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Sick Lethargic Rhode Island Red hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Samcrac, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. Samcrac

    Samcrac New Egg

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    Jun 3, 2017
    Hello,

    I have a 2.5 year old Rhode Island Red hen (she is one of 2 RIR in a flock of 5). My chickens free range all day and I noticed her away from the flock, crouched like she was trying to poop with white crusty poo all over her rear (sorry for the lack of technical terms). I watched her for about 30 minutes expecting her to finish her business and walk around but she did not, so I gave her a warm bath which she was 100% compliant (not usual for my chickens). I cleaned her rear, and felt inside her vent for a stuck egg, or any sort of blockage from constipation and felt neither. Also gave an olive oil/water enema. Her rear around her vent does look slightly swollen, not overly. The feathers around the vent are really sickly looking. After giving her an hour or so soak in epsom salt last night I dried her off and put her to sleep in the coop. This morning when I went to let the hens out, she was laying in the coop, breathing heavier than usual (the other 4 hens are acting normal). I pulled her out, gave her another warm hour long soak and she slept most of the time. I've been giving her pediolite and molasses via a pippette and she really is hardly eating anything, a little bit of dried mealworms here and there but thats about it. She pooped complete water one time today and that is it. I am continually giving her fluids about every hour. She has laid in the same spot today on a towel in my house today and I get her up to try and eat a little food, she stands for about 2 minutes, tries to eat, and then lays back down and goes right back to sleep. She does have a droopy comb (it is still red but has a little purpleish blue around the edges). I hope I've been as descriptive as I can. I really pray this is something treatable; my chickens are my pets, and this hen has been though a lot (survived a neighbors dog attack that gave her a 2 inch tear in her back and killed another hen). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Sorry about your hen. Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint what exactly might be wrong. Since she was straining earlier, I wonder if she might have a blockage in gastrointestinal tract, possibly in her gizzard. Is her crop on the upper right chest empty, or does it have some food or water in it? I would continue giving electrolytes, get some poultry vitamins with electrolytes for the water. Has she laid eggs recently? Can you feel her breastbone for any weight loss or and swelling of her lower belly? Offer some chopped egg and try adding water to her usual chicken feed to make a mush.
     
  3. Samcrac

    Samcrac New Egg

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    Jun 3, 2017
    Thanks for the input. She is eating very very little. Her crop feels empty and soft. I am assuming I caught the issue likely a day or 2 after it started since she has been hiding and only coming out during night time. Now that I think of it, I haven't seen an egg from her in several days. I just gave her as much of a boiled egg yolk as she would eat (maybe about a teaspoon) and some more pediolite.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I had a hen about 2 years ago suddenly become ill, wouldn't eat or drink, and just layed on the ground looking weak. I brought her inside for 3 days, thinking she would die soon. She never would est or drink, but she finally stood. I took her back out to the coop with her friends, and she started eating again. She slowly recovered from whatever was wrong, and is thriving at 6 1/2 years old, although never laid eggs again. Many hens over 2 can suffer from various reproductive disorders, cancer, and other problems. Sometimes we never know what was wrong until they die, and a necropsy is performed. I hope your girl gets better.
     
  5. Samcrac

    Samcrac New Egg

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    Jun 3, 2017
    Thank you so much for the kind words and help eggs! We thought this chicken was on its way out twice before this. This does seem a bit more serious so we are keeping a close eye. Thanks again.
     

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