sickly hen, time to cull?


In the Brooder
9 Years
May 18, 2010
I posted a while back about a black australorp hen of mine that has been sickly for months now. She had swollen bumps on the tops of her feet so people suggested I treat for scaly leg mites. I used the vaseline treatment and her legs look much better now, although the scales still aren't as tight as my other hens. After molt her feathers grew in sort of curly, they don't lay down smooth like my other hens, she has a ruffled unkempt look. She's more active now and her comb color has improved, but she still spends a lot of time standing with her eyes half closed or sleeping. She's underweight, not laying as far as I know, and picked on by the others. I wonder if it's some metabolic problem. She has an odd high pitched little voice, more like an adolescent chick than an adult hen. Any thoughts?
i did have a hen that looked like it was ran over for 2 years straight with no eggs... I just let it be. Then one day i was wondering who the new chicken was I had and realized it was that same old bird. Sometimes they can have a 2 year molt from my experience. As long as it is still doing chicken things i would say let it live... it is just sits a lot that means it has given up. That one would just stand in place for months. but it was standing and eating. IT can be other issues too. these are just my few thoughts.
She's still hanging in there and looking a bit better, better color and a bit more energy. I've been trying to make sure she gets enough to eat. Part of the trouble may be low status in the pecking order and the more dominant hens bugging her and not letting her eat. She's still pretty thin and ragged, but we'll see how she does. I guess someone's got to be low chicken in the pecking order.
I remember looking at the pictures, and.... have you searched and looked up here on BYC for "Gout"?

You can also search the internet for "Gout in Chickens", or "Diseases of the legs in poultry", etc. there is quite a bit of info out there and here, on the internet, look for "college" (education) pages for most detailed info..

Good luck.
Her feet aren't cracked or lumpy anymore, but they still seem a bit odd. Large. So maybe there have been some permanent arthritic type changes. She did suddenly start acting ill right about the age when she should have been at peak lay. I've heard the theory that it could be too little calcium, but she seems uninterested in oystershell or eggshell and the layer feed has calcium. Maybe too much calcium according to the gout theory. Who knows?

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