Sick hen, thin, depressed, losing feathers,

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by maggie&thechicks, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. maggie&thechicks

    maggie&thechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2009
    Central NC
    My 2yo Java hen has been laying thin shelled eggs for 3-4 months in spite of extra oyster shell available. In the last @3 weeks she has started losing a few feathers, randomly. Yesterday I noticed that she wasn't moving right and would fluff up and sit while the other hens were ranging. I checked her, thinking she might be egg-bound but I couldn't determine that she was, however it would have only been a guess on my part. I've never actually had experience with an egg-bound hen. I didn't see any external parasites. Her eyes are clear and she doesn't seem to have any respiratory symptoms. Her feather quality is rather poor. She is thinner than my other hens although she seemed to be eating when I fed a few sunflower seeds. This morning she didn't get off the roost until late, then she laid one of her thin-shelled eggs, so she's not egg-bound. She was still fluffed up and sitting alone rather than joining her flock. She's low hen on the totem-pole but the rest are not mean to her.

    I have her isolated in a separate area with regular layer food and water with electrolytes. I gave her a dose of liquid calcium/D3 supplement this morning.

    Any ideas about what is wrong with my hen? Or what to try to help her? My chickens have always been healthy so I'm not very experienced with illness. Thank you for any help or insight.

    Maggie
     
  2. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 5, 2011
    Sounds like she is just having a bad moult. My top hen did and she was bald, lethargic and very weak. She still ate and her vent was pulsing (thats where you might have got the idea she's egg bound). If this matched whats wrong with your hen, then just let her go back out if she wants, feed her growers pellets, scrambled egg and meal worms daily. People also sometimes feed theirs cat meat for the high protein, but I never have.
    This is my girl (and this was whenshe was looking good!)
    [​IMG]
     
  3. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    have you wormed your chickens recently?
     
  4. maggie&thechicks

    maggie&thechicks Out Of The Brooder

    19
    1
    25
    Nov 11, 2009
    Central NC
    Thank you both for your thoughts and for replying.

    I wormed them last fall. I could worm her again but I hesitate to worm an animal who is "down" unless I'm pretty sure that's the problem. What do you think?

    It might be a molt but she's been losing only a few feathers for 2-3 months, and she's still laying those sad thin shelled eggs.

    She seems to have perked up a little bit. I have been giving her a small daily meal of scrambled eggs and prepared oatmeal which she eats hungrily but she's not chowing down on the layer pellets. Continuing with the daily calcium/D3 supplement and electrolytes in her water. She's still not much interested in her surroundings and stays puffed up. I've been putting her in a dog crate at night because the horse stall where she is confined isn't safe from varmints when the dogs are in the house. She has enough energy to object to that!

    Thanks again,
    Maggie
     
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    If she is sitting around all puffed up she probably needs Corid for coccidiosis. And if she was wormed last fall worming again would not hurt her at all. I would use Safeguard and repeat it again in 10 days.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014

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