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My favorite girl is suddenly not as active and loosing weight

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Luke13:34, May 19, 2011.

  1. Luke13:34

    Luke13:34 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 3, 2010
    The Naugatuck Valley
    Tilly is the sweetest pullet you could want.. she will sit on my lap for hours. Now I'm very worried about her. I let my girls out to forage in the yard at least twice a day. For the past couple of weeks, she has not run out when I have opened the gate like she used to. I often find her sitting on the roost, or just standing at the back of the run by herself. If I bring her out, she will peck around and eat some grass.

    When I bring out treats, she no longer rushes in to get first dibs, but will stay back from the pack. I will save some treats out seperately for her and try to give them to her when the others are busy looking elsewere and she will eat them.

    I cannot find any sign of illness. Her crop is not hard, no bulging or messiness on her vent. Eyes look fine and no signs of respiratory illness. I can tell she has lost weight, however.

    I can't say 100% if she has layed an egg recently or not. I've got 4 EE's and it isn't always easy to tell who laid which green egg.

    So, what is up with my sweet girl? Did she somehow get beaten to the bottom of the pecking order? I don't see the others picking on her, although she kinda stays by herself these days.
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Maybe she needs to be wormed? When a hen loses weight, it is often referred to as "going light". And she may just have a bad case of the worms, which could explain her loss of energy.

    I would worm her. You could worm the whole flock, and you'll have to throw the eggs out for two weeks, but then that might be good for them......

    Of course I can't be 100% sure about this, but it's worth a try...

    Good luck!

    Sharon
     
  3. Beth G.

    Beth G. Gaetano Family Farm

    Hi Tina,

    I do know what that could be since the only signs of maybe being ill would be the loss of weight? Do you think she could be eggbound? Have you really felt around her vent area to see if any hard masses are evident? I've seen in the past years of raising chickens alot of egglayer sex links get egg bound and kind of what you are describing was similar to their behavior prior to realizing what was about to happen [​IMG]

    If you think she may be egg bound I would soak her in a warm bath with alittle olive oil to help lube up her vent area and sooth her. After the bath I'd dry her off well and put her in a crate in a warm non-drafty place. This way you can better monitor her egg laying/eating/drinking. I would also try to boost her immune system with some ACV with 1 TB to a gallon of water. You can also throw a tsp of sugar in there for some extra energy boost/carbs and Give her some chopped up hard boiled egg for additional protein that helps apply to muscle mass better with a balance of carb to protein level.

    Good Luck!!
    I hope she bounces back for you and your daughters!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Luke13:34 :

    Tilly is the sweetest pullet you could want.. she will sit on my lap for hours. Now I'm very worried about her. I let my girls out to forage in the yard at least twice a day. For the past couple of weeks, she has not run out when I have opened the gate like she used to. I often find her sitting on the roost, or just standing at the back of the run by herself. If I bring her out, she will peck around and eat some grass.

    When I bring out treats, she no longer rushes in to get first dibs, but will stay back from the pack. I will save some treats out seperately for her and try to give them to her when the others are busy looking elsewere and she will eat them.

    I cannot find any sign of illness. Her crop is not hard, no bulging or messiness on her vent. Eyes look fine and no signs of respiratory illness. I can tell she has lost weight, however.

    I can't say 100% if she has layed an egg recently or not. I've got 4 EE's and it isn't always easy to tell who laid which green egg.

    So, what is up with my sweet girl? Did she somehow get beaten to the bottom of the pecking order? I don't see the others picking on her, although she kinda stays by herself these days.​
     
  4. Beth G.

    Beth G. Gaetano Family Farm

    Good Thought!!! I do not use wormer myself but, I give my flock butternut and pumpkin pulp and seeds to slash the parasites and dehydrate the parasite and kills them. Thats if your not into using chemicals [​IMG] But, if you don't care about the chemicals their is a good product at Agway called Wazine
    [​IMG]
    Quote:
     
  5. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

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    Quote:x2.
     
