Old age or something else?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by FlyingNunFarm, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got a RIR who's looking a little rough recently. She's 3+ years old. I've only had her a year and was told she was "about 2" when I got her. She was a steady layer until this last August. She was my only girl to lay through winter and when she molted it was less then a month and she was back at it.

    So August she suddenly started skipping days in a row and in less then 2 weeks quit all together. No signs of molt then...just no eggs.

    Well, late December and she decided to molt. I thought that was all that was going on until I picked her up. She's so scrawny I feel terrible for not noticing sooner.

    Last few days I've checked her crop and it's empty. She will eat out of my hand so I know she is willing to eat. I watched her get a drink. She did have a dirty butt so I know she's pooping too.

    I let them out today for the nice weather (we hit 50 degrees) and she fell off the gang plank. I had to go in and get her. She just lay there while a roo thought it was a good time to mate. (boys??)

    I brought her in and gave her a warm bath. Cleaned up her butt and while she's all wet looked her over. I found one weird looking spot right at her keel. It looks like feathers fell out then didn't grow back. The skin is darker but not open or oozy. She didn't care when I touched it. Her liver, or what I think is her liver, seems firm to me. I can also feel her gizzard, and it's not impacted.

    She seems off balance but ok other then how thin she's gotten. I have her in the basement to keep an eye on her but she ate, drank, and pooped since she's been down there. Her crop is partially filled too. So that's a good sign. And no worms in her poop.

    Is she just old and tired? Could there be something I'm missing? I don't care if she lays eggs. I don't want her to be in pain and suffering.

    Sorry for such a long post. I tried to answer questions before they needed to be asked.

    Thanks for any ideas.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Is there any possibility that the others in the flock are keeping her from eating ?
     
  3. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wondered that myself. She was always head hen. When roosters were added as 10 week olds she put them in their place. I've seen her still show her dominance but I wonder if she feels less confident and vulnerable because she's molting. I have 4 others about her age and they all molted together. She quit laying about the same time but didn't really molt. Now she's in full swing. She really perked up when I brought her in. I watched her eat more then once and felt her crop after a bit. That's the first time in a day or so it had food in it. (I was planning on tending her yesterday but we lost power for a good portion of the day.)

    I haven't seen anyone pick on her or stop her from getting treats from me. I figure she didn't have good balance today because she's weak from lack of food. I just don't see a reason she wasn't eating.
     
  4. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I kept her in the house for about a week. She seemed to being doing really good. We got nice enough weather that I thought she would be good to go back out with the flock. The first day or two were a little rough. They were picking on her as a new member. I knew she had to find her place again. All seemed well. She was back on her old roost and looked good. Then this last weekend she was standing in a corner all tucked in. She's gotten thin again. I noticed her upper beak was long. I looked through older pictures of her and it wasn't like that before. I ground her beak for her and brought her back in. She had scrambled eggs for two days and again perked up. A break in the weather and I brought her back outside. She went right to a corner and stood facing the wall. She's had some lose poop but not continually. It seems to be a here and there poop. She eats anything I put in front of her.
    I'm wondering if it's Coccidiosis. In my reading it seems to hit chicks more then older birds. No one else is showing any kind of symptoms. I have a few with slightly dirty butts but I think that's more due to mud build up and the snowball affect of cement chicken poop.
    What's so strange to me is she acts fine in the house! Clucks and happily follows me around when I let her out. She shut down when I took her outside. Does she not want to live with the flock anymore? Should I just treat for cocci and see what happens?
     
  5. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    She wants to be a House Chicken [​IMG]
    I've used ACV in drinking water (1T to 1 gal of water) for chicks, it seems to help prevent pasty butt. I used to do this for my older ones too but stopped during the warmer months noticed black stuff (mold?) would grow in the container. I also feed FF so figure the ACV in the water was over kill. You could try giving her some plain yogurt for the pasty butt. Don't think it's Cocci, she perks up when you bring her in the house. Keep us posted, I'm sure someone with more experience with treatment will peep in soon.
     
  6. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been trying to figure her out. She is still molting, at the wrong time, so I thought maybe with her age and the crazy up and down weather we've had in NE Ohio she's confused on what to do with herself. She may be a house chicken till spring.
     
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  7. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've given her yogurt for 3 days now. Her poop is still more watery then usual but she seems to be drinking quite a bit of water and with the yogurt I figure that could be the cause. Still acting normal. She's doesn't seem to be gaining any weight which surprises me. I don't own a scale so it's my guessing but I'd say she's still rather thin. Happily eats anything I give her. I know it's going to be a total reintroduction to the flock now. More stress she doesn't need. Sounds like a good excuse to bring home a few more girls. [​IMG]

    I thought I'd wait a day or so then switch from yogurt to ACV. Putting those together sounds awful. Not sure what else to try. I'm open to suggestions.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I don't think that ACV is any miracle drug, and if she may have an intestinal disorder it could irritate things more. Probiotics, however, in just a small amount of a good plain yogurt every day or two, would be good to stick with. Feed a little chopped egg or tuna or even liver for extra protein and vitamins, along with her normal feed. She might eat better by adding some water and yogurt to a small amount of feed, changed daily. If your local bet will check her droppings for a fecal test for cocci and worms it may help. Molting generally causes them to feel poorly, be kind of aloof, and they don't eat as much as usual. If they are going to get sick, it will more likely be during a molt. So get her poops tested, and let us know what they find.
     
  9. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure there is a vet around to check poo.[​IMG] I have been making her a mash pancake. Wet feed with some chopped garlic. I give the yogurt separately and today she didn't eat much of it. I'll hold on the yogurt for a day or so and try again. I could worm her or treat for cocci but I would hate to do it unnecessarily. I'll make her eggs for breakfast tomorrow. I'm really thinking it is her age with the molt mixed with this up and down weather. She certainly is happy being spoiled in the house.:yiipchick

    I'll add she has lose poo but never blood in it. Watery but not bloody or overly smelly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Most of my chickens will eat plain yogurt if it is mixed into something, even layer pellets, and especially if water is added.
     

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