Listless chook

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HarrisonCreek, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. HarrisonCreek

    HarrisonCreek Chirping

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    Our 4 year old sturdy Australorp has slowly become less active and now she's not eating. Her comb is bright red, and she does come in/out of the coop with the others but then she sleeps a lot. She ran out to eat some scrambled eggs we made for her yesterday, then back to napping. Her crop is empty (not impacted) and I don't think she has a stuck egg (but I'm not experienced). No tail pumping, but she is breathing hard (I think?).
    We just moved, so hadn't given them any medicine for 4 months. They have the coccidiosis medicine in their water now (though I'm not sure she has drunk any). Haven't seen her stool either. Not much to go on, I know.
    Could it be worms if she isn't eating?
    Anything else I should check? It's Sunday so not vets open today.
     
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Crowing

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    Sorry. Just not enough to go on. Possibly posting a picture might...help.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    She may be suffering from a reproductive disorder. Egg holk peritonitis, internal laying, salpingitis, and cancer are common in hens. Those may cause the lower belly to feel full or enlarged, or tight if there is ascites fluid inside. Ascites or water belly from liver problems may make them have labored breathing. If she has not been laying eggs in recent months, that may be a reason.

    Look her over, pick her up to see if she has lost weight, feel her breast bone to see if it is sticking out, check her lower belly between the legs. Crop disorders can be part of a reproductive disorder, since pressure in the abdomen may cause the digestive organs to back up and not function properly. Crop problems can be a separate issue as well. Feel of her crop to check if it is empty, full, soft, hard or puffy. Early morning before she eats is the best time to check, when the crop should normally be empty.
     
  4. HarrisonCreek

    HarrisonCreek Chirping

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    Update. Her crop was fine. She initially improved with a couple days of special feeding and making her drink. She was out and about yesterday (after I got her out of the coop) but still had diarrhea. But today she wouldn't even eat eggs, only a few peas. The vet said she had a lump deep inside. Only possible treatment was surgery, which she was not sure of surviving, let alone fixing the problem, they said. She had laid about a week ago, and looking back she had been "not herself" before that - quiet and less active for a couple weeks probably. Very subtle changes. Anyway, we decided to let her go. Very sad. She was a 5 year old black Australorp. Seems a bit young for a backyard bird, but hard to know if we could have done anything different. very sad. the little flock is not the same without her.
     
  5. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Crowing

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    Sorry for your loss. 5 years is doing great! We're on year 4 and have 5 of our original 10 hens, 4 lost to reproductive disorders, 1 lost to heart failure after our neighbor's dog chased my flock barking hysterically for 10 minutes on the hottest day at the hottest time of day. I wish there was a solution to these problems, but their anatomy kinda predisposes them to issues- sooner or later. :(
     
  6. HarrisonCreek

    HarrisonCreek Chirping

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    That’s good to know, thanks for sharing, and thanks for your support. “Google” says they live 6-10 years, so I was feeling unsure.
     
    Shezadandy likes this.
  7. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Crowing

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    A friend of mine has a (one) chicken from her original flock that is either 9 or 10 now, and a rooster who's almost as old. That hen is a battle ax having survived things most wouldn't- the term "tough old bird" applies 110%!!! She's slowed down a lot, and has her own special area now, but is still kicking. I hope to be so lucky to have some of mine around that long.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Sorry for your loss. It sounds like she may have had an impacted oviduct or cancer, both very common in chickens. I have lost a lot of hens before the age of 5 years. Most of my remaining chickens are between 6 and 8, and many do not lay eggs anymore. Reproductive disorders are usually a cause of death.
     
    Shezadandy likes this.
  9. HarrisonCreek

    HarrisonCreek Chirping

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    Sounds like our Welsummer. She's kinda scary, but never has any issues and lays the most beautiful brown eggs. I'm going to keep an eye on our sweet, sweet Sussex now. She's showing her age more.

    Thanks for your support.
     
    Shezadandy likes this.
  10. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Crowing

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    That's another one that made it to 8 or 9 years in my friend's flock, the Welsummer- amazingly she actually laid some eggs that spring before she ultimately passed away later in the year.
     

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