Normal? Or should I be concerned?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rlmp817, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Rlmp817

    Rlmp817 Songster

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    I have an approximately yr old hen who appears to be tired for the past 2-3 days. IMG_20190420_141229.jpg
    It's like she is napping while standing up. (seems to puff her feathers out a bit while she is doing it) at first I thought it was because she was hot (we had an early 85 degree day on Thursday) but is is 65 today and she is still acting a bit off.
    She is fiesty in the morning and has fiesty spurts through the day (she and the bantam roo are trying to settle their differences. Lol)
    She appears to be eating at least a bit. I dropped off kitchen scraps earlier and she pecked at them some.
    I haven't seen her drink today (but I was not able to be down there for a long period yet)
    She doesn't seem to have any difficulty breathing. Her comb looks nice and pink. Her eyes are clear.

    I am not 100‰ sure if she or my other bantam lady is laying, but there have not been any bantam eggs for about 4 days now.
    I have felt her abdomin and there was no indication of swelling. I will be doing a vent/egg bound check later.

    Any other ideas?
     

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  2. FluffTheDuck

    FluffTheDuck Duck love is recognizable in any language

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  3. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    One thing I can tell you for sure is the hen is sick. That's how sick chickens behave. Now, a diagnosis isn't that easy. There is a lot you need to do to provide us some clues.

    1. Feel her crop. Soft, hard, lumpy, squishy, overly full or empty?
    2. Poop. What does it look like?
    3. Does she seem worse now than when you first noticed her like this?
    4. Is there any swelling around the eyes or discharge from the nares?
    5. Has she been free ranging? Has she been digging in a compost pile where its wet and moldy?
    6. Has she been scratching around under stored machinery that could be leaking fluids onto the soil?
    7. Insecticides, paint thinners disposed of onto the soil nearby?
    8. Has the weather been warm and wet?
    9. Have you borrowed any garden equipment or loaned any out that you just got returned, then used where the chickens hang out?
    10. Check feed for spoilage or mold? Is food piling up in damp deep litter?
     
  4. Rlmp817

    Rlmp817 Songster

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    Answers are in the quote.
     
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  5. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Thanks for that run-down. It helps and we can rule out a lot of possible causes of her illness.

    Can you dig down in the places where you've noticed the chickens digging? See if you see any molds. Look for white fuzzy mold, red mold, and black mold. Also look for bugs, especially darkling beetles which can carry bacteria. These things are normally at a deeper level than most chickens dig, but there are some breeds that really excavate.

    I've had some Cream Legbars get sick this way because they live to excavate and really manage some deep holes. One died, and the other took sick a week later and almost died, too, but I recognized the symptoms and got her on an antibiotic in time. Either mold or botulism toxin could be causing this hen to be sick.

    She could also be egg bound if you've seen her on a nest recently and not producing. If her poop contains yellow mucous, or solid bits of matter that looks like lard, she could have a reproductive infection.

    I would start the hen on an oral antibiotic unless you feel there's a very good chance she's egg bound.
     
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  6. Rlmp817

    Rlmp817 Songster

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    @azygous her crop feels a little squishy, not full, but not empty.
    I have her separated now and she pecked a little at some later pellets & grit. She is calmy looking around her new place, is calm but alert.

    No poops to look at yet.
    I will do the vent check when my kids are not running around.
    I will poke around the coop, but I haven't noticed any deeper than usual digging spots. I did turn some of the deep litter yesterday & flipped some boards over for them to get the buggies, but she was like this before that. Also did not notice any odd beatles or any mold, but I will look again.

    Should I be giving her any thing? Save a chick? antibiotics? With it being Easter tomorrow I may have to wait until Monday to buy anything special.
     
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  7. Rlmp817

    Rlmp817 Songster

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    IMG_20190420_172830.jpg
    She pooped! It is small, loose, yucky smelling, and whitish green.
     

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  8. Rlmp817

    Rlmp817 Songster

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    She is eating some of the layer pellets, but seems to mostly be pecking out the smaller seed pieces.
     
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  9. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    The poop is green because she hasn't been eating much, so she's pooping mainly bile since it has little food to work with.

    We need to see what her crop is like in the morning before she has anything to eat or drink. If it's still partially full and squishy, she then likely has a yeast infection that will need to be treated.

    That may or may not be the only issue since other more serious health issues can trigger a yeast infection. Can you put her on a towel over night so we can have a better look at her overnight poop? It's hard to make out on the shavings.
     
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  10. Rlmp817

    Rlmp817 Songster

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    Should I take the food and water out over night? She ate quite a bit of pellets & I think drank most of the water (it's in Small bowl, so it might have spilled a bit)
    I will put a towel in tonight, your right, it is hard to see on the shavings.
    Also, since she has pooped since I pulled her aside, is a vent check still necessary?
     
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