Not eggbound, but droopy wings/tucked tail/sitting down

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Madamegato, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Madamegato

    Madamegato Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 30, 2011
    ABQ, NM
    Hello everyone,

    I'm hoping you all might be able to answer this. I have a backyard flock of seven - four who are two-and-a-half years old, three that are 6 months old (all raised from day-olds [​IMG]). One of my older ladies, a barred rock, has been for the past three weeks acting strangely.

    1) She rests a lot. To the point that she'll get up and walk a bit, then just sit down. She'll do this when eating also.
    2) She will droop her wings when she is about to sit - making it look like she's using them to hold herself up for just a couple of seconds.
    3) I palpated beneath her vent and along her abdomen and could find no evidence of an egg (and from all I've heard, if she was egg bound she would have died well before now.) She also did not feel abnormally swollen. Her vent is also not flexing (like when they're about to lay or after they've pooped).
    4) She walks normally for about three steps (albeit slowly), then starts standing upright, tucking her tail to walk for another few steps before sitting.
    5) She is able to follow the flock around during the day and still jump up at night to go to bed on the roost.
    6) She has been through molt and is not laying or even interested in the nest boxes. She is usually one of the first to start the season. (Currently four of the seven are laying - one has yet to lay her first, the other is taking her time, and Kiki is the sick one.) Her molt this year was particularly hard, as she dropped nearly all her feathers at once and was just about bare - last molt she went in stages.
    7) All my hens were vaccinated for Merek's before we got them as day-olds.

    I've read someone mention rickets, but with six other hens eating the same organic feed and organic table scraps (we're vegetarian) and none of the others having a problem and all behaving normally, it doesn't seem likely to me. Egg binding seems logical with her symptoms, but there is no evidence I can find that points to that. They are given their shells back whenever we use the eggs as well as any yolks we don't eat.

    Has anyone experienced this problem or have any ideas as to what this might be? The strange thing is, she is still fully alert, she doesn't seem to be necessarily listless, she still holds her rank over the younger hens (she's our #4), and can still run if she feels she has to get out of the way. At her age she shouldn't be anywhere close to spent... I'm at a loss. She obviously isn't 100%.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    I'm afraid you've been told wrong about egg binding and the amount of time it takes for them to die. It is a fact that they can have a stuck hard of soft shelled egg for *months* and I have lots of necropsy pictures to back that up. The best way to rule out egg binding is by doing a cloacal exam with a gloved, lubed finger. One can also detect some cancers and if they're internal layers, often you can feel that, too.

    -Kathy
     
  3. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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  4. Madamegato

    Madamegato Out Of The Brooder

    28
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    Aug 30, 2011
    ABQ, NM
    Thank you Casportpony! I'll take a look. You're right, I'd never been given that info. Everything I read had them dying within 48 hours to a week if they were egg bound. I'll give it a feel and post my findings.
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    I've been joking about making some Top Ten lists and that one, the 48 hour one, would be at the top of my "Top Ten Mis-informations". :D

    -Kathy
     
  6. Madamegato

    Madamegato Out Of The Brooder

    28
    1
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    Aug 30, 2011
    ABQ, NM
    That would totally be worth it! LOL. I'm still a newbie when it comes to all the ailments. I've only had hens since 2011 and they've been pretty healthy - we have had one instance of sour crop (which we cured with a lot of TLC, massaging, and olive oil/yogurt/eggs), and then this. Finding info sometimes... oy. It's rough!
     
  7. SunshineHens

    SunshineHens New Egg

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    Jul 6, 2014
    How did it go with your hen? I have one in a bit of a similar situation but also with a swollen crop. Did you do the coacal exam? Anything?
     

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