Older hen lethargic, tipsy tail feathers droopy - update

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by FiveUrbanGirls, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. FiveUrbanGirls

    FiveUrbanGirls Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2009
    1) What type of bird , age and weight: She's (Elvira) a Easter egg-er, I think, she lays blue eggs; when she lays. She's older, maybe 3-4 years. Not sure about the weight but she's "stocky". We've had her for 5 months. (we acquired all 5 girls five months ago)

    2) What is the behavior, exactly: She's not interacting with the other hens (she's the head of the crew), hangs back by herself, not eager to free range (which is very strange for her), lethargic, dragging her feet, and upon placing her back in the run she lost her balance.

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?: 2 days (that I know of, for sure)

    4) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma: No

    5) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation: My first thought- DH fertilized the yard a few weeks back. We didn't let the girls out because of that. Maybe she found a little pellet when they finally were let out? It's unlikely but not unthinkable. 2nd thought- She hasn't laid a propper egg since we got her. She's laid eggs with no shell or just a soft shell. I've posted about her lack of eggs here before, can't find the thread though.

    6) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all: She wasn't eager to eat or drink today. I let all five out to free range while I cleaned the coop/run. Elvira just parked it by the fence and didn't move/scratch. I had to pick her up and place her back in the run. (I didn't want to shoo her in, poor girl)

    7) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? - watery as far as I can tell.

    8) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Nothing but a little extra love.

    9 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? - We won't spend any serious $$ on her. She was free, she's older, and hasn't laid a proper egg.

    11) Describe the housing/bedding in use: coop is 17 sq foot, run is 100 sq foot. I use pine shavings in the coop and part of the run. Water is abundant as well as Purina layer crumble and oyster shells.

    here is a picture of how she acted while the other girls eagerly scratched their way around the yard... she stayed there for 30 min. She has no goop in her eyes or bad breath, though I could hear her breath every so often.
    I hope some one can help!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  2. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    It's possible she is egg-bound with a soft-shelled egg.

    besides being runny, what color is her poop?

    ETA - to post a pic in the thread, you have to upload and resize it onto this website. you can click on Uploads in the blue task bar at the top of the page. You have to choose to resize the pic for message boards, then browse to find your pic. Once you upload it successfully, then right click on the url you want to use, and copy and paste that url here in a post.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  3. FiveUrbanGirls

    FiveUrbanGirls Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2009
    Thanks,

    her poop is whitish to clear. I find some poopy areas in the pine shavings, in the coop, that are wet with a bluish tint. I'm pretty sure they're from her. Just throwing that in there, it might be pertinent to the topic...
     
  4. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    Quote:Here are some links to some poo pics
    http://happyhenhouse.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=poop&action=display&thread=7588
    http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0

    if she isn't eating, you can try to get fluids/electrolytes into her with a syringe and food like scrambled eggs. you can also feel her abdomen near the vent to see if you can feel an egg. you might need to give her a warm belly bath to get her to relax and pass whatever egg mass is in there, if that is what it is.

    good luck and keep us posted.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  5. FiveUrbanGirls

    FiveUrbanGirls Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2009
    I'll done some gloves tomorrow and see if she's swollen back there. I just googled 'symptoms of an egg bound hen' and it seems plausible. Will a warm bath help her pass the egg? Or do I try and help it out?

    I'll keep you posted.
     
  6. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    the warm bath can help her relax and pass the egg. you can also lubricate her vent with ky jelly. if she is trying to pass a shell-less egg, she may need calcium. you can give her plain yogurt, or a crushed tums, or liquid calcium, if you happen to have any. if it turns out she has a broken egg inside her, it can be pretty dire, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
     
  7. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    PA
    If you fear she has eaten something toxic, she needs a molasses flush. She could be an internal layer and the bacteria is catching up with her, building up inside her body cavity. You can usually feel if they're eggbound (egg stuck inside passageway). You just need to gently feel her belly area between her legs. It can get really hard when an egg is stuck. Internal layers usually has a mushy, watery feel.
     
  8. FiveUrbanGirls

    FiveUrbanGirls Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2009
    Well, I went out to the coop this morning and she was dead. I knew it from the way the other girls were acting. I think she might have been laying internally. I took some pictures of her vent area to post here. I feel bad that I didn't catch this earlier... I'm a newbie at this, this is a hard way to learn [​IMG]

    I will upload the pictures this evening when I have some down time.

    Thanks for the replies
    K
     
  9. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    [​IMG], so sorry to hear that. if she was laying internally, there really isn't anything you could have done, even if you caught it earlier.
     
  10. FiveUrbanGirls

    FiveUrbanGirls Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2009
    So here are a few pictures of her vent area. I didn't want to dig around to find her vent and the other girls were out and curious, so I had to be quick. I also took a picture of the poop she left in her spot. She did not roost, but chose to lay in the laying box, where the others exclusivly lay their eggs.

    There was this yolk-y looking yellow stuff on her skin. Would that be a sign that she was egg bound or laying internally? I'd like to know what happened so this doesn't happen again. [​IMG]

    Dh thought it might just be her age. She was possibly 4 or 5, does this happen when they're older? I thought a hen could live up to 8-9 years...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see the yellowish stuff on her skin near her vent

    [​IMG]

    her last poop, her poop often looked like this- watery with some gunk mixed in.

    Thank you, thank you for any help you can give!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010

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