Trying to decide if my lethargic hen needs to be culled :(

melissamc

Chirping
Apr 29, 2018
34
40
66
Kentucky
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Of course this post involves my favorite hen... Her name is "Big Mama" and she is an Isa Brown. She's 2.5 years old. She's always been right next to my side when I'm outside, and up until recently has always been on the top rung of the roost. She has occasionally acted ill for no apparent reason (fluffed up, barely eating, etc), but rallied every time. She most recently started acting ill about three weeks ago, and no matter what I do she isn't getting better. Due to the vet being out for surgery, I wasn't able to get her in until this past Thursday. By that point, she was standing in one place all the time with her feathers puffed up, not eating, barely drinking, getting thinner, general lethargy). A few days before the vet visit she had bright green poop under her spot on the roost which freaked me out. I read in other posts here that it was a sign of only bile being in her system, so I fed her with a syringe several times throughout the day and gave her some dried meal worms which she actually ate on her own, and that went away. On Thursday, the vet did a tube feeding of about 40 mL which did not perk her up--in fact, she seemed as though the weight of the crop was making her face plant towards the ground. The vet didn't locate any egg binding or obvious reproductive issues (I don't think she's been laying for several months). She prescribed SMZ TMP 1ml twice a day (antibiotic) and metacam .15 ml once a day for any pain she might be in. I put her back in the coop Thursday, but brought her into the house Friday morning when I noticed her standing under the ramp to the coop with her eyes closed. She slept in the house last night because it was going down to freezing last night and I wasn't sure how she would fare in the coop because she had been trying to sleep on the floor in the corner. On Thursday she ate a container of 100 live meal worms and finished them off pretty quickly, but other than that she will not eat on her own. I tube fed her yesterday and today (about 50 ml each time), and she fights me when I do this. Today she drank a couple sips of water, but only when I held the water up to her face. The picture was taken just a little while ago. This is how she's been most of the day. I toook her outside when I went to check eggs, and when I sat her on the ground, she stood for a minute and slowly sank to the ground and laid there so I brought her back in. Is she too far gone at this point? I don't want her to suffer, but she is my pet so I don't want to lose her if I can save her either. Please advise.
 

RainbowHen

Make eggs, not war
Premium Feather Member
Jul 10, 2020
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Have you checked for mites? Unfortunately with high production breeds they are prone to reproductive ailments, many of which are completely internal and cannot be seen.
 

melissamc

Chirping
Apr 29, 2018
34
40
66
Kentucky
I am so sorry that your hen isn't feeling well. Have you tried vitamins and electrolytes? Might give her a little boost. @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock @azygous
Yes, I put some Poultry Drench in the syringe and she drank that yesterday. Today I added Rooster Booster Poultry Cell in the syringe with the food that I gave her. And for the tube feeding I am using Kaytee Exact hand feeding formula High Fat since she is so thin.
 

melissamc

Chirping
Apr 29, 2018
34
40
66
Kentucky
Have you checked for mites? Unfortunately with high production breeds they are prone to reproductive ailments, many of which are completely internal and cannot be seen.
I looked at several hens including Big Mama and couldn't see any evidence of mites. I looked in the coop and also didn't see any evidence (like blood). Just to be safe I dusted the coop and nesting boxes with DE though.

And yes, her being a production breed is what worries me most. I know their life spans aren't generally that long and so I wasn't sure if this is just how they go out :( I had read some posts that said they could live 7-8 years if treated well, but I'm having my doubts
 
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RainbowHen

Make eggs, not war
Premium Feather Member
Jul 10, 2020
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My Coop
I looked at several hens including Big Mama and couldn't see any evidence of mites. I looked in the coop and also didn't see any evidence (like blood). Just to be safe I dusted the coop and nesting boxes with DE though.
There are some very mixed opinions of DE but in my experience it caused resperatory issues and was ineffective at best for treating mites. Check the birds at night. Check under the bedding and in nook's and crannies. Certain species of mites only come out at night to feed. Not saying this is her issue at all but it is something to consider.
 

melissamc

Chirping
Apr 29, 2018
34
40
66
Kentucky
There are some very mixed opinions of DE but in my experience it caused resperatory issues and was ineffective at best for treating mites. Check the birds at night. Check under the bedding and in nook's and crannies. Certain species of mites only come out at night to feed. Not saying this is her issue at all but it is something to consider.
Thanks--will do!
 

melissamc

Chirping
Apr 29, 2018
34
40
66
Kentucky
NEW SYMPTOM

Her poops have gotten increasingly watery today, and just now it looked like there was a bit of blood-tinged muscous in it. This symptom is brand new. Could it be from the meds or is it something else? As a precaution when she began getting sick this last time, I treated the whole flock with Corid for 5 days in their water even though I had seen no bloody stools and she was the only one acting off. That was about 2 weeks ago.

I'm feeling more and more like I'm going to have to put her down :'(

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RainbowHen

Make eggs, not war
Premium Feather Member
Jul 10, 2020
1,309
2,409
256
Wisconsin
My Coop
NEW SYMPTOM

Her poops have gotten increasingly watery today, and just now it looked like there was a bit of blood-tinged muscous in it. This symptom is brand new. Could it be from the meds or is it something else? As a precaution when she began getting sick this last time, I treated the whole flock with Corid for 5 days in their water even though I had seen no bloody stools and she was the only one acting off.

I'm feeling more and more like I'm going to have to put her down :'(

View attachment 2376840
Have you tried treating her with amprolium (Corid)? Was her feces tested for coccidia? If not, I would. Hopefully she's not too far gone. If you treat her with Corid do not give her any vitamins. It is a thiamine blocker to starve the coccidia.
 

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