Sick Leghorn.. eggbound? Internal Layer? Update - Sad news


Veggie Chick
13 Years
Mar 22, 2010
Saratoga County, NY
My leghorns started laying eggs rather early (18-19 weeks) but have been laying for the past month or so. Nice large eggs, no weird shells. One of my girls didn't lay for a few days and now she's just standing around puffed up. I thought it was possibly a sour crop (it was rather enlarged but soft, like a gas bubble), so I massaged it and gave her a little olive oil. She was still eating quite well, although now she's just nibbling. She's drinking water normally. Gas bubble appears gone now. No bad breath (whatever that means for a chicken!!)

I then thought maybe cocci - so have been giving her corid the last few days. Her poop is greenish, no blood. She had a bout with a similar illness when she was much younger (green poop, puffed up, standing around) but even though she was better after corid, it may have just been a coincidence. I checked for mites, saw no evidence. No evidence of feather pecking, etc.

I do have Eprinex if needed although I don't SEE any worms. She does have a whitish goop (just a bit) coming from her vent, but doesn't look very 'egg-like'. Her abdomen does not appear swollen. Her vent is a bit pale, no prolapse. Yesterday I saw her just standing in the nest box. The other chickens appear fine - I've been keeping her separated while I am at work (just in case) and letting her roost with her broodermates at night. No eggs, obviously.

Comb is still red and flopped over her face. No scaly legs, no bumblefoot. She does walk really slowly, probably due to weakness. I've given her poly-vi-sol (no iron). I have not yet checked inside her vent, but there is no obvious signs of straining. No sneezing, eyes are clear.

Any thoughts? I thought she was getting better two days ago (was running around and eating as usual) but now it seems she has relapsed. Could this be an internal laying problem since there are no eggs and she started early?

I have on hand tylan injectable, eprinex, sulmet and tetracycline.
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Chicken is still hanging in there, no change. I put the eprinex on yesterday just in case it's worms. She did eat scrambled egg for me and will walk around and bawk when I startle her, but the rest of the time she just stands around. I still put her to roost with her friends and keep her in the hospital cage during the day.
Any thoughts? Is it time to cull? I've held off because she still has her tail up and is eating, drinking and trotting around with her fellow chickens, but her comb is looking more pale/blue/shriveled. She's been wormed and I keep giving her tush baths to clean up the green and white poop on her behind. She hasn't laid an egg since this started so I am thinking internal layer and not eggbound - I don't feel an egg in the vent and there's no redness or prolapse. Or should I try another round of corid or Sulmet? I've also tried poly-vi-sol (no iron),yogurt, scrambled eggs, etc. All of which she ate, no problem. She does not appear to have a sour crop from what I can tell. I used Epirinex topical so that should have taken care of mites or worms, yes?
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I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but I am a newbie when it comes to chicken's, illnesses, anyways. I have a hen that I'm worried about egg problems too, and still awaiting an answer. I would say that as long as she is still eating and acting happy and normal, I would let her be. I'm guessing that if her comb is getting paler, she may be getting sicker, but if she is not suffering, and not spreading anything to the rest of the flock, I see no need to cull her. Good luck, hopefully you get some answers soon!
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I don't have any answers for you
but thought the information on common poultry diseases in the link below might help you figure out what is happening. There are charts at the bottom of the article that list symptoms and related diseases. Good luck to you. I hope you get some answers soon!
sounds like an infection in her digestive tract, I'd try baytril 22.7's pill form, kinda a pain to give. If she's not laying it could be because of illness, not always because of internal laying. Sounds like you are doing the right thing but isolating her during the day. Its a tough call, but if shes eating I wouldn't cull her yet, its amazing what they can pull through.
Just to update. Sick leghorn looked worse for a while, but last week her comb went red and floppy again and I have 8 eggs from 8 hens. So either someone laid two, or she's back in business!

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