Molting during a rainstorm

thecarmiearmy

Songster
Sep 17, 2019
114
259
147
Nor. Cal
Hello all,

I live on the west coast, where we are getting hit with heavy rainfall and floods. My hen has been molting (growing her feathers back, currently) and lethargic. Yes, I figure she's tired from her body being in overdrive to grow those feathers back. We've been giving the chickens protein-packed treats to help with the molt. But this specific hen is having a hard time during molt.

I've been keeping an eye on her and she's progressively become more lethargic. Today is especially bad because it had been raining all night and day. I come home from work and she's wet from the rain, mostly standing in place and isolated from her flock. I swaddle her in a towel and bring her inside the house to warm up. Even used the hair dryer on the low setting and she wasn phased, she's so tired. Keeping her inside a pet carrier in my room tonight to make sure she doesn't pass away, as it's really bad outside right now.

She's too tired to eat, but I got her to take a few sips of water. That was a HUGE relief.

I don't think she has sour crop, because she doesn't have that specific sour crop smell (a different hen had it last year)... But her crop always seems jiggly and not empty. I'll check in the morning, but I feel like it won't be smaller.

If anyone has advice to share, please do!

Below are some pics of her diarrhea (which she has regularly... I know that's not normal but I don't know what to do now) and of herself. Sorry for the bad quality, my phone's camera isn't amazing.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20211024_174126_894.jpg
    IMG_20211024_174126_894.jpg
    322.4 KB · Views: 6
  • IMG_20211024_220006_733.jpg
    IMG_20211024_220006_733.jpg
    356.7 KB · Views: 5
  • IMG_20211024_220022_976.jpg
    IMG_20211024_220022_976.jpg
    298.8 KB · Views: 8
  • IMG_20211024_220032_456.jpg
    IMG_20211024_220032_456.jpg
    423.8 KB · Views: 5

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,799
11,393
611
North Florida
How old is your hen? Was she laying before molt? Is her abdomen, below the vent, between the legs bloated at all? When you determine if her crop is emptying over night, or not, let us know.
Molt can be harder on some birds than others, and can vary year to year. If you have some poultry nutri drench, give her some of that, it may give her a bit of a boost. You can try scrambled or chopped cooked egg, see if that interests her. Make sure she's hydrated, if she will drink when you hold it up to her, then do that as often as you can. If she won't drink then you may have to do it orally or tube fluids to get her hydrated. (Give her room temp. or slightly warmed fluids).
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
62,468
55,486
1,322
southern Ohio
What are the dark bits in and around her dropping? Can you inspect her skin under the vent, sides, and neck for evidence of mites or lice? If her crop is not emptying overnight, you may be dealing with a sour or pendulous crop.
 

thecarmiearmy

Songster
Sep 17, 2019
114
259
147
Nor. Cal
What are the dark bits in and around her dropping? Can you inspect her skin under the vent, sides, and neck for evidence of mites or lice? If her crop is not emptying overnight, you may be dealing with a sour or pendulous crop.
How old is your hen? Was she laying before molt? Is her abdomen, below the vent, between the legs bloated at all? When you determine if her crop is emptying over night, or not, let us know.
Molt can be harder on some birds than others, and can vary year to year. If you have some poultry nutri drench, give her some of that, it may give her a bit of a boost. You can try scrambled or chopped cooked egg, see if that interests her. Make sure she's hydrated, if she will drink when you hold it up to her, then do that as often as you can. If she won't drink then you may have to do it orally or tube fluids to get her hydrated. (Give her room temp. or slightly warmed fluids).
Could she have lices/mites?
Hello everyone, I'm doing a mass reply since this seems easier.

Eggcessive and -Flash-: Sorry, I forgot to mention the dark bits are bits of dead skin from her molting feathers. I checked her over for lice/mites and I don't think she has any. But I think you're right about the sour crop. Her crop didn't drain overnight and I have a feeling that it doesn't drain regularly... I'm smelling her and she has that specific sour smell. I know it cause a different hen had sour crop last year.

coach723: Digger is about 2-3 years old. She was laying before molt and doesn't have a bloated abdomen. She's been nibbling on scrambled eggs and taking sips of water.

