Old hen acting sick. Do anything?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ScottK, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. ScottK

    ScottK Out Of The Brooder

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    I have an australrop that's about 6.5 years old. Normally she's our most active hen - jumping for treats and such. Found her laying on her side in a run this morning on the ground - not normal. We put her in the coop on some fresh bedding with a handful of BOSS in front of her. She ate a few. Came back two hours later and she had made her way to a covered run outside and was laying under the feeder. We got her to drink some water. She can stand and obviously can move when she wants to, but she's allowing us to hold her and she normally hates that (fyi - we have a flock of 30 chickens and this one never likes to be held, but she's not fighting it today).

    I was about to inject some Tylan 50 and discovered she has no breast muscle. Just her breast bone sticking up. Like someone ate her breasts and left the bones behind. Anyway I gave it to her orally instead, but I'm guessing she's simply dying of old age?

    We checked thoroughly and found no mites or any bugs on her. Normally we do when we find a sick chicken. She's been molting for a while but has lots of feathers currently. So many that they covered up her breast muscle problem. I see another thread where someone thinks they've got worms, but I've never dealt with that and have no idea how to tell if that's the case. Never wormed a chicken in my life.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. MissSilkie

    MissSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2014
    She may have a prolapsed vent. This happened to one of our hens, she showed to same behavior as yours, and she died a few days after. (actually, 2 of our hens died of it...). It IS curable, my mother has done it, but that's also when our old girl was a chick. Just google search "How to cure a chicken with a prolapsed vent", maybe you'll find something. Ty.
     
  3. ScottK

    ScottK Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the idea. I googled and I see photos of it. I see nothing wrong with her vent unfortunately.
     
  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Since you've never wormed your birds, you better get to worming this one. Get off the sunflower since it will only compound intestinal problems likely already happening. Use moist feed or even small pieces of bread soaked in buttermilk. The weight loss could be due to protozoa, worms, e.coli, or a number of things causing this problem. It is important to keep the bird hydrated and make sure it is drinking. Worm her ASAP and start using vitamin-electrolytes and probiotics in the water. Keep an eye on the texture and color of droppings. It may be too late since the bird is emaciated, but let us hope not. I've heard people say they never worm their birds, yet come to find out the average short life span of their birds says much about it.
     
  5. ScottK

    ScottK Out Of The Brooder

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    Redmond, WA
    I might add that my son suspects she has had loose stools/diarrhea recently, but in a 30 chicken flock I can't confirm that. Suspicion is based on poop stuck to feathers near the vent. I don't see it in my exam.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Just curious what's the purpose of bread soaked in butter milk? just another way to get probiotics into her?
     
  7. ScottK

    ScottK Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay - so what's the best way to worm quick? I have no worming meds on hand, so what should I get? I do have Iverhart Max tablets for my dog here (ivermectin/pyrantel pamoate/praziquantel).
     
  8. MissSilkie

    MissSilkie Out Of The Brooder

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    Seeing how she has poo stuck to the feathers on her vent, she most likely does have a prolapsed vent
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    A prolapse is very noticeable but washing the area would reveal it.


    last I wormed I used safe Guard paste. also Valbazen is another good wormer.
     
  10. chippysmom327

    chippysmom327 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apollo, PA

    If he says she does not have a prolapsed vent, she doesn't. Poop on feathers can mean several things. In my case my hen had weird diarrhea that was stuck to her feathers but was NOT vent gleet. As a last ditch effort I wormed her and it worked.

    As for you Scott, I'd recommend giving her vitamins, electrolytes, probios, and any herbs that you may have on hand. It may sound crazy, but I make my flock small batches of herbal tea/soup in containers. Fresh/dried herbs are totally acceptable for eating, but I feel like having them in their water as a tea ensures they're getting liquid AND the multiple benefits of the herb. I recently bought two new ducks, and gave them a tupperware container filled with fresh herb tea, electrolytes, vitamins, and probios. They are doing awesome. On 85 days this mix never fails to perk my stressed bantam cochins right up. Hopefully it can work for your hen too. No big deal if you don't have any herbs.

    If you're interested. Never know, it couldn't hurt if you had them on hand:
    http://www.fresh-eggs-daily.com/2014/02/common-herbs-and-their-health-benefits.html?m=1

    Also, palpate her abdomen. Does she have any masses? Could she be eggbound or have peritonitis? I know she's old, but you never know.
     
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