oil on a finger and insert it into her vent checking for obstructions. Remove your finger and use olive oil to lube her vent area. The warm water will expand her innards, massaging will move the egg along. The finger in the vent helping lube and stretch it making it easier for her to lay the egg.
    I suspect worms as ddawn stated, valbazen (albendazole) is the way to go. Dosage would be 1/2cc orally for Grayce. You would want to redose her in 10 days after the first dosing. I recommend dosing all your chickens as well.
    Jefferslivestock.com sells it. It is a liquid cattle/sheep wormer. They are out of Dothan, Alabama...you'd receive it quick since you live in Florida. I got mine in 2 days.
     
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Wurmfud, that would be great if Grayce recovers like your hen did. Maybe she needs a week indoors watching TV with the family.

    Ddawn, I'll see if I can get Valbazen at my feed store. I hope I can find a small package, I couldn't afford the big giant bottle. I do have some Ivomec pour-on, but its expiration is 10/2010, do you think that might still be effective? If so, how much & administered how?

    Thank you all! [​IMG]
     
  6. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    Whenever one of my girls seems a bit "off", I supplement her diet by feeding her some foods that are high in vitamins A, K & E , especially vit. A. She might have a nutrient deficiency, and vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins for a chickens overall health.
    Some foods high in vit. A are: broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mangoes & tomato juice. Spinach, peppers & alfalfa leaves for K, and sweet potatoes & broccoli for E, which helps boost the immune system.
    If you have any of these veggies, boil them up until they are soft & chop them into bite-size pieces or mash them with a fork.
    I'd add some Sav-A-Chik or other vitamin/elecrolyte solution to her water also, or give her 3 drops of Poly-vis-ol from Enfamil (no iron formula) a day for a few days. 1 drop for chicks, 2 for smaller hens, 3 for standards.
    If you don't have or can't find any Poly-vis-ol, Walmart carries a vitamin solution made specifically for pet birds by 8 In 1 called Premium Multi Drops. You add it to their water. I've had great success using this product on my chickens when they seem under the weather.
    Good luck with your hen.
     
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Grayce crossed over to The Other Side of the Road some time last night. [​IMG] She seems to have gone peacefully. Thank you all for your imput. I'm going to ask a sheep-keeping pal if she has some of that Valbazen I could try.
     
  8. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You tried to help her as best you could. At least she went quickly & peacefully. [​IMG]
     

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