Me and my roommate put a crop bra on her to encourage draining. She definitely has sour crop. Thank goodness we have a tube of Miconazole left over from Courage's sour crop. Giving Digger her first dose now.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,799
11,393
611
North Florida
Sounds like you are doing everything you can. If it's (hopefully) just molt, then some good supportive care may be what she needs. Once you get the crop cleared, hopefully it will begin to work normally. If it's pendulous then the crop bra may be a permanent thing for her. Some birds don't eat well either, during molt and can get weak. When they are having a hard time I will often give them a B complex tablet daily and it often helps. I've got one right now doing a fairly hard molt and noticed some balance issues yesterday so started the B complex, looking better already today. If the crop remains slow to empty or doesn't empty then it might be good to have droppings checked for internal parasites, that can be a cause also of things slowing down and of runny droppings.
 

thecarmiearmy

Songster
Sep 17, 2019
114
259
147
Nor. Cal
Sounds like you are doing everything you can. If it's (hopefully) just molt, then some good supportive care may be what she needs. Once you get the crop cleared, hopefully it will begin to work normally. If it's pendulous then the crop bra may be a permanent thing for her. Some birds don't eat well either, during molt and can get weak. When they are having a hard time I will often give them a B complex tablet daily and it often helps. I've got one right now doing a fairly hard molt and noticed some balance issues yesterday so started the B complex, looking better already today. If the crop remains slow to empty or doesn't empty then it might be good to have droppings checked for internal parasites, that can be a cause also of things slowing down and of runny droppings.
Oh I actually have B complex because I give it to my rooster daily! As for internal parasites, the worst part is that I took her to the vet this year to get checked for parasites. :( Results came back negative and the vet gave me a pink liquid medicine to syringe down her throat. It was supposed to help with her diarrhea, but after the prescription ran out her diarrhea came right back. Felt like I wasted money...
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,799
11,393
611
North Florida
Do you know what the medicine was? Did they tell you what it was for or what they suspected might be causing the diarrhea? They should have records, maybe you can call and ask...
Probiotics would do no harm and might help. They make some chicken specific ones, or you can use an all species kind like pro bios. I have even used human ones, just give her a capsule mixed in something she will eat, or just give her the capsule.
 

thecarmiearmy

Songster
Sep 17, 2019
114
259
147
Nor. Cal
Do you know what the medicine was? Did they tell you what it was for or what they suspected might be causing the diarrhea? They should have records, maybe you can call and ask...
Probiotics would do no harm and might help. They make some chicken specific ones, or you can use an all species kind like pro bios. I have even used human ones, just give her a capsule mixed in something she will eat, or just give her the capsule.
I unfortunately don't remember the name of the medication. Will def call the vet and see if I can get info on that. What I do remember is that the antibiotics were used to treat any possibility of a bacterial infection, I think? The vet was not specific about it and I don't know why I didn't ask for clarification. :/ I'm thinking it might be time for another vet visit...
 

thecarmiearmy

Songster
Sep 17, 2019
114
259
147
Nor. Cal
Hello all. I haven't been active because I was taking care of Digger. Here's what I think happened: Digger had pendulous crop and thus got sour crop as a secondary illness. The sour crop was a stress on her body, so she molted early. I wasn't able to catch the sour crop fast enough. My roommate and I tried our best, but no matter what we did she wasn't getting better. She was sleeping more and eating and drinking less, even when we force-fed her. This morning so woke up for work and was relieved to see her still breathing. She had survived the night. I left for work hoping that she wouldn't pass away until I was home. 2 hours before my shift ended my roommate contacted me and told me she passed away. I'm so upset because it is very hard not to blame myself for her death. Digger's passing was so early and even after several hours of sobbing over her body I still can't let her go. Usually my roommate will taxidermy our passed pets, but we don't have any room in the freezers for her. I'm so scared at the thought that I will probably have to bury her. I'm not ready to let her go.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom