Pink Combs - Negative Fecal Test

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by micstrachan, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. micstrachan

    micstrachan Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Greetings,
    I could not figure out how to change the name of my original thread and update, so I’m starting a new one.
    I thought my flock looked a bit pink and dry in the combs and felt thin, so I took in a fecal sample from the one I was most concerned about.
    Just received a call from the vet, and the test was negative for heavy parasite load. So now what? Just be happy?
    There were two broken, very thin shelled eggs on the dropping board this morning, too.
    Please advise. Thank you!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

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    How old are they. Comb color is indicative of the state of reproduction. As hens go out of lay the combs shrink back and lose that bright red coloring. Birds over a year will quit to molt this time of year. Younger birds may take a break. It also happens sometimes when a hen is sick, but not always. I don't worry about it unless the bird is acting off as well.
     
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  3. micstrachan

    micstrachan Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    17DF9251-9436-4095-B4CD-FF40E4069464.jpeg 222FCED2-0F58-4D4E-A814-3B8C8ADBC172.jpeg Ok. My two molters’ combs are definitely shriveled and pink, but I’m not worried about them. The other girls are thirty weeks old and all laying. I don’t expect them to molt, but we’ll see. One of my pullets had a mini molt this time last year. It just seems like my Buckeye might be a little off. Nothing obvious, very subtle. But I’m a paranoid chicken mom since losing my first hen Labor Day weekend. Will check for external parasites, just in case. I already posted this in another thread, but here’s a photo. Her breast feathers (not pictured) have that crossed over look, like her breast is thinning out.
     
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Flock Master

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    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.
  5. micstrachan

    micstrachan Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Thanks. What could cause her to feel thin besides parasites? Could it be that I am just paranoid? I won’t be able to bring her back to the vet right now due to financial hardship.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

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    How are you judging her being thin? Generally you feel the keel bone which should have some meat on it, but still be prominent. She looks good in the picture, but I can't feel her either.
     
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  7. micstrachan

    micstrachan Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Honestly, I don’t know how to feel it. There is some meat, but not much. Maybe I should go “feel up” my friend’s flock for comparison. Maybe I’m worrying for nothing. Their combs are a bit pink, however. They aren’t really acting off. There are runny poops here and there. I think I’ll try to relax now and enjoy my flock. Thanks for your support!
     
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  8. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Flock Master

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    Just keep treats to a small amount. Less then 10% of the diet.

    One way you may be able to make sure they are eating their regular food is to make a wet mash for them.

    You don't have a huge number of birds like I do. Maybe take one cup dry feed in a plastic dish like a whipped topping tub. Add water and let it set for ten minutes or so. It should be like thick oatmeal. I scramble eggs every now and then. Mine treat this meal as if it was a treat.

    The Brahmas actually ignore the scratch outside to stay in for the mash every morning.

    I hope this helps.
     
    oldhenlikesdogs and HeidiEmbrey like this.
  9. micstrachan

    micstrachan Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Thank you!
     
  10. micstrachan

    micstrachan Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Tonight I wetted down some of their crumble with warm water. It was still crumbly, not super wet, and they loved it! Thanks for the suggestion.
    I think I might have figured out what Ruby’s problem is. I think she is low in the pecking order and getting bullied away from the feed. There are two separate feeders, but at least three hens are intimidating her away from feed, and today I dorked and accidentally left them locked out of the second pen (and second feeder). I will try more damp, warm food in the morning and spread a few containers around. Ruby’s crop was pretty empty when I got home from work today, but she ate well when I was supervising and spreading damp food around. I also snuck her some dried meal worms for protein to build muscle.
    I think being bullied away from feed may have been a factor in Rusty’s demise, so I want to stop this now.
     

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