Lethargic, tail down, bald vent

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lily-Rose, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Lily-Rose

    Lily-Rose Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2013
    I've had my two chickens for a year and a half and until recently have had no problems with them at all. One of my girls, Babs, went through a molt and stopped laying, this was a couple of months ago, and her plumage is fine now but she has not resumed laying. Yesterday afternoon I noticed she seemed a bit lethargic, not nearly as energetic as Ginger, her friend and she seemed to want to sit under the garden table we have out. I let them both out again this morning and she slowly walked out of the run and sort of stood fluffed up and tail down looking depressed. I checked her over and was surprised to see a bald patch where her vent is (below the tail and slightly under). Her eyes are bright, and she seems to have a healthy glossy plumage as normal, but today she doesn't seem to want to move or walk about, what little she has done, it's slow and looks as though painful. I checked her feet and legs, both seem fine. She's picked at some grass here and there, and ate about ten bits of sweetcorn but she just isn't well, clearly. I don't know how to check her crop, or her vent for that matter. I just don't know what to do. Please help :(
     
  2. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Overrun With Chickens

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    Could she be egg bound? If you think she is, bring her in the house and give her a good warm soak and massage her belly gently. Being that it is winter I would not put her back outside till she is good and dry. Good luck.
     
  3. Lily-Rose

    Lily-Rose Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2013
    I'll give it a try. Just water?
     
  4. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Newaygo Michigan
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  5. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hurricane, WV

    Welcome to BYC, 'though I'm sure you'd rather hear that when both chickens are well ... this could be quite a few things, but there's some stuff that's common to almost all situations:
    • Get your camera ready, 'cause good pictures help others best help you.
    • Check both birds, 'cause there could be other symptoms you've missed.
    • Closely inspect their droppings ... carefully photograph anything unusual.
    • Bringing her inside would be best, as you can provide additional warmth, and much closer observation of her condition (you could even bring 'em both inside, so she has company ~'-)

    I'll check back in later, 'n see if there's anything I can do to help ...
     
  6. Lily-Rose

    Lily-Rose Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2013
    Thank you so very much. I'm in Scotland, and it's dark right now as the sun goes down at 4pm in the winter, so I shall take photos of her tomorrow when I let them out in the morning if she's still unwell.
     
  7. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hurricane, WV
    You're so very welcome, and I'll watch for your update ... a thought, for those that have much shorter winter days? If you were to place a daylight bulb on a timer in the coop, so as to extend their perception of the length of each day, I suspect they'd pay you back w/ more eggs ~'-)
     
  8. Lily-Rose

    Lily-Rose Out Of The Brooder

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    I went out after speaking with the gentleman who sold me the chickens and he did say to check the coop again for red mite...as soon as it was dark, I went out with my phone, got the torch on and had a look in the coop.
    I saw one red mite crawling on the wall. no idea where the others are, but there was that one. So I'm wondering if it's that. But the other chicken seems fine. She's as perky as ever and full of pluck as it were (no pun intended). I shall treat the coop and run. should I dust both chickens with something too?
    Also, Babs hasn't laid since October when she started to molt. shouldn't she be laying by now?
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  9. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd dust 'em, but only w/ somethin' that's intended to go directly on the chickens (poultry dust w/ permethrin, for example). They could also have mites/lice that you haven't seen/identified.

    As for laying? That's possibly the result of the parasites as well ... plus, your days are mighty short, which might have somethin' to do w/ it.

    Although it's most likely the red fowl mite (which is that color due to being filled w/ Babs' blood), there are also vitamin deficiencies that can lead to feather plucking/eating. And, under the circumstances? A good supplement of vitamins sure wouldn't do her any harm.
     
  10. Lily-Rose

    Lily-Rose Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2013
    I'm thinking it's mites, so going to dust them both down with something and have the coop scrubbed and sprayed. 2012 was the wettest year we've had in ages. it rained almost every day through summer, autumn and winter, so the poor chickens didn't get out to dustbathe as much as they usually do. I've never had a problem with mites on them before as the first year we had them, they were out almost every day dustbathing in the garden and having a jolly good time.
     

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