My hen is very quiet and her wings are drooping...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rebecca10782, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. rebecca10782

    rebecca10782 Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    She is 7 and 1/2 months, has not started laying yet. Tonight she seemed to be drooping her wings (it is very cold, so she wasn't trying to cool down) and was not talking or moving around much. It seemed like she was holding her bum a little further to the ground than usual. The other night I did notice that a patch of feathers had dissappeared from the top of her back. I checked the skin and it looked healthy but thicker than chicken skin usualy is. Tonight I can see the feathers starting to develop under her skin now. One thought is that she burned her self on the heat lamp. Every one of the girls has half of there tail feathers burnt from sitting to close to the heat lamp [​IMG] So I finally moved it because they don't seem to be smart enough to figure out that they might catch on fire [​IMG] So, it might just (hopefully) be where she burnt her feathers all the way down to the skin. I am going to take her to her vet tommorow, but I am just curious if anyone has any idea what it could be.
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    PICTURES! Por favor!
  3. rebecca10782

    rebecca10782 Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Oh, well she doesn't look any different. I will need someone to help me to get a picture of her back, because the top feathers are covering up the bald patch. I am more conserned about her wing drooping and lack of energy. Do chickens droop their wings for any other reason than when they are hot? Could she just be relaxing??
  4. tackyrama

    tackyrama Songster

    Aug 14, 2008
    Central Minnesota USA
    I had two chickens with similar condition. They were droopy looking with their heads hanging down. It turned out to be a combination of wrong diet and lack of aggressivness (buff orpingtons) around the feeder. They had just transitioned from free range to full time coop for the winter. All I was giving them was rolled corn. Lots of carbs but not enough protein etc. They were starving!

    I changed their diet to layer mash + kitchen scraps. The one I had to hand feed boiled eggs with a tiny spoon and gave him polyvisol for three days. He's good as new. The rest are doing good with their new diet plus I add some polyvisol in the drinking water till they can get out again in the spring. Good luck
  5. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    describe the droppings..color and consistency
    can you bring her in and give her own food?
    has she been wormed?
    treated for mites/lice?

    make up a small amount of this mixture : feed, a little water cooked oatmeal, cooked egg, plain yogurt.
    give her some of this and have her usual feed available.
    what do you feed her?
    and try and get some poultry vitamins..
    you can use the Poly-vi-sol liquid baby iron..give 2-3 drops on beak once a day for a week, taper off for another week.

    do you have roosters?
    sounds like chaffing from mating..(unless she burned herself..)

    feel belly/vent area for any heat or swelling.
    check vent for any drainage.
    check bottom of feet for any sores or scabs.

    wondering if it's possible she might be getting ready to lay.
  6. rebecca10782

    rebecca10782 Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Well, I took her to the vet yesterday. She panted all the way there and while in the exam room. I brought a buddy with her, she was panting too. So that was just stress. She did keep dropping her head and sleeping, so she is cleary sick. While the vet was examining her, she laid on her side, curled up her feet and closed her eyes. She was like that for a good 20 min, I was contimplating putting her down right there because she looked seconds away from death. The vet told me that her breast bone has no meat on it and her crop was extremely full of what feels like undigested grains. She pooped a couple of times and it was pure yellow liquid with a few normal droppings in it. The vet told me all we could do for now is take her home and she if she gets better or worse. If she gets worse overnight and is suffering we could put her down, if she gets better, we could take her to the specialty vet to see if they could figure out what is going on. She said she thinks there are other internal issues more serious than the crop. Her thought about a crop operation is that she would die in the process. I agreed and wanted to take her home so that she could die in peace.
    So I took her in the house with me and let her lay on my lap for a few hours. The vet gave me a syurp to put in her beak that is absorbed through the mucus membrane, for any pain. I gave her that and dipped the very tip of her beak in water quite a few times and she drank it with out choking. She also licked up the syrup when I put it in her beak, so she is not having any trouble there. Anyway, she would not stop panting and would not sleep so I started thinking that we should have put her down at the vet's because she is clearly suffering. So, I thought by chance she might still be stressed out. Even though she likes to come in the house to hang out, we have a new dog that is very bouncy. So, I took her out the the pen, put her in the coupe with the heat lamp, with a bowl of water and some food. I left her there for a few hours and came back to check on her. When I opened the top (expecting to find her dead) she let out a chirp and she was sitting on the roosting pole! She was alert and grooming her feathers. When I showed her the water she started gulping it down. She still has not eaten and will fall over when she scatches her head, but she got so much better so quickly. I felt so relieved. This morning she was about the same. One thing I have noticed her doing is stretching her neck out and trying to grab her neck feathers. Either like she is trying to groom herself or she has something stuck in her throat (which she doesn't.) She has not been wormed. They eat very well. High quality organic feed in the pen all the time, homemade whole grain oatmeal, quinoa, barley, brown rice, cranberries, raisins, chopped nuts. They get that at least once a day. I put DE in their feed and bedding. I also put a handful of it mixed in when they make a dust bath.
    If anyone has any idea what could be wrong, I would really apreciate your help. I would take her to the specialist, but obviously she gets waaaay to stressed out, so I don't want to put her through a bunch of stuff and have her die of stress.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  7. rebecca10782

    rebecca10782 Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
  8. destorieswind

    destorieswind In the Brooder

    Dec 4, 2008
    Mesa, AZ
    I have no idea on a condition. Sometimes nature just has strange way of going about things. Maybe it is how her body is reacting to begin laying eggs, since she hasnt laid yet.
  9. rebecca10782

    rebecca10782 Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    That is what I thought. But the vet said that it looks kike she is not digesting from her crop properly. She is not aborbing her nutrients because she is so thin. I feel guilty for not noticing but it is so hard to tell with birds because they have so many feathers.
  10. I have a wild game hen that seems to have the same problem. Actually i have had about 4 birds die on me in the last month.

    She does not have the yellow poop though. The rest of the birds
    seem to be doing fine. I am going to take her to the nursery and
    make sure she is comfortable. I will feed her starter and minerals and vitamines.

    She look just awful in the breast bone. I have a few chickens that are like this, but not to this point. I am feed poultry grain and I am sure this is good becuase i feed this to the meat birds I had and they thrived. Puoltry grain has a lot of oats and corn meal.

    I will let you know what happens in the next few days.

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