Raggedy, sickly-looking hens..... Something going on??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bleenie, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I am wondering if they're just in molt or if there is something else going on? I examined their poo that was in the box i brougth them home in, but it just looked as though they hadn't been getting fed, was very thin & watery, nothing alarming or strange. I believe they are White Leghorns, possibly "spent hens".

    Hen #1(front) has a short comb, she looks healthier at first glance but she is a bit underweight.
    Hen #2(back) has a big, floppy comb, she just looks pathetic. the comb looks terrible, has no tail & is filthy BUT is a good weight.

    They're eating & drinking good..they were unsure of the waterer to begin with, maybe they didn't have one like it before? they prefer to forrage rather than eat out of the dish of food so I have been sprinkling food on the ground for them to find. I adopted a WLH Pullet a few weeks ago, she was very pale and depressed looking, 3 weeks later and she's started laying me eggs and is perfectly healthy! Hopefully this will be the same kinda story but never hurts to be cautious, right?

    So what do you guys think? Just molting or maybe something more?

    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010

  2. tammye

    tammye Songster

    Mar 22, 2010
    I hear the molt can be tough on them. You can boost up their protein intake, say with sunflower seeds, black oiled, also some electrolyte solution might help them get some nutrients and energy, not sure , but it can't hurt any. I just had a hen in molt and she looked pretty sickly, pale comb, sleepy eyes, less active than normal. I gave her the electrolytes and some Vit. B12 and she is doing fine now??
  3. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Could be a number of things ranging from introduction of new birds carrying illness to the others, molt, change in environment, parasites (e.g. mites - look them over carefully if you can, internal parasites) etc.

    At this point, bolstering their immune systems is called for no matter what. Get Avia Charge 2000 if you don't already have it - it's a nutritional supplement you put in their water - one jar lasts a very long time. Put just enough in each day to get a nice iced tea color - not too dark or they tend to turn up their noses (beaks!). You can order AC2000 on line if you don't already have it. I've been giving this to my birds for years and feel as though it really bolsters them.

    As someone else said, healthy treats like black oil sunflower seeds, cut up bits of very fresh fruits e.g. blueberries, grapes) etc. - these things can bolster spirits and help provide the will to get up in the morning.

    Extra protein in case of molt (have they dropped a bunch of feathers and do you see new ones coming in?), e.g. I offer mealworms, high end dry cat food (health food store type and not all that much - mine always self regulate). If molting, they can sometimes feel colder than they normally would so keep them comfortable.

    Be careful with electrolytes - they are good in cases of a stress to theystem but can be overdone.

    What diet are the birds on? Do they have oyster shell available?

  4. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    They are on what my other birds eat(ducks, chicken, geese), it's called "All Purpose Poultry" (yes i know no feed is all purpose) i assume it's their duck feed but all the birds do really great on it and have very nice, hard eggs without supplemental calcium.

    I have some AC2000 so I will add it to their water. I will chop up some veggies for them today and have some really good kitty food i can add a little of & also some plain yogurt & cottage cheese? or would that be overdoing it?

    I may move them to a different pen with a heat light, just to help.... I am just a softee for LegHorns and even if they're "Spent Hens" I am sure they still lay a few eggs and they'll have a place here [​IMG]
  5. biddyboo

    biddyboo Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Ashland, Missouri
    Your plan sounds wonderful for them. They'll think they've arrived in heaven when all those special treats start arriving for them:) I bet they are just stressed from 1) the change in environment and 2) annual molt. Some of our girls sail through the molt and we hardly know it's happened while others get so sickly, patchy, just all around "seedy" looking that they look bound for the stew pot (Oh, shhhh, don't let them know I even thought that!).
  6. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Your 'recipe' for them is not overdoing it - sounds good. I hope they rally. [​IMG]
    Please keep us posted.
  7. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    Well I was stuck in town/in the car most of the day today doing more X-mas shopping and when i got home the girl with the floppy comb was "gone" [​IMG] . I took care of her body and moved the other girl into the empty pen that has a light and lots of clean straw bedding so she should be very comfortable... She was the more active of the 2, she did a lot of kicking/scratching in the dirt lookign for food so hopefully she will really take to the new diet when i start it in the morning.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

  8. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    I am so sorry. I hope the other pulls through.

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