sick and lethargic hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sadiefaith, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. sadiefaith

    sadiefaith In the Brooder

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    May 21, 2017
    hello -hoping for some advice. we have a hen about 1 1/2 years old; up until today, she was acting normal, eating, pooping, etc. today, she is drinking, not eating and just kinda standing around, somewhat lethargic. I checked her crop which did not feel unusually hard or squishy and also checked for egg bound issues. there is no foul odor or other issues. she is just standing around, not moving much and is now roosting which is very odd as we are about 3 hours from dusk. I have spent time today reading and trying to narrow down what is happening but I am at a loss; any suggestions?
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I suspect it's one of three issues or a combination; eggbound, external parasites, internal parasites.
     
  3. sadiefaith

    sadiefaith In the Brooder

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    May 21, 2017
    thank you for the input; can i ask how one would know if it were internal vs external parasites and treatment options?
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    Is she molting yet? Hens who are molting can act standoffish and eat less. Has she laid any eggs recently? In the early morning before she eats, I would feel her crop to see if it has emptied overnight. Crop impaction or sour crop which would feel hard or puffy could be a problem. Look her over for mites and lice around and under her vent. Get her to drink some electrolytes and vitamins in her water, or give some Poultry NutriDrench up to 2-3 ml daily. Feel inside her vent for a stuck egg. Offer her some chopped egg along with her usual food. They sometimes will eat wet chicken feed in a bowl better. If your local vet will perform a fecal test on fresh droppings, you can get some checked for worms or coccidiosis.
     
  5. You've received some good advice and questions from @Eggcessive. I suspect she may be heading into molt, but it really could be anything. Please watch her closely and keep us posted.
     
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Visually inspect your hen closely for lice and/or mites especially around the vent area.
    Lice are fast movers, are white or off white/straw in color looking. They crawl in and around feathers and fluff. You might see lice eggs on feather shafts.
    Mites are tiny, look like pepper, or red in color and feed on blood. They are slow movers or dont move at all while feeding. They can cause anemia, then death.
    Treatment is permethrin dust or 10% liquid permethrin.
    The inside of the coop must be cleaned out, removing all bedding material including nests and disposed of, preferably burned.
    The coop and nests/roosts can either be dusted or sprayed with the permethrin. Permethrin liquid has a persistent stay period of 30 days.

    Gather fresh fecal samples from your lethargic hen and other birds as well and put them in a ziplock bag. Take it to a vet and have them look under a microscope. If the microscopic slide is loaded with cocci, you'll need to treat your birds with Corid 9.6% liquid solution.
    If there are worm eggs on the slide, you will need to treat your birds with Safeguard liquid goat wormer or Valbazen liquid cattle/sheep wormer.
    If your hen is in molt, she would be preening feathers and you would see feathers on the ground or inside the coop.
     
    Wyorp Rock and Eggcessive like this.

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