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Sick hen not laying-is this normal? How long can they go?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by franklinchickens, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. franklinchickens

    franklinchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    I have a hen that has a virus - coughing/sneezing/etc. She's been to the vet and is recovering though still is somewhat lethargic. She's eating and is doing well otherwise but I have not seen an egg out of her for 3 weeks since she got sick. She's my only green egger so unless she's laying in the yard somewhere (and we've looked!), none from her. Can they go this long? Is it normal if they are sick?
    The vet said she laid 2 eggs when she was there for 3 days when she first got sick, and she did lay a few when she got back, then nothing.
    I'm wondering if I should worry about this or wait and see. She was on antibiotics at the vet, then in the water for a week as a preventative for secondary infections. Not sure if that would do it.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. franklinchickens

    franklinchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    Anyone?
     
  3. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    Hum... I have a Green Egg layer.... used to think she was an Americauna (sp?).... but, now assume she is an Easter Egg. She has not laid an egg in about two weeks also... I figured it was the heat, but now it has cooled off for a few days and she has still not started up again. But, mine is not sick, seems fine, walking, eating, drinking, just not laying right now. I was also curious about how long they could stop for... but, I will assume that as long as she is not sitting on a nest, not acting sick, and/or not in distress that she is fine and it's not a problem(?).
    If your hen has been sick for most of that time, or all of the time since she stopped laying, or if it is or was very hot and/or humid and hot where you are... it seems to me that the EE chickens I have don't tolerate the heat as well as the other breeds? And, this one (mine) that has stopped laying, has stopped several times over the summer, just for less time, a week or so each time during very hot weather.
    So.. sorry... I am not sure about them stopping laying for two or three weeks.... I also assume your vet checked her for "eggbound" (and parasites/worms) as well, since that can make them sick also. I'm sure she would not have lasted three weeks if she were eggbound though.
    My understanding is that laying takes a lot out of them... and they can stop for several reasons for a time. I assume you feed laying pellets or laying feed so that she gets all the vitamins and calcium she needs to lay... I also put out some Oyster Shell Calcium on the side for all to nibble on as well.
    I hope you get some more experienced input here. You can use the SEARCH here for Eggbound, or "not laying", etc and see what comes up from the search. I may do that as well.
    Good luck. First of all I hope she gets over her illness, gets well.... I don't know, but I would just "wait and see" until she feels better.... or put in a call to the vet just to get his opinion on that.... or, keep checking her for eggbound until she starts laying again.
     
  4. GardenGal

    GardenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Western WA
    I'm no expert, but two things come to mind: yogurt - it will replenish her good bacteria after being on antibiotics, plus it's high in calcium - and some sort of electrolytes in the water.

    I read that some people give their chickens coconut oil - cold pressed. And a little organic apple cider vinegar in the water. Those would probably help a lot if she has a lingering infection.

    Hoping your hen feels better really soon!!!
     
  5. franklinchickens

    franklinchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    Thank you both for commenting - she does get plain yogurt fairly regularly and eats a complete feed, plus fruits & veggies (we have pretty spoiled chickens) but I hadn't realized it would help counter the effects of the antibiotics - I'll give it more often while she's on it.
    @ysaville - ours was sold to us as an Ameracauna but she is really an EE - her eggs are kind of between a light green and olive - really pretty. Our other EE lays blue, and the rest are brown so we know which ones are hers.
    @GardenGal - I did buy some electrolytes but I'm on the 2nd round of worming in the water and wasn't sure if I could mix them. Planning those for next week. I've been having to alternate the antibiotics with worming as I'm doing the whole flock as a preventative.
    She does have access to oyster shell and they free range so get plenty of protein and the like. I am planning on crushing up some eggshells and giving them to her if calcium is what may be needed.
    When I took her to the vet, it turns out that she has damaged air sacs and they don't hold out high hopes that she'll fully recover but we're nursing her along. At that time she was laying but not since then.
    I'll see if I can bring her back just to be sure she's not eggbound - she did have some weird poop and stuff all over her bum feathers 2 weeks ago so we cleaned her up in a warm bath, and wormed the whole flock which seemed to clear that up.
    I just dread coming out one morning and finding her dead - she's my favorite hen and an absolute dear. I hadn't really thought about the egg thing for a while as we were concerned with getting her healthy but now I realize how long it has been and I'm getting worried.
     

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