Please help: narcoleptic chicken not laying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jrvv, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. jrvv

    jrvv Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all,

    I have 4 hens: 3 are very healthy, but the 1 is acting very strange. She is sleeping a lot (throughout the day off and on), hanging out on the roost until late morning, she is walking around and sitting slightly hunched, but otherwise seems very healthy....any suggestions? I'm getting very worried. This has been going on for 5 days - she also has stopped laying.

    Other info:
    all the girls lay 1 egg per day with the excpetion of the "sick" girl: she was laying for 3 weeks then stopped.
    their coop is clean and they have a run and an outdoor free range pen
    they have occaisional treats of plain yogurt, earthworms, some kitchen scraps
    they are on layer feed (unsure of the %)
    All of the girls are 24 week old pullets - shaver sex links.
    Brought them home and they've been in their new home for a month now.
    "sick" hen is more stunted than the others; also, her comb/wattle is much smaller and hasn't grown like the other girls'.
    She is eating - not sure how much, but is not very interested in treats like she used to be. She is also drinking water and still has some interest in walking around, picking at interesting things, etc.
    smells fine
    the Sick girl is the lowest on the pecking order and is very submissive.
    poop seems normal, but I don't know exactly what it looks like.
    everything else looks good: great feathers and legs, no discharge from anywhere.....

    just slow, sleepy, and meek.

    HELP!!
     
  2. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    I just had to treat one of our birds for botulism, this sounds very similar. Go to search and look up 'botulism'. My bird was sort of hunched and his head was drooping and he looked like he was going to sleep. Is this happening to your bird?
     
  3. BoerneChickens

    BoerneChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new - with no laying hens yet - but I have read that they can lay internally and that can cause problems. Maybe she is blocked up somehow? Maybe someone who knows more about this could add info or suggest if this is a possibility?
     
  4. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would think she's potentially eggbound or an internal layer. Does she have kind of a penguin-like stance when she walks? I wouldn't think botulism, mostly because your other hens would likely be affected as well.

    Here is a good thread with info on treating an egg bound hen: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=26414

    Keep us updated on how she's doing! Good luck!
     
  5. jrvv

    jrvv Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2010
    Hi,

    Thank you for your help, everyone...much appreciated.

    She's not drooping...just...narcoleptic! Has cat naps on the spot and seems slow and lazy, and she's not quite bright enough to catch onto things. She doesn't really walk with a penguin-like stance, either...she just walks slowly. There's no paralysis or wobbling. She still "comes running/walking" to me when I approach the pen.

    I read a lot of info about eggbinding....still not sure about that - wouldn't she have suffered too much after 5 days of that? Should I be looking for anything in particular? I figure the poo would be "yellow/bubbly" but I'd have to go looking for that. I havent' thouroughly checked her vent, but from just looking at it, it seems clean with no discharge.

    Should I treat her as if she's egg-bound??

    Thank you again.
     
  6. jrvv

    jrvv Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2010
    I really can't see anything around on her feathers near her vent - the girls really don't like being handled, so I haven't picked her up to mover her feathers out of the way. I looked everywhere for poop...found one spot in the coop that does have a very pale yellow tinge to it...don't know if it's hers.

    She hasn't been near the laying boxes either.
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    How old are your hens and have you wormed them? That could be your problem.
     
  8. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    Quote:Not true. The other 4 in the same pen were and are fine, but the one cockerel looked like he was going downhill fast. I treated him and in 24-hours you could see a wonderful difference and after 48 he looked almost normal. We all eat stuff with botulism, but if our tolerance is high then it doesn't bother us, same for other critters.

    I would try worming her and if that doesn't help, I would try the molasses cleansing mentioned here:

    http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/solutions.html

    Good luck.
     
  9. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    When hens ovulate egg yolks that are not collected by the oviduct, they will remain in the body cavity. This is normal for a low percentage of yolks, and the hen simply reabsorbs them. But, when this “mistake” is an everyday occurrence, the hen is considered an “internal layer.” When all of a hens yolks remain in the abdominal cavity, the hen's system can become overwhelmed and unable to reabsorb it all. Any yolks and membranes that aren't reabsorbed can become tumor-like masses that crowd and disrupt internal organs. In the worst cases, the yolks putrify causing a life threatening infection called "egg yolk pertonitis."

    Given the fact that your hen laid eggs for only three weeks and is now classically lethargic, I think it's a pretty solid guess that she is an internal layer. I'm sure you can find a number of very informative threads here on BYC on the subject if you search the term "internal layer."
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  10. jrvv

    jrvv Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all again for your helpful posts.

    She looks a little perkier today, but no egg yet.

    I haven't wormed them yet - buying meds tomorrow. They eat a lot of worm carriers, so that seems likely. But if she's egg-bound I'll try the bath and see how that goes - otherwise...is there anything else I could do?
     

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