sick laying hen?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 1cutechick, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. 1cutechick

    1cutechick Out Of The Brooder

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    this may have been addressed before, but I'm new to the chicken business. One of my leghorn hens is about 6 months old, has been laying. She past couple of days she is staying on the roost. She moves away from me when we enter the coop so I know she can move. We are gone all day and don't get home until almost dark, so I do not know for sure if she leaves the roost or not, but I don't think she is. We have been short 1 egg this past week, so we assume it's her. She had her backside to me last night and I could see her hind feathers looked a little messy. I do not know if she is coming down to eat or drink, but I will try to hand feed her tonight when I get home. I'm not sure what I should be looking for. I thought maybe she's starting her first molt and just doesn't feel good. Any ideas what to look for? I've been reading about egg-bound but she's not walking around or straining as far as I know. Should I separate her to keep a better eye on the poo? I have 6 other leghorns and 2 larger hens all seem to be fine and wandering around. Also 2 roosters. Everybody seems to be getting along fine socially.
     
  2. drChickan

    drChickan Out Of The Brooder

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    Sounds like shes egg bound... I would separate her and try to keep her warm... See if her vent area looks swollen, and try to feel for an egg.. Keep me posted.. Ive had a lot of experience with egg bound hens.. Hope things go well =)
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Whenever I have had a sick hen they would remain on the roost in the mornings. I would cage her (with food and water) for a day or two to watch her droppings and what she is eating, but I would pick her up and feel of her breastbone to see if she is thin. You could also just cage her overnight to see droppings. She shouldn't be molting this year. Feed her some scrambled egg, and vitamins with probiotics in her water would help. Worming her may help some. You can check for a stuck egg by inserting a finger 1-2 inches inside the vent. If you feel an egg, give her a Tums or a calcium tablet, and a warm shallow soak followed by massaging her lower abdomen, for about 30 minutes. Of course dry her well before putting outside.
     
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  4. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    If she's not eating or drinking consider tube feeding her so you can get to the bottom of this. It's not as scary as it sounds I promise, but it will buy you time if she isn't do so herself.
    What do you feed your flock? Do you offer oyster shell? I have a couple leghorns and I noticed they really go through the oyster shell comparted to the rest of my flock. They also seem to be more prone to laying issues. (could just be a coincidence)
    I do agree with the above. Separate her, keep her warm, worm her, and check for any swelling in her abdomen or vent area. Keep us updated.
     
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  5. 1cutechick

    1cutechick Out Of The Brooder

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    how do I give her the Tums if I need to? Crush it and see if she will eat it or is there some other trick? Thank you!
     
  6. 1cutechick

    1cutechick Out Of The Brooder

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    I had been offering oyster shell, but my husband stopped putting it out because the eggs were so hard they were difficult to crack. Should I offer it again? Thank you
     
  7. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    Offer it free choice. The harder the shell the easier it is for them to pass the egg. As for tums you can crush it and try to feed it with some bits of bread or put it in some water and tube it in.
    I've seen on a thread somewhere that one person would soak the break in milk and put the crushed tum/calcium pill on it and then feed it. Dry or wet will work.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    The Tums would just be in case of being egg bound when they need a quick dose of calcium. Layer feed has good calcium in it, and crushed oystershell or crumbled egg shells should be available in a separate container for free feeding. That way, they will know how much of it to eat. Some people mix it in their feed, and I wouldn't recommend that since they may get too much.
     
  9. 1cutechick

    1cutechick Out Of The Brooder

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    I took a pretty good look at her behind. I stuck my finger in a short way. It does not look swollen or matted. Didn't feel anything. She will not eat or drink, I couldn't get her to eat the ground up calcium or drink water. There is dried poo on the feathers below her vent but she is not plugged up. She will walk but is sluggish, her comb is dry and limp not as red as it used to be. She seems content sitting on the roost and the other hens sit next to her to keep her warm. When I set her down, she did have some watery "eggy" looking poo clear with whitish and yellowish. Any suggestions? Thank you.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Does the poo look like there is egg in it, or could it be yellow lose stool with white urates? The latter type poo could be from coccidiosis. Symptoms are lethargy, sitting or standing puffed up, extreme weakness, not eating, and diarrhea (sometimes with blood or pink fluid.) Treatment is Corid (amprollium,) a cattle medicine from the feed store, given in the water for 5-7 days. Dosage is 2 tsp of liquid Corid, or 1.5 tsp of powder Corid in 1 gallon of water, and mix fresh daily while treating all birds.
    If you think the poo could have egg material in it, then she could have had a broken egg inside. Chickens who lay cooked egg-looking material may be laying internally.
     

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