Sick Hen - Limp Comb, Poor Appetite, Isolating, Sunken Eyes, Puffed Feathers, Skinny. Ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DarkWater1929, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. DarkWater1929

    DarkWater1929 Songster

    Jan 27, 2015
    Redding, California
    Esmee is not well.

    She is an 18 month old Jersey Giant. She sleeps inside, but free-ranges by day. She is fed layer crumble and cracked corn. She has access to many water sources, [email protected] shade available. Our weather has been hot and dry all summer. I have a good number of other chickens, of many breeds, including her two "sisters," who came home with her as fuzzy little chicks. Although two, at least, battle chronic sinus issues, even they show none of the symptoms Esmee displays.

    I noticed her looking poorly about two months ago. She was tired looking, and her comb looked Ashy and it dropped a bit. When I picked her up, she was lighter than she had been. I figured she had worms, and gave her, and everyone else, fenbendizole. Since then, she has been in more or less slow, but steady, decline. She is now much thinner, and her comb is utterly limp. She looks cold, even in our 108 degree weather. She eats, but not much. She seems to have almost no interest in food. Most alarming, based on prior experience, is that she is staying away from other chickens, and seeking me out a lot. In the past, this behavior in my girls has heralded the presence of some truly deadly condition in that bird.

    My Esmee is still very much alive in there. Her head and tail do not droop. SheI looks like a wounded, but victorious, warrior. I am so frustrated that I have no idea what to do for her! Ideas?
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    First off, she may have a nutritional deficiency. When feeding layer, it's meant to be the primary food source, with any supplements, treats, and extras being no more than 10% of the total diet. A better choice for free-range flocks is grower, all flock, or flock raiser. And corn should be very limited. It adds calories, but is not very nutritious.
    Have you added any new birds in the last few months?
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains

    Since she has been in decline since de-worming, you may want to give her some yogurt(probiotics) and some poultry vitamins for a few days. A lot of commercial feeds already contain probiotics/prebiotics, but a little extra boost won't hurt.

    I also like the higher protein provided in all flock/flock raiser feeds, so this is something you may want to look into. If you don't want to switch give her some extra protein like egg, tuna, mackerel or meat for a short period of time (in addition to her regular feed) to see if there is any improvement.

    Is she still laying eggs? Do you offer oyster shell free choice?

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