please help. Chicken sickly- is it a molt?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by augustwest, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. augustwest

    augustwest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2010
    North central mass
    New to chickens. We have 4 hens that are 8 months old. Our issue is Anita, our EE. She's been a great layer and very healthy. However, on Sunday last week she looked terrible- all puffed up and her tail was dropped over her butt. She was not eating or drinking and wasn't moving much- when she did, it was very slowly. I couldn't feel her crop as I wasn't sure where it was! But, after checking on here, I gave her a syringe with water and then one with a bit of olive oil- she took it readily and was really unhappy about the whole thing. I inspected her vent and, having never really done that before, it seemed fine to me. I thought that I felt an egg in her abdomen, but none ever came. I put her in a cage and she was pacing and angry- so we let her go. 8 hours later, she was fine.

    Since then, she's been eating and behaving normal. However, no egg in 6 days. That's not normal for her as she lays almost every day (really pretty green eggs that we know are hers).

    I just thought that I'd leaver her be and assumed that she was still working out the laying thing.

    But, tonight, she was again all puffed up and sleepy looking. Tail dropped and slow moving to the cooop. She is not eating tonight, but ate well this am.

    I can't get to her in the coop tonight- she's too far back. She's up on the roost with her buddy.

    We are in northern MA and it's cold here tonight. I thought about giving her a bath if she still looks poorly in the am. No one else has these symptoms, though egg production is generally down from 4 eggs a day to 1-2. We have a huge run and a smallist coop. We use pine shavings bedding and free range in the afternoons when we are home from work. They are eating layer pellets and have access to clean water daily.

    Please help. I don't want to lose her. I found an avian vet, but her office is closed until Friday. I offered her bread soaked in olive oil tonight and she wouldn't touch it. Could she be egg bound? Or is she starting a molt? I don't want to let her go too long and then be unable to save her. Is the bath a good idea? If she's still sick in the am, I'll bring her in the house. Of course we'll be gone for the day, though.

    Any advice for this newbie would be appreciated.
  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    Egg bound is my gut instinct. I'd go with the warm bath. Put her somewhere warm and dark and quiet.
    Good luck to you and I sure hope she gets better for you.
  3. augustwest

    augustwest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2010
    North central mass
    Thank you! I should have mentioned that we haven't noticed her comb getting red like we normally do... the others we can see that they've either just laid an egg or are about to. Anita's comb isn't pale, but it's not red.

    I will give her a nice warm bath tomorrow. Assuming she passes an egg, will this be an on-going issue for her? Or could it be a fluke? I really appreciate your gut opinion!
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Let me just add that if you soak her in some nice warm bath water be careful to blow dry her on low speed so she won't chill. You can also use vaseline on her vent area to help I read that on here I haven't had to do it. As far as this being an on going problem I cannot say sorry.

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