Sick chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AlvarezAcres, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. AlvarezAcres

    AlvarezAcres Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2016
    Ostrander, Ohio
    Hello,
    I have a light Brahma hen that has seemed unhealthy for months. To start with, I started with 2 Brahma hens in my flock of 9. One was robust and heavy and was our lead hen until she was killed by a dog. The other hen seems like she is always the tail of the group. When my ladies come running up the yard she runs a few steps then walks the rest of the way. She became egg bound early on, and I was able to help her pass 2 eggs. She laid for a few weeks,then stopped for winter in November and has not resumed (every one else is laying). To be fair, her sister was not a great layer either, but layed far more that this bird. She does not dust bathe well, and she seems to be the only chicken in the barn with a mite problem (we are treating them all with poultry protect, and every one else is responding well, but the Brahma is still covered in mites). She does not sleep with the other girls: she is either at the far end of the roost or cuddled in a nest box. Her thoughts seem to be "why walk when a biped will carry me? Why jump if someone will pick up? Why bother?" I kept thinking she was fat, but despite her large frame she does not seem overweight.

    I am still new to chickens, but this one is weird. Has anyone had a similar experience? Is she mentally damaged? Lazy? Is this common to Brahmas? I think I may need to cull her this summer, but I want to give her every chance. She is by far the most personable chicken, but she just seems generally dim and unhealthy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  2. WillGriffin03

    WillGriffin03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2016
    Macedon Ranges
    Sorry to hear about your chook, do you know her age? Has she previously injured herself?
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Are you certain she has mites or could it be lice? Permethrin 10 % spray or the garden and poultry dust are both good to treat lice and mites. They need to be reapplied at 7 day intervals until eggs and bugs are gine. The coop and nests, roosts also need treating. The brahmas I had were only so-so layers, and were pretty big birds, and big eaters. I think in every flock you are going to have a less energetic one or one lowest in the pecking order. Hanging back, she may be waiting her turn to eat if others will peck her. I rehomed my brahmas when I downsized my flock, but they were beauties.
     
  4. AlvarezAcres

    AlvarezAcres Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2016
    Ostrander, Ohio
    She is 11 months old, and the only injury was being egg bound in October. During that time she was listless and off her feed, I assume she had some sort of stool blockage. After removing the eggs and giving her a week in the house she was back to normal. However her normal baseline is just low energy.

    She is definitely the lowest in the pecking order- she gets bossed around by our polish hens that are half her size. It's definitely mites- I was able to identify as northern fowl mites. I have been holding off on any products with a meat/egg withdrawal period because I will likely process her if I can ever get her healthy enough and don't want to bring out the big guns on the rest of the flock who are not nearly as infested. The rest of the birds seem near to mite free after one treatment, and no mites since the last treatment. I am spraying weekly until mites are resolved.

    @Eggcessive good to hear you had some similarities in your brahma girls. With your low pecking-order hens do you notice that they are more solitary? This hen is often by herself while every one else is free ranging.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Yes, the lowest in pecking order are usually hanging around in the coop while others are out, and vice versa. You can try some wood ash if you have any from your fireplace or a neighbors, and actually rub her down with some mixed in dirt to help with the mites. But mites are hard to completely get rid of, requiring diligence spraying of coop and retreatment. Permethrin is the safest treatment I know of for chickens, and I wouldn't worry about a withdrawal. Mites can cause anemia or even death in severe infestations.
     
  6. AlvarezAcres

    AlvarezAcres Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2016
    Ostrander, Ohio
    @Eggcessive hey, just wanted to say a quick thanks about the permethrin recommendation. We are two weeks mite free!
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Great news!
     

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