Quiet hen, stands apart from the rest, not eating much

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Roni, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Roni

    Roni Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2009
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    Hi all

    Am very new to backyard chicken keeping so I'm hoping someone can 'guide' me.

    I have two Buff Orpingtons who are well and sprightly and last weekend I bought two White Orpingtons and they seem to have mixed in well (I did keep them separate for a few days and there has been no fighting, pecking etc).

    Yesterday, I noticed that one of the new White Orps is looking really sorry for herself. She is standing apart from the other three with her head down and facing away from them. She doesn't seem to be eating/drinking much and even let my dog (a Doberman!) give her a sniff without even batting an eyelid.

    Do you think that this might just be the 'stress' of a new home (although the other White Orp is fine) or something more serious and should I take her to her to the vet for a check up?

    Also, both the White Orps have slightly pinkish red on their legs and I thought all Orps should have white legs or am I wrong?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Roni
    x
     
  2. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic

    Do you know when they were last wormed?
     
  3. Roni

    Roni Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2009
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    Hiya

    Thanks for replying

    Am assuming the breeder wormed them and only got them last week. Do you think this might be what it could be. I'll give the breeder a ring and ask her just to be sure.

    Roni
    x
     
  4. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    First all new hens should be isolated for at least a month to prevent bringing in disease to your flock. I know that is impossible for now. Isolate the new hen. Watch her carefully.check her poops for worms or blood. Or she maybe molting. What are their ages? I have a hen who just started molting today. She is really sad acting. I hope this clears up for you. Gloria Jean
     
  5. Roni

    Roni Out Of The Brooder

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    Have just spoken to the breeder who advised me that she doesn't worm her chicks at all (which I find a bit strange) so am off out to get some Vermx now.

    Also have just been told by a farmer that a few drops of cider vinegar in their water as well won't do them any harm and might perk her up a bit so am gonna do that too!

    Wish me (and poor little henny) luck!
     
  6. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    If she doesn't have worms, wormer may simply be an added stressor she doesn't need right now (if you have a vet that can do a parasite test on her stool this would be preferable because if there are no parasites don't give the wormer right now).

    She may have 'caught' something from the others she was comingled with (they could be carriers, otherwise unaffected, and she could be susceptible). In any case, the advice to separate and closely watch is your next step. Keep her warm and comfortable and in a totally stress free area with lots of comforting words and healthy treats like egg, oatmeal, yogurt, sunflower seeds, mealworms - see if any of it gets her interested. Since she may be lonely without her other Orp and/or could experience unplerasantries upon reintroduction later on, it could well be best to keep her within sight of the others but in large dog cage - with tons of pine shavings for comfort, food and drink all available inside the cage - so you can monitor her eating, drinking, pooping habits without wondering who did what.

    Post everything you can about her - age, weight, diet (former and present), condition of poop, any thing known about her egg laying (last known egg), etc. If she doesn't totally freak with handling, you can gently dribble along her beak line with a dropper 3 drops of Polyvisol liquid children's vitamins daily(without iron). Can be best to do this when it's getting to be their bedtime so they are calmer, more sleepy.

    Blood work may reveal infection or inflammation that may require meds.

    I hope she will get well.[​IMG]
    JJ

    p.s. Edited to add that I don't know her age so the above foods may be inappropriate if she's very young - the advice was for an adult bird.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  7. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Oftimes the stress of moving to a new situation can indeed be enough to lower their immunity and allow things like worms etc. to become pathogenic.

    How old are these birds ?

    VermX is insufficient to deal with an active case of worms (this from my experience in UK forum where this product was first introdued in the UK). If these birds are old enough to have been free ranging over the last couple of months then my suggestion would be to worm all of them with ivomec EPRINEX ("spot-on topical application).
     
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    What Diana said about stress from the move likely lowering immunity reminded me of what my BJ (roo) was like after having to be moved for a time to a new environment back in 2006. His lady love had died, he was all alone and no more chickens were allowed and so I moved him to a place where he could have friends.... He was stressed over all of it and he got sick. Nursed him through it, and he's fine now, 3 years later, but it is indeed a very vulnerable time for them.
    JJ
     
  9. Roni

    Roni Out Of The Brooder

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    Ah thanks everyone. Having looked at some of the other posts on here about sickly chickens and your responses, its certainly helped.

    Am gonna keep a good eye on her today and take her to the vets in the morning if she's no better.

    Have just been shopping and bought some cider vinegar for their water, some grapes, apples, sunflower seeds, yoghurt and other treats and am gonna sit in the garden with her and try and tempt her with those and lots of cuddles. Will leave the worming stuff until tomorrow and she has seen the vet.

    Am gonna put her in a dog crate tonight in the pen with her food and water and take a poo sample with me in the morning and hopefully find out what's wrong. It's interesting what Diana said about stress as well so am keeping my fingers crossed that with a lot of tlc she'll get through it.

    Will keep you posted.

    (By the way, the other chooks are loving all the treats and are scoffing like little piggies!)
     
  10. Roni

    Roni Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2009
    Essex
    Hi all

    Just an update on my post yesterday.

    Thanks to all your helpful advice, my little hen is doing much better today. She had lots of TLC and cuddles yesterday and when I checked on her this morning she seems much perkier. She's even eaten and has had a drink as well. She's wandering around the garden, pecking at the grass as we speak! She's also mingling in with the others so I think she was having a real 'off' day yesterday.

    The only worry I have with her is I've noticed that if I put a grape on the floor in front of her, she pecks to the side of it and I'm sure I read something in one of the other topics about this but can't remember where I saw it. Other than that, she's eaten a bit of everything else that I've put in the pen for her (today, they've all had cabbage, apple, a bit of bread, a bit of cheese, raisins, sunflower seeds, some yoghurt, and corn! - And that's as well as their growers pellets that they have been munching on!)
     

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