Quiet, lethargic hen with shrunken, pale comb

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Brolic, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Brolic

    Brolic New Egg

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    Sep 3, 2014
    Hi everyone, this is my first post. I am new to raising chickens, and have a free ranging flock of 12 hens since march. They have just started laying recently, and the first chicken to lay is one of my very friendly rose comb leghorns. I have two. For the last 3 days though she has not been laying, and I noticed yesterday her usually plump, red comb is shriveled and pale, along with her waddles. She has been spending most of her time under the porch, and does not want to be picked up (which is unusual for her). I noticed this morning how quiet she is, when she is usually very vocal. She also seems to be losing weight compared to her sister leghorn. I have not had any problems with sick chickens yet, so I am not really sure what to do. Any input would be appreciated.

    Here is the sick leghorn
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/o232zaxr22w1m7e/20140903_065553.jpg?dl=0

    And here is the healthy one for reference
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/nlx9ea9nu8y3b2s/20140903_065529.jpg?dl=0
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    There are any number of things that could be wrong. I would look her over very carefully first, for any sign of warmth, redness or swelling. Check her bottom end -- could she be eggbound, or have a broken egg inside? Look carefully at the base of the feathers, especially around the head, under the wings and around the vent, for signs of lice/mites. Does her abdomen or bottom side seem swollen, enlarged or full of fluid? You may have to compare the two. I would separate her for a day or so, to see how much she is eating, drinking and pooping, and whether she lays.
     
  3. Brolic

    Brolic New Egg

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    Sep 3, 2014
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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  5. Brolic

    Brolic New Egg

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    Sep 3, 2014
    I'm beginning to think she may be egg bound
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I would feel inside the vent 1-2 inches with a rubber glove for a stuck egg. For egg binding, you would want to give a calcium tablet or Tums, then give a warm bath massaging the abdomen toward the vent, but only if you feel and egg. Is she close to 18 months old when a hen normally molts? Worms or mites could cause her to feel bad. I had a hen last year suddenly get pale and lose weight, and she died of a blocked gizzard, so there can be all sorts of reasons for some of these symptoms. Enteritis could be a concern if she is having diarrhea.
     

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