Poorly hen?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kempymoo, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. kempymoo

    kempymoo Just Hatched

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    Dec 19, 2016
    Hi

    We have six Pekin Bantam hens that are used to free ranging in our large garden. Since the DEFRA announcement earlier this month, they've been shut in their coop looking a bit forlorn. Yesterday I was cleaning out their house and let them out for half an hour (I figured while I was with them the wild birds would stay away) and I noticed that one was looking a bit scrawny and doing some funny sideways walking - - and whereas they usually hang out in a flock, all six together, she came out and went in the opposite direction by herself. This morning I've been out with them again and the other five came straight out to play while she stayed in her bed. I picked her up for a cuddle and can't see anything obviously wrong. An hour later, she's ventured out but is again keeping herself to herself. I've made an appointment with the vet for this evening - but am not really sure what I should do in the meantime. Wondered if anyone has any thoughts? I've put some corn down but she doesn't seem interested :( [none of them are laying yet]. Thank you!!
     
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Hi

    It sounds like she may be bottom of the pecking order and with their enforced confinement, she may not be getting as much food as the others. She may be low on food and hydration as a result. I would bring her into the house and put her in a warm place and offer her warm water with a multivitamin supplement (you can buy a product called "nutri drops" for chickens here in the UK) and once she has drank plenty of that, then I would start introducing warm sloppy feeds. Dehydration and lack of nourishment will cause the disorientation you are seeing. There are other possibilities like Marek's disease which can cause such behaviour and the stress of being confined may trigger that but let's just assume it is a simple problem and try tackling that first. You may need to encourage her to drink at first with a dropper but do be careful not to quirt water into her mouth as she could aspirate it and choke or develop respiratory problems. Just a few drops at a time
    into the side of her beak.

    Good luck with her. I'm in a similar situation with my pekins thast normally free range crammed into their little coop/run combo like sardines and it's surely only a matter of time before one or more of them gets sick.

    For information, there is more risk from indirect contact with wild birds than direct infection....contact with wild bird poop is probably the most likely route, so letting your chucks out on ground that may have been pooped on by infected wild birds is more of a risk than them actually coming face to face with one.

    Regards

    Barbara
     
  3. kempymoo

    kempymoo Just Hatched

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    Dec 19, 2016
    Dear Barbara

    Thank you so much for replying. I've been giving her lots of love all morning - she looks so miserable. If your assessment is correct, then that's really sad. I will try as you suggest - and hope that the vet this evening can at least confirm she doesn't have any nasty illness.

    Many thanks

    Amy
     

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