Newbie Chicken Owner with first sick lady- update advice still needed

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rocklobster, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. rocklobster

    rocklobster In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2009
    Background:I have a flock of 6 girls (2 easter eggers, 2 red stars and 2 RIRs), one of my RIR's lovingly named 'One Leg Peg' (because she likes to keep one leg bent often) is not acting herself. Yesterday I noticed she was acting different distancing herself from the flock. Her tail feathers were (and are) looking at half mast or facing down and her toosh looks like it's pulsing here and there. I took her out the night before last to see if there was anything visibly wrong and her vent looked very clean, not swollen, tummy felt fine mushy not stiff, not hot (so no infection), her feathers looked beautiful, no bugs or mites. Eyes and beak looked great as well.

    Yesterday was more of the same behavior, lethargic, tail at half mast, not really interested in eating treats, laying down and sleeping/closing eyes more. Her comb is also flopped over to one side making her look even more sickly-is that another sign of illness?

    We've raised her and her sisters from day-old chicks back this past October so she is not even a year old. The girls have a coop they sleep in and have food/treats and fresh water in and then a safely penned/fenced area where they hang out during the day and forage. The only thing I can think that could have caused this is something she ate (but I'm very careful with their treats ie fresh veggies/fruits and some table scraps).

    ***Update: I quarantined little Peg in our sun room since last night and she has been eating and drinking ok, poop looks a bit watery but I think that could be normal. She did not lay an egg today. Vent looked fine and at times I even noticed when checking in on her that her tail was not pointing south as it had been- could her tail feathers pointing down be a sign of submissive behavior towards the other chickens (she's pretty much the lowest on the totem pole)? After I checked her vent, her toosh went right back to facing down but it had been normal looking right before that.

    She has gotten polyvisol in her water and I made her a little makeshift nesting box that I put in tonight when refreshing food and water.

    If she was egg bound or had an infection from a broken egg would she have survived this long (more than 48 hrs)? Are tail feathers that face downward a general sign of illness or does it indicate some specific illnesses? Thanks so much for all the advice!
  2. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I have a polish who looked like that a few days ago. She has trouble laying eggs. Only does so every couple weeks or so and I thought this was her issue again so I gave her a warm water soak for 30 minutes and then wrapped her in a towel and let her nap in my arms. After a bit I noticed tingly tickly on my arm.....mites. I put ivomec on her and later in the day I noticed her scratching around and back to her old self...If I had not noticed them my next move would be to check/treat for worms. These are usually the top two or three problems you read about on here.
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'm not sure what's going on at all. Lice/mites sometimes (some varieties) are only on the bird at night and it takes taking them off the roost and looking with a flashlight to see them. The comb business I've read about with several conditions, and yes, it can be. If their heart is bad it will often be blueish, I have read, and it makes sense. If she is eggbound, or an internal layer or has a tumor, she could certainly live longer than 2 days. It almost sounds like worms, but they are pretty young to have that bad an infestation -- but I guess it could happen. Sometimes you can get a vet to do a fecal for worms, even though they won't see chickens.

    Let me give you a few links -- maybe something will help.

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