Sick hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rbyers, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. rbyers

    rbyers New Egg

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    I have a hen that has been sick for 2 weeks now. I found her laying down with her legs out to her side. When I picked her up to check on her, under all her feathers, she was extremely thin. I took her in the house and chopped up some veggies and let her eat. She acted like she had not eaten in forever. I noticed that she would shake her head every 3 or 4 minutes. She got somewhat better and was up walking around so I took her back out to the lot. She was fine while I was out there and continued to eat. The next morning I went out to check on her and she was down again. I did the same thing. Took her in and fed her again and took her back out. Now sometimes when I go out there, she is fine but most of the time, she is laying down and I have to help her get up to eat. Other than this and her shaking her head, she appears fine except for the weight loss. Like I mentioned before, this has been going on for 2 weeks not. She does not appear to be in any pain, just lays down and cannot get back up. Has anyone else ever had this happen or know what it could be? I thought maybe she had a stroke but she is so young. I don't know what it is.
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Veggies and veggies alone are poor chicken feed. She needs grains, proteins, fats, vitamins, but maybe most of all animal based food. Meat, and dairy is especially good for ailing chickens, especially chicken food mixed with soured milk.

    With as many problems as you report, all happening together i suspect that you need to look into your regiment of chicken keeping.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    What type of feed do your chickens eat? Do you think that she could be kept from eating or drinking by the other chickens? Dehydration can present neurological symptoms. Was she vaccinated for Mareks disease? Has she been wormed recently? I would do the usual exam of a sick chicken, by checking her crop to make sure it is emptying overnight, look her skin over especially near the vent for lice and mites, and feel her keel or breast area to see if she has lost weight. Give her some vitamins with electrolytes in her water, such as SaveAChick. Feed her some egg and a small amount of plain yogurt in addition to her layer feed.
     
  4. rbyers

    rbyers New Egg

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    Oct 31, 2015
    First of all, I do not just feed my chickens veggies only. I have had chickens for many years. I was just asking if anyone may know what could be wrong with her. I have never had this happen before. My chickens have a good diet and all are healthy except her. Thank you for your opinion.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I wasn't saying that you fed just vegetables, and I figured that you fed them chicken feed, but I'm glad that you clarified that for the other poster. I hope that we can help you find out what is going on with your chicken. Most of us want to help.
     
  6. Colorado Chick

    Colorado Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is she crop bound? We have had a variety of birds in our life, and when they shake their head, it usually means they are trying to get something out of their mouth or crop. Usually because it won't move along the proper track. Hope this helps. If there is something lodged, research tips as to how to help her throw up. Tip....wear old clothes when you do! Or maybe her throat or crop is tightened, and it is simply difficult to swallow.
     
  7. rbyers

    rbyers New Egg

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    Oct 31, 2015
    Thank you Eggcessive and Colorado Chick. I appreciate you both taking the time to try and help. Colorado Chick, would something being crop bound make her lay down like she does with her feet out to the side and not be able to get up? It is really strange because when I help her up, she eats really good and drinks too. She is actually normal after she gets up, it's just once she is down, she cannot get back up on her own.
     
  8. Colorado Chick

    Colorado Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The general sickness a bird will feel from crop bound can make them not feel well and they'll want to lay down from fatigue/lack of food. But, you will have noticed a huge impacted crop long before then most likely. I'll keep thinking about it and see what I can come up with!
     
  9. Colorado Chick

    Colorado Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ran this past my husband, and he hasn't ever experienced this either. But he did ask if she had been poisoned by accident? Good luck with her and keep us posted!
     
  10. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm afraid it sounds very much like Marek's disease to me. The legs stuck out to the side and poor condition are two significant signs and the fact that she is young, puts her into the vulnerable to Marek's age category.
    Marek's is an extremely common, widespread and very contagious disease. It affects mostly young birds and presents itself in lots of different ways but the leg paralysis and poor condition despite eating voraciously, are pretty classic pointers. Have you had any other unexplained, possibly sidden deaths in the flock and have you added to the flock in the past few weeks/months? Stress is usually a triiger for Marek's and can be something as simple as the stress of reaching puberty or new additions to the flock creating pecking order issues or the unwanted attentions of a cockerel.

    Of course it may not be Marek's disease, but I would research it and see if there are other things that sound likely.

    As someone whose flock has suffered an outbreak of Marek's, I can only offer sympathy and support and hope that I am wrong.

    Regards

    Barbara .
     

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