SLW hen looking poorly - no other symptoms

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kwgrid, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. kwgrid

    kwgrid Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    Central Mississippi
    "Fat Mama" is 9 months old and was formerly the biggest and the dominant hen in a small flock of 4 hens and one rooster....all but one hen are SLW's (Silver-Laced Wyandottes) and all are the same age give or take a week. All are kept in a nice pen area with a narrow "run" that comes off the coop and leads to the larger pen area. The whole pen area is enclosed with chicken wire including the top, except for the "run" which has a solid covering. The "run" is where their outside roost is. They are occasionally let out into a large backyard and are watched over the whole time until they go back into the pen at dusk.

    About 10 days ago I noticed that Fat Mama was looking a little squirrely (for lack of a better term) around her neck area. Her white neck feathers were yellowish as if stained and her neck looked kinda scrawny and long. I couldn't tell whether it was due to loss of feathers or if it was possibly due to the rooster's rough way of pinning them to the ground for mating. She seems to eat and drink with no problem but lately appears to be losing weight. In the last week I've noticed that she stays in the coop a lot and if/when she does come out, two of the other hens give her a hard time (one is a red Star, the other one an SLW). The red Star hen really goes after her and I saw her go for her neck so I'm thinking maybe that's how her neck came to look like it does. Those two hens chase her around the pen so she flies up onto an outside roost to get away from them. The last two times I let them all out into the yard, she started out staying with the rest of the little flock. Then the red hen would give her a tough time so she would come and stay close to me (I was picking up pecans while they had their outing). That was kinda odd. She hadn't done that before. They all usually go their own way when "free". [​IMG] (SLW's seem not to mind people they know but they don't like to be touched or handled at all...look but don't touch. ha)

    Two days ago I decided to isolate Fat Mama in the coop. I supply food and water and keep the hatch shut except for the mornings which is when the other hens tend to go in there and lay. She doesn't try to come out when the hatch is open and seems content to stay in there. The other hens don't seem to bother her at that time of day when they go in to lay but if I open the hatch in the afternoon, the red hen will go in there and attack her...followed by the other hen that bothers her and then the rooster, who I suspect is just trying to referee. I've seen him do that before. [​IMG] (He's a good rooster except for not having enough hens to mount. The four hens he has are pretty fed up with him and tend to stay out of his reach sometimes by going under the coop where there's no room for him to do his thing. LOL ) But I digress.

    What I've done beyond that: I am a big believer in homeopathy so I started out by putting a dose of Silica in her water yesterday morning. It helps with jumpstarting the immune system and encourages absorption and/or expelling of foreign matter. She's still kickin' as of this morning. When I checked on her this morning, I noticed that somebody seems to have a case of diarrhea but I'm not sure if it's her because all of the hens go in the coop at least once during the day. On the outside chance it's Fat Mama, I put a dose of Arsenicum Album in her water this morning. Too soon to tell if either homeopathic has done anything.

    I can't afford to take her to a vet....nevermind the fact that I don't think there's a "chicken" vet in this whole area. If anyone has some insight as to what I should or should not do, please feel free to share your knowledge. BTW, none of the other chickens show any sign of problems. They're all fat and very sassy. [​IMG]

    I'm new to the chicken arena. Getting this little flock as two-day old chicks is my first venture into the poultry world. Oh, btw, the chicks had their shots for Mareks and something else that I can't remember the name. I hope I haven't rambled too much and confused the picture.
     
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    When was she last wormed? Worms and parasites can drag down a chicken pretty quickly. Check for lice and mites. By the time a chicken shows symptoms of somethings going wrong, it has been going on awhile. The others are picking on her because they know she is ill. You do not have to see worms in their poo for them to have worms. And if she is infested with worms a chemical wormer would be needed. Natural wormers are best for prevention, but not when they have a heavy load.
     
  3. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    Quote:Just what I was thinking, too.
     
  4. kwgrid

    kwgrid Out Of The Brooder

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    22
    May 17, 2009
    Central Mississippi
    Thanks folks.

    Sorry so long replying. I've been "off the grid" for a few days due to a nasty "bug" on my pc. It was a bad one. No clue how I caught it. Anyway, it required a serious "redo". I'm back up but with all of my stuff gone. All of it....pictures, email messages (I used Outlook and downloaded my webmail) including all my addresses, all programs including my Solitaire game. sigh......

    Anyway, to bring you up to date: I isolated Fat Mama and gave her some homeopathic remedies. One was for diarrhea, one was to jumpstart her immune system, and one was a microbicide. She looks much, much better. If she takes a turn, I'll get some wormer for sure. For now I want to see if the remedies do the job.

    Thanks again.
     

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