Sick chickens or a disease ?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ncriverchickens, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. ncriverchickens

    ncriverchickens New Egg

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    Feb 6, 2015
    Hello from a newbie. I now have 7 hens left, hawks, and I really don't wanna loose no more. We have stopped letting them out of their run because the hawk likes to wait on our birds in the woods. Anyway.....last year I thought my birds where molting, some still look like it. Birds are 2-3 years old( different raisings) we have always gotten 1 egg per hen, since last fall it has dropped to 1 to 3 eggs a day, some days none. A couple look like they have pasty butt, like chicks. They have fresh water in one drinker and vitamin water in the other, free choice. They are fed SS all grain layer pellets, free choice oyster shells, and scratch feed with sunflower seeds for daily treats. Is there a medication I should have given them ? Never have and hadn't had problems, maybe just lucky. I wondered if the eggs are still good to eat and is there anything I'm not doing that I should ? Also, the coop is cleaned out regularly, dusted and/or sprayed with permytherin, left shut up for a few hours, then opened up, aired out, and fresh pine shavings before dark and the hens come back in to roost. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    As far as the egglaying goes, unless you are giving supplemental light to make their day length 14 or more hours, they can take a break in laying eggs (except for the pullet year, when they tend to lay pretty well for me through the winter). My hens are also 2 and 3 years (two batches).

    My girls are starting back up laying again after taking a winter break (no extra light in the coop in early morning before they get up). I am getting 6 eggs a day from 22 girls, but just last week I was getting 1-3 eggs a day.

    The pasty butt may be a bit of diarrhea from worms or another problem, I don't know. I worm my girls twice a year and repeat at 10 days. I toss eggs for 14 days after each worming dose unless I use Rooster Booster pellets. Some vets will do a fecal float for worms for a fee. False negatives are possible. Some flocks seem to have problems with worms and others don't.

    So I am thinking they sound OK except I'd keep an eye on the pasty butt/feather loss. I would not give too much scratch as that decreases their total protein, which they require to build new feathers and lay eggs.

    Diarrhea is not good, but keep in mind that in some of the flocks I have had, there will always be that one hen who has a dirty bottom, even if I scrub her up every month! So I am not entirely sure there is a problem.

    Just the change regarding not letting them out of the run would be enough to stop or slow their egglaying (stress). Since your birds still look like they are molting I'd dust your birds also with the poultry dust and repeat in 7 days for mites and 14 for lice (mites can cause poor feather condition and a general unhappy tired look, and sometimes make them shake their heads every 5-15 seconds). Worms make my hens have diarrhea and look depressed.

    So I am not sure what is going on but hopefully this helps!
     
  3. ncriverchickens

    ncriverchickens New Egg

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    Feb 6, 2015
    Thanks for the reply ! That helped ease my mind a lot. Just to clear up on the letting them out part, we never did much except late evening for a bit a few times a week, they have a pretty good sized run with twine criss crossed for the top to keep the "bullies" away. It don't take but one time getting twisted up in that for a hawk to leave them alone. On the worming, what kind do you use ? I have never given these chicks anything as far as medicine or wormer. They have always been super healthy and slick looking. Thanks again for your help !
     

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