Red Star Drooping Comb

allisonrbaker

Chirping
May 16, 2017
25
33
79
Fort Worth, TX
Need help! My red star, Mrs. Featherbottom, has been acting off. She was producing her usual enormous eggs, then April 15 stopped laying and eating normally, and began acting lethargic. I treated the flock for worms and added Corid to their water on the advice of my vet. She perked back up. A month later, same symptoms from her - again vet advised treating for possible worms (different wormer) and Corid. Again she perked back up. She's back down again plus her comb has gone pale and is drooping. She is eating and drinking normally and is less lethargic but still not her "head hen" self. Her poop has been watery with a good amount of white in it but, living in Texas, it is very hot and most of the chickens are pooping a little more watery than normal with increased water consumption due to heat (presumably). The rest of the flock (11 others) are all acting, laying, eating, drinking, and pooping normally.

Any ideas? Help very much appreciated!
 

Kiki

I have won
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Jul 31, 2015
90,747
461,459
1,992
Houston, TX
My Coop
Did you vet test their poop both times before and find worms?
Have you tried giving her electrolytes and or poultry vitamins yet?
Nutri Drench is a great product.
Welcome to BYC!
 

rita123

Chirping
7 Years
Jan 4, 2013
30
33
99
Michigan
My four year old Golden Comet, Chicklette, was having the same issue about a month ago when the weather got hot. I did take her to the vet and treated with Corid. She perked back up, but comb was still a little droopy. I then started adding a vitamin, electrolyte and lacto bacillus supplement to their water. it's by Rooster Booster, but I've heard the nutri drench is good too. She's eating, drinking, back to her chicklette self and the comb is up a little more. All of my other hens are fine. I plan on continuing the supplements. Good luck!
 

Wyorp Rock

Enabler
Sep 20, 2015
29,349
39,381
1,182
Southern N.C. Mountains
enormous eggs.....red star.....April 15 stopped laying and eating normally
Hi @allisonrbaker :frow Welcome To BYC

Did she every resume laying at any point after you treated her for Cocci and worms?
How does her abdomen feel - hard, soft, squishy, fluid filled, bloated, etc.?.
What did you worm with (both times)?

If your vet can run a fecal float and gram stain those would rule out Cocci and worm overload and bacterial infections.

It's possible it could be heat, but if she stopped laying back in April and hasn't resume after treatment, then she may have an internal laying/reproductive disorder like Peritonitis, Ascites, cancer or tumors. Symptoms include going off feed, weight loss, loose droppings, fullness/swelling/fluid in the abdomen, lethargy and sometimes lameness.

Do your best to keep her hydrated, offer her some poultry vitamins and encourage her to eat after she has been drinking well.
 

allisonrbaker

Chirping
May 16, 2017
25
33
79
Fort Worth, TX
Thank you!!!

Did she every resume laying at any point after you treated her for Cocci and worms?

- Yes, she laid for a few weeks after treatment the first time. I don't believe she has laid since the second round but I'm not 100% certain of that. She will go in the coop and sit for 30 mins or so then come out but I haven't seen an egg from her afterwards. I put a camera down in the coop to monitor her movement. (Yes, I'm a true chicken lady now!)

How does her abdomen feel - hard, soft, squishy, fluid filled, bloated, etc.?

- Her abdomen feels normal. Nothing I've noted of concern. I actually took her into the vet the first time with concerns of being egg bound. She's been such a good layer. I should note she's presumably 3 - 4 years old. That's what I was told by her previous owner. I've had her since late last year. Is it possible she's simply done laying? I understand Red Stars have fewer laying years than many other breeds due to the size and frequency of eggs.

What did you worm with (both times)?

- I'll have to go back and look at the vet info. One was an injection and the other was a white liquid I administered orally. Could the wormer have left her with side effects?

If your vet can run a fecal float and gram stain those would rule out Cocci and worm overload and bacterial infections.

- I'll get back with my vet on this but he took a fecal sample both times and neither showed signs on worms. I believe one fecal is not necessarily indicative of all internal issues. Is that correct?

It's possible it could be heat, but if she stopped laying back in April and hasn't resume after treatment, then she may have an internal laying/reproductive disorder like Peritonitis, Ascites, cancer or tumors. Symptoms include going off feed, weight loss, loose droppings, fullness/swelling/fluid in the abdomen, lethargy and sometimes lameness.

- I kept ruling things out with her eating and drinking but I really need to read up on Peritonitis, Ascites, cancer, and all. With my camera down at the coop, I can keep a closer eye on her activity and maybe get a better idea. I hope. I've kept her "quarantined" a couple of times in hopes of pinpointing the problem. Would you recommend me keeping her away from the rest of the flock until I can identify the issue?

Do your best to keep her hydrated, offer her some poultry vitamins and encourage her to eat after she has been drinking well.

- I just started her on vitamins two days ago and I've been giving her a few extra treats. She eats whatever I feed everyone else. Not quite with the gusto she used to but she's definitely not off food or water.

Thank you so much for your help. Mrs. Featherbottom is (if we can have one) our favorite girl around here.
 

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