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Sick hen that has grown in rooster feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JerseyGiantfolk, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a 4 year old hatchery Leghorn that has recently been exhibiting signs of sickness. She has a loss of appetite, is lethargic, has a swollen abdomen, and yesterday couldn't walk without dragging or falling over (before she was in a up and down position, waddling). Also, she has not layed this year, or possibly the year before that, but she used to lay, but her eggs weren't the largest eggs. Another odd thing she has is that she has grown in rooster feathers, like sickles, pointy hackles and random shiny green feathers.

    She has never been on the top of the pecking order but still managed to eat and drink.

    She is (was) kept in a flock of 7 birds, 1 rooster, her, and 5 other hens. I have never seen the rooster mate with her. None of the other hens exhibit these symptoms

    Currently I've been syringe feeding her water with Poly-vi-sol (no iron) and have been trying to syringe feed her some of her wet chicken food. She has been inside 10 days now, but I put her outside in her crate (since it's warm here) so she can see her other buddies, and seems to perk up.

    I wormed her 10 days ago with Wazine 17, (1 oz per gallon), just in case she had severe worms, but I was wondering if I should use something stronger today, like Valbazen or Safeguard, just in case she has a different kind of worm. Again, none of my other chicken exhibit these symptoms (and were also wormed).

    These pictures were taken before she was feeling sickly. She has long sickle-like tail feathers, black fluff (she used to have light grey/tan fluff, like the other hens) and grew and upright comb, which is now small and flopped over since she is sick.

    If you have any advice, please let me know. This is the first time I've had a chicken problem like this.

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  2. fosterson

    fosterson Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's rare, but it's been known to happen. An older hen can develop hormonal issues and start producing male hormones, which turns 'her' into a pseudo 'him'. There was a hen named Basel in the middle ages that was tried and burned at the stake for a witch for such a thing.

    Here's a more recent case of it:

    Sex-change Chickens
     
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    It sounds to me like she is internally laying, and has egg yolk peritonitis. Her apparent sex reversal is rare, but not unheard of. It typically occurs when the left ovary (which is the only functioning one in the female chicken) is damaged, and the normally rudimentary right oviduct begins to develop. Male hormones come into play, and the hen becomes (at least on the outside) a rooster look-a-like.
     
  4. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for your advice Fosterson and BantamLover21. Unfortunately, my hen died this morning, but I will be getting necropsy results soon.
     
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
     

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