Sick hen...advise please

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jax-bean, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Jax-bean

    Jax-bean In the Brooder

    Hi all
    My hen has recently started acting strange. She is excluding herself from the flock and has not been laying for almost a week now. I removed the nest box a few days back because my other hen was broody and the only way to keep her out of it was to remove the nest box. I didn't think it would affect my other two hens as they usually find a spot in the corner of the coop if the nest box is unavailable.

    Since then I've put the box back because when she started acting strange I worried that it might be the beginning of egg binding or something, due to the box not being there. However, she has not returned to herself. She doesn't appear pale and I have checked her vent and abdomen and have not found anything. She is not really interested in her food but is still drinking and eating a tiny amount here and there. Her poop is quite runny and is either dark green or like this morning it was completely white. She gobbled down some scrambled egg this morning but is otherwise just sitting quietly by herself when ever I go see her.
    I also added a bit of apple cider vinegar to the water this morning.

    Is there anything else I can do or does anyone have an idea of what could be wrong?[​IMG]
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    If they are ready to lay an egg, the lack of a nest box won't stop them. I've collected eggs from under roosts, from the floor in the middle of the chicken coop, from the pathway out of the coop, etc.

    There are any number of things that could be wrong, unfortunately. It is a good sign that she is eating, though. Egg bound, internal layer, a cancer, some sort of passing infection -- on and on.

    You might want to try managing her for eggbound, just in case: give calcium, soak in a warm bath to relas her, then confine in a quiet, darker spot and resto for a couple of days. Here is just one thread about it:
  3. I have hens who lay eggs all over but they are the yard flock
    and I have never had a bird have a problem just because
    a nesting box was not available I have had many chickens
    lay an egg in a carrying box with other chickens in the box
    so that really dose not sound like a problem but some
    chickens do get throne of easley and return to normal after
    several days......
    Now the eating sounds good if she is eating your cooked
    egg's and if you have them available cook them up and let
    her eat all she can ......... [​IMG]
  4. Jax-bean

    Jax-bean In the Brooder

    Thanks for the replies[​IMG]
    Do you think its possible that she could be starting to moult? Its approaching the last month of summer here in South Africa and she has looked a bit scruffy the past few weeks.
    She will be a year and a half next month, so it would be hers and my first moult experience? She has quite a few pin feathers hiding under the ones she still has, especially in comparison to her roommates, but many people say their behaviour shouldn't change from moulting?
  5. Jax-bean

    Jax-bean In the Brooder

    O yesh and if I offer her cabbage, spinach or fresh corn, she munches it up very eagerly. But her normal feed is still being avoided.

    Where ever she goes though, she leaves a number of feathers behind
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  6. Oh then it sounds like she is good and healthy if she is eating and molting is probably a good observation so you might want to feed her some high protein feed 20% or better to help with the new feather growth ......... [​IMG]
  7. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    Acting strange, removing herself from the flock, not eating regular food but will eat occasional treat, not laying, poo that goes from watery to green to just odd = all sounds really familiar to what I went through with a hen last year.

    If you can get her poo tested, I'd recommend you do so. My girl ended up having a case of spirochetes which required an antibiotic. It was all very new to me and there's a thread about her symptoms and how it was finally resolved. However, without having her poo tested, there's no real way to know if that's your same problem or not.

  8. Jax-bean

    Jax-bean In the Brooder

    Hmmm, that is concerning. I don't have a vet near by that deals with chickens as I live in the suburbs. Do you think a probiotic would do the trick?
    As the day progressed her poo got runnier and more explosive, but then again all she really ate was vegetation which is full of fluids.
    And do you know what would explain the almost sudden feather loss?

    I really hope she is just moulting[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  9. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Molting can put some stress on their bodies; which is a good time for nasties to attack their immune system. It's possible she is molting and also has something more serious going on. My molting hens do tend to get a bit mopish and 'off' and they also stop laying, but they never once have had a reduced appetite.
  10. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    I hope she's just molting, too. I will say my girl didn't lose any excessive amount of feathers during her illness. She did drink a good bit of water and her poo went to an almost water state because of it.

    Any vet can do a fecal test, doesn't have to be a bird vet. My dog vet did ours. However, I really had to figure out what was going on myself after he identified what he found as he's a small animal doctor and doesn't practice at all on chickens.

    Edit to add: You asked about probiotics. My girl was already on ACV in her water and had been eating fermented feed before she got sick so probiotics didn't help with her situation. As you don't really know what's going on at this point, they certainly won't hurt her and could be of help so I'd give them a try.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014

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