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My Gold Laced is all puffed up an lethargic.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Pistonman, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. Pistonman

    Pistonman In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2008
    HI, been having quite a time of it lately. We have had northern fowl mites for months, I think that is finally under control with 5% Sevin dust and Sevin spray for the coop. Permethrin did not work.Now the smaller of my Gold Laced Wyandottes (2.5 years) Is all puffed up and lethargic. She rarely lays eggs anymore, but will lay a small one every once in a while. I clean the coop every week, and use fresh straw on the floor, and orchard grass in the nests. They sleep on perches, and are let out into a large run daily, then in the afternoon they come out into our fenced yard to range(supervised). We have 16 chickens, none of the others are sick. I washed her bottom in a warm tub of water yesterday, she was a little poopy but not bad- it seemed to have a yellowish tint and smelly.She is about the same today, we are moving her inside our house right now. I don't want to lose anymore of my babies, In the last year I have lost My friend, BarredRock rooster to a spinal injury, one of my sex link Aracauna/RIR to unknown causes,a RIR to a dog, and my Aracauna rooster to the fowl mites, despite constant effort. Thank you for any help/advise you may have. Brian and family
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Pistonman, welcome, glad to have you on board. This avocation/hobby/obsession is often a bittersweet one, and I can empathize.

    Your GLW's behavior (listlessness/`puffing up') can be the first sign of any number of illnesses/conditions/injuries. Now that you have her inside and can monitor intake and output - useful additional info, it might be possible to make a better informed guess. From other information provided: If her egg production has dropped off much more than other hens of the same age/breed it could be that she has a problem with her reproductive tract (not uncommon - difficult to treat). I'll assume you are familiar with the `eggbound' posture (standing with head/tail up - have seen both - looking like a blimp moored to a mast in a high wind) and that it is probably not the problem. While you have her inside you might supplement her diet with scrambled eggs/meal worms/unflavored live culture yogurt (increase protein and `improve' crop/GI flora). I'm also going to make the assumption that she is vermin free (check with a jeweler's loupe if you've got one).

    The chronic mite infestation (if you are still finding those nasty arthropods sucking blood) could be a result of incompletely disinfected coop/run and/or the straw itself (what appear to be fresh, clean bales can often harbor these devils).

    Don't know what your exact setup is like so I don't know if this might work for you (just our experience): We mixed one hundred and fifty pounds of large grained sand (`play sand') with three cups of Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) and spread it over the wood floor. Over this we add pine shavings and straw (also lightly dusted with DE). The DE kills mites and lice (won't wipe out a really heavy infestation without `heroic' daily `powdering' of the chooks, individually) and over time will reduce/wipe out the problem.

    here is a link on the mites (apologies if you've already seen it), and a link to DE manufacturer:



    I'm sure another member will have some better ideas. And please post with info when you can (stools all liquid and yellow? etc.)

    Good luck!

    Last edited: Mar 30, 2008
  3. Pistonman

    Pistonman In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2008
    Thanks, and yes she is inside now resting comfortably. I use D.E. in the run and on the floor and shelves of the coop.Upon last weekends cleaning we sprayed with Sevin and let it dry before putting the hay and straw back in. We also purchased a hand crank duster, and dusted with 5% Sevin. After a few days I have not seen any more mites. I am going to make her an egg now, and go get some plain yogurt. Brian
  4. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    has the hen been wormed?

    check for swollen eyes or waddles, head shaking,
    breath sounds..(wheezing/rattling/gurgling)

    feel belly/vent area for any heat or bloated feeling.
    check comb and under wings for heat (fever).

    a fecal test for worms would be a good idea...
    and bacteria if you can.
  5. Pistonman

    Pistonman In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2008
    I have seen in the past week or so a slight head shake when she is on her roost at bedtime, not in the last few days though. Her belly does seem a little puffy and she is not pooping much, and when she does it is a bit strained, and not alot. She has been eating a little, and went out for yard time today. She is in the coop now, I will probably bring her in shortly. I have never wormed any of my flock. Thank you, Brian
  6. redwa

    redwa Songster

    Aug 9, 2007
    What does her diet consist of? I started feeding my girls some cat food to boost their protein during the winter and a few of my hens starting having runny poop, acting lethargic, puffing up and having static crop problems. I found a great vet who said absolutely do NOT give chickens cat/dog food because it can mess up their intestinal tract. Since we stopped we have no longer had any crop problems or other maladies.
  7. Pistonman

    Pistonman In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2008
    They always have layer pellets available, and every morning for breakfast they have noodles and corn with a few mixed vegatables. They get scratch every day, and I throw out oyster shell and grit once a week (lasts all week). They get out to range in our yard every day.
    She has been staying in the house at night, and goes out to range every day. Her new favorite breakfast is honey nut cheerios softened in a little milk, with plain yoghurt stirred in, and a few little chunks of grit. She seems a little better, still a little strained pooping. I am going to wash her backside again and maybe put a little vaseline back there. What does the slight headshake mean? Thanks, Brian

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