Tail down/moving slow. Ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MsChickenMomma, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello everyone!

    I have a hen that is 3 years and 5 months old (avatar photo). She has been living in my house for 3 years this month. She was in my house for serious rehab and imprinted on me, and never went back outside. Her name is Sunni.

    Sunni is very bonded with me. She follows me everywhere, she gets excited when I come home from work, she comes running when I call her name, you name it. But today she has been acting very different.

    I recently went from working first shift for the last year and a half (7a-4p), to working second shift (2p-10p). The change has been hard for Sunni. She's used to watching tv and stuff with me in the evenings, and I haven't always been there. I try to spoil her like crazy when I'm home, and I thought she was doing okay. But today is my day off. I left to go get her more feed, and ran a few other errands. She seemed okay when I left, but I came home and her tail was down and she wasn't at all excited to see me. She didn't even chatter like she normally does when I start talking to her. I took her out of her coop and she was moving very slow. Normally she is full of energy.

    I immediately ran a warm bath for her and checked inside of her vent for any sign of an egg, and she doesn't appear to be egg bound. There was an egg in her nest box, but I don't know if it was from yesterday or today. Either way, does that pretty much eliminate egg binding? She loved the bath, and the blow dryer, and she perked up a bit. Then she went right back to having her tail down and just stood in one place.

    I'm wondering if she either injured herself somehow (maybe her tail or a wing?) or if she is just feeling depressed about my being gone in the evenings. She is a very clumsy bird, which is why I wonder about injury. She was attacked by my moms dog a while after she was living in the house, and has been clumsy ever since. So I'm thinking maybe she tried to get up on her roost and fell off, injuring herself. Or I'm thinking she may just be upset by my change of schedule.

    If she doesn't improve by Monday morning, I am taking her to the vet nearby. I would rather pay to have her looked at and have it be nothing, than try to treat her myself and have it be serious.

    But either way, I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has any insight or suggestions on what to do for her? She is still interested in treats, and her comb and wattles are normal in color and size, and she still chatters to me a bit. The only thing that appears to be wrong is that she is moving slow and her tail is down quite low.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Nineplus5

    Nineplus5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Not a clue here. Still learning though:)

    Try to observe her until some stronger clues show. At this time, just make sure she is eating/drinking and pooping. See if you can get a sample of her poo before monday so you can have it for the vet.

    Hopefully she will be tail-up tomorrow or somebody who knows better will jump in here.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    No improvement this morning.... She won't come out of her coop. She is standing in one place with her tail down, and she is panting.
     
  4. Nineplus5

    Nineplus5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Did she poop during the night?

    Her crop is fine? Full at the end of the day and empty in the morn?

    Feel her lower belly. Does it feel normal? Tight? Loose?
     
  5. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    She pooped once during the night, and once this morning. Both were liquid. She pooped in the afternoon and it was large and soft, but not solid.

    Her abdomen is not hard or soft. Kind of in between. Pretty normal, I guess. She is feeling more perky now, but she is definitely not herself. Her tail is at least up right now.

    I just went and bought her some calcium tablets, and gave her 150-200mg of that, and she spent about 30 minutes in the bathtub this morning. She was squatting earlier and grunting, which makes me think she is just having a really hard time passing an egg. But I didn't feel one when I inserted a gloved finger this morning.

    If she doesn't improve by morning, I'll take her to the vet.

    Edit: I check her crop often, just to make sure she is healthy. It is full in the evenings, and empty in the morning. It was the same as usual today. I smelled inside of her beak and that is also normal. So that rules out sour crop or a crop impaction. Judging by the way she is acting, I am guessing she is either egg bound or she somehow injured herself. It's just so hard to know for sure what is wrong.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  6. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    I have a Cream Legbar hen who periodically shows symptoms such as your little Sunni is presenting. She goes quiet and hangs out off to the sidelines with her tail held low and flat instead of its usual proud flag position. In her short 18 months, she's done this four times now.

    Each time, it seems to be associated with laying eggs too close together instead of the usual 25 hour turnover. When I notice her moping with her tail down, which definitely signifies illness or pain, I start her on a ten day round of amoxicillin. When she shows signs of trying to lay an egg, I place a heating pad on low or medium heat under the nest material, and this relaxes her so she doesn't struggle trying to lay the egg.

    I have no idea what causes my hen's illnesses, and I don't have a clue why yours is sick. But there's no doubt whatsoever, these hens of ours are sick when they behave in this manner. Taking her to a vet is a good idea, but I strongly suggest you get her on an antibiotic asap. My hen responds immediate;y to the amoxicillin and is acting normally again within 24 hours.
     
  7. Nineplus5

    Nineplus5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Western Wa
    Tail up sounds better but still sluggish though?

    You have a good vet?
     

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