  6. elieugene6

    elieugene6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was going through the same thing. My black bantam cochin hen just wasn't acting right. She would hide and just sit wherever and not run around. I picked her up a few times and looked at her. Couldn't find any problems. Well the roos would mate with her. I got rid of an extra one yesterday and decided to bring her in and give her a bath as she was muddy and I thought that would help. She was covered in bird lice. I didn't discover it until I had finished washing her and they all started crawling on me to get away from the water. So then I washed her again with flea and tick shampoo. I don't have any dip on hand. Dried her off and put .25ml of ivermectin pour on on her neck. Then I went out to dose everyone else. I checked thoroughly and couldn't find any on anyone else but I never saw them on her either. I am begining to think that maybe the mud wasn't really mud and was actually lice. I caught it just in time, I hope she seems a bit perkier today. The ivermectin pour on will worm as well so I would try it. Just be careful. I was giving it to my one roo and he moved into the syringe (without needle) and it squirted into my eye. I don't seem to have any ill effects but it does say to seek medical attention if on skin or in eyes. I don't have insurance and refuse to get another bill just because I accidentally wormed myself.
     
  7. Luke13:34

    Luke13:34 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 3, 2010
    The Naugatuck Valley
    Thanks for your suggestions.

    This afternoon I brought her in and soaked her in warm water for about 20 min. She was trying to get out at that point, so I didn't push the issue. I'll try again tonight for a longer soak.

    When I lifted her up out of the water, some yellow liquid that I can only guess is yolk, squirted out of her vent. After draining the tub, I saw some brown stuff at the bottom. The consistency was of cooked egg whites. One string of it had about a 2" length of grass in it.

    She and I watched TV together all afternoon. She didn't like Martha Stewart too much, but yawned and fell asleep during "Pleasantville."

    She has eaten/drunk kefir and cottage cheese. I gave her some strawberries but she just pushes them to the side. I just now put some cut alfalfa and comfrey in the food bowl. She is also drinking water with kombucha in it.

    I put a bit of olive oil on her vent, but did not squirt any up inside as I was afraid that might cause infection. I don't feel any bulges or anything unusual when I palpate her abdomen. She doesn't sit and strain or otherwise act sick... just not very active. Although the silly girl would look up and pose when I tried to take her picture with my cell phone.

    Keeping her isolated for now. I'll pick up some butternut squash on the way home from soccer (squash-apple soup sounds good for dinner!) and try that for parasite control. I do dust the whole flock with DE once every other week. Didn't see any mites or fleas or lice when I bathed her.

    Poor baby... after bathing her I could really tell that she has lost a lot of weight. I really need her to pull through, she is my favorite chickie.. and an award winner at the fair, too!
     
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    If it is worms, it's too late for butternut - you need a chemical wormer. They don't start showing the symptoms (losing weight, seeing squiggly's in their poop) until their bodies are overloaded. I never wormed mine until a few of my hens started losing weight. After being wormed, they put weight back on. Now I worm each fall, when the eggs start slacking off from them molting.

    I had tried the more organic way of worming by giving pumpkins and garlic tops, and they still got worms.

    Wazine only treats roundworms, so you need to worm with another wormer to get all the different types of worms. I used Wazine at first, then a month later I found a squiggly in the poop, so I had to worm again. I use Valbazen and have been very happy with it.
     
  9. Luke13:34

    Luke13:34 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 3, 2010
    The Naugatuck Valley
    OK.. 98.9% sure it is egg-bound at this point.

    We left for soccer and when I got back I took her out of the cage to inspect the straw for any poop. Lots of egg-looking stuff.. yellow and brown. Nothing really *shell* looking, though. Gave her some tunafish and she seemed pretty happy to eat. I did disect the goop for any evidence of worms and saw nothing.

    I have some Baytril on hand. Should I be giving her any antibiotics or just wait and see at this point?

    I think Im gonna give her another soaking before bedtime.
     
  10. Beth G.

    Beth G. Gaetano Family Farm

    Luke13:34 :

    OK.. 98.9% sure it is egg-bound at this point.

    We left for soccer and when I got back I took her out of the cage to inspect the straw for any poop. Lots of egg-looking stuff.. yellow and brown. Nothing really *shell* looking, though. Gave her some tunafish and she seemed pretty happy to eat. I did disect the goop for any evidence of worms and saw nothing.

    I have some Baytril on hand. Should I be giving her any antibiotics or just wait and see at this point?

    I think Im gonna give her another soaking before bedtime.

    Hi,

    Any evidence of a prolapse? I tend not to give antibiotics unless there is evidence of infection ie: puss, bad oder, dehydration issues beyond electrolytes, etc. You will know soon if she needs it but more importantly check for damage to her vent and if there is evidence of flesh hanging prolapse you will have to put some vasilene on your hand and gently put it back in. Also keep her separated or your other girls will peck at her if they sense she is sick or injured.

    Best Wishes [​IMG]
    Beth​
     

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