Lethargic super skinny hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sember, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. Sember

    Sember Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2012
    Oregon
    I have a Welsummer girl about 9 months old. She's fluffed up and lethargic. Tipsy. Weak. her face seems pale, and her poop seems much more watery than usual.

    We've had a somewhat mild winter with weather going back and forth between sunshiny and mild to suddenly freezing with temps in the teens and twentys. I have a light in the hen house. it's low wattage, but as close to an incandescent as we could get, just for a little more warmth. The hen house is not well insulated, so it's not a drastic change to outside temps, plus all my girls like to roost outside of the hen house.

    I ran out of feed last month and couldn't drive (surgery on my arm), so I bought a bag from my brother in law. Crumble, which I hate cause it always seems to turn to powder and just seems wasteful as it clogs up the feeder and never seems to get eaten as much. When I noticed how skinny my girl was I just dumped the feeder and refilled with pellets instead. She is eating well, but not gaining weight. (this all started Sunday.)

    Since then I have isolated my girl and she's being fed pellet layer, a little scratch mixed in, scrambled egg and canned corn first thing in the morning.

    She no longer wants to stand or walk as much and still hasn't put on any weight, so we brought her in the house. My other chickens are doing great, although now 2 are trying to pick on her (which is one reason shes now in the house)

    hubby and I are wondering if this could be a combo of molting, trying to grow new feathers with a lack of proper nutrition (the powdery crumble), and then getting picked on and possibly being pushed away from the feeder? She was eating well till this morning, but in her defense, her crop is really full. I did massage it some and it has the consistency of soft clay, so not overly hard.

    No sneezing (unless she gets too big a mouthful of water), no blood in her poop, no coughing, vent looks ok.

    I lost another hen with about the same symptoms last month (3 year old RIR)

    what else can I do? any suggestions?
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    BIrds often do lose some weight during molt but they generally remain active though cranky. Has she ever been dewormed? If not that's where I'd start. Valbazen or liquid Safeguard for goats, 1/2 cc orally, repeat in 10 days.

    Also check her crop first thing in the morning, before she's had anything to eat, see if it emptied overnight like it should. I'd probably nix the canned corn as well, egg is fine, let her eat all the pelleted feed she wants. A flock raiser or all-flock type feed might be a good idea since it has a bit more protein.

    Check her body condition carefully as well, look for any swelling or bloating in her lower abdomen.
     
  3. Sember

    Sember Out Of The Brooder

    12
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    22
    Apr 18, 2012
    Oregon
    she hasn't been wormed, so I'll look into wormer tomorrow when the stores are open.

    all flock as in like meat bird feed? I thought about supplementing some of that or some feather maker during the molting times for extra protein. (18% vs 22% protein I think)

    Thanks! :)
     
  4. Sember

    Sember Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Apr 18, 2012
    Oregon
    Morning Update:

    She's trying to stand, and she's definitely pooping. Her poop was solid this morning, but looked sort of like oatmeal (ew lol). Her crop was not empty, as she munched all night. It's like she's keeping herself "topped off" on food. I'm keeping fresh water and pellet layer accessible at all times. The pellet also has a small handful of scratch mixed in. Gonna look into wormer later today after things thaw out.
     

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