Sick hen - flicking head, loss of appetite, all hunched up by herself

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by seejae, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. seejae

    seejae New Egg

    Sep 6, 2009
    We have an older Isa Brown who's showing distinct signs of illness - she's gone off her food, huddles up on her own, (and when she joins the other three they peck her) and is flicking/twitching her head. She's an older hen - hasn't laid for a year or so but has been in great health.
    Other information:
    - she's not lost any weight (she's quite fat since she stopped laying!)
    - she's still drinking water
    - her poop is greenish
    - there are no signs of discharge from the eyes, scabs or any time or coughing
    - she's been fully wormed and mite-treated very recently
    - she sleeps in a sheltered coop, on straw
    - we had a stagnant pond in the back yard and I saw her drinking from this, rather than their clean water bowl (the pond has now been removed)
    - the other three hens are in good health
    We've not taken any action except isolating her as we have no idea what the problem is, so don't know how to treat her.
    Can anyone help as to what it may be?
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  2. Eggs4Sale

    Eggs4Sale Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2009
    My hen did this when her crop wouldn't drain, but she had watery lay crumble fly out of her beak when she shook her head.
    You say yours has no discharge. I'm assuming her crop isn't too full?

    How old is she? More than 3 years?

    You might directly PM threehorses or dlunicorn if this post doesn't grab their attention.

    In the meantime, you might give her a mash of PolyViSol without iron, boiled egg yolk, and a teaspoon of plain yogurt, with a little lay crumble. Threehorses always recommends the yogurt. I'm thinking of the green poop. Maybe her tummy is not handling something well.

    Edited to say: I just noticed this is your first post. I don't know how familiar you are with this.
    PolyViSol without Iron is vitamin drops for human infants. It can be found at WalMart and other stores, but not all. Three drops per day for a chicken.
    Yogurt: plain, unflavored
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Green poop is her not eating... If she is not egg bound, (can you feel one in her), I would suggest taking in just a sample of what poo she has and having a "fecal float" done to see if she has cocci. Not all cocci presents with bloody poo, but all present with lethargic hens, especially ones who lose weight fast.
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It would also be helpful to know what you used for worming, as not all wormers get all worms.
  5. seejae

    seejae New Egg

    Sep 6, 2009
    Thanks for the replies. Her crop is fine and as she hasn't lain in a long time I'm almost certina she's not egg bound. The main symptoms have been going off the feed, the constant shaking of the head, and a drooping comb. It's the head shaking that strikes me most. Has anyone experienced this before? There's no sign of mites, although we just gave her another spray in case.
  6. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    This might be a sign of gapeworm...

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