Trying to diagnose hen - acting off

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MarriedToTheFarm, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. MarriedToTheFarm

    MarriedToTheFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 27, 2009
    Oops just found this on the sticky so here it is that format:

    1) What type of bird , age and weight: Buff Chantecler, 8-9 months old, unknown weight.
    2) What is the behavior, exactly: sitting alone in outdoor pen, uninterested in normal activity, feathers slightly puffed.
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? First observed this AM around 8.
    4) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma: No.
    5) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation: No unusual occurrences that I'm aware of.
    6) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all: Nothing so far today that I have seen.
    7) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc: Normal, although some is stuck to her feathers a few inches below the vent.
    8) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? I have her in a box in the house with a towel, warm water, and some apple.
    9 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? At this point I don't think I would seek vet care, perhaps if she becomes more depressed.
    10) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    11) Describe the housing/bedding in use: the flock is currently in their eggmobile with a dog pen for an outdoor run. The front of the coop is open so we have been turning it based on the winds. It is bedding with straw. The flock has been doing well, no signs of frostbite, all active and alert.

    My original post is below...

    I've been reading over several threads about eggbound hens but I'm still not sure that's what I'm dealing with. Here's the story:

    Coop/flock: About a dozen hens (Barred Hollands, Buff Chanteclers, Buckeyes) with 2 roosters (Buckeye, Buff Chantecler) in their eggmobile with a dog run attached for outdoor space. The coop is open on the front so we've been turning it to play the wind until we can get them in the barn for the rest of winter. Temps have been in the single digits for the last few days.

    Yesterday: All was well, all the birds were active and enjoyed their kitchen scraps. We've been getting 3 eggs most days, I think we got 2 yesterday. The medium brown color indicates that the Buckeyes are the only ones laying although I never catch them in the nest boxes. The Buffs haven't laid for 3-4 weeks now.

    Today: Several of the chickens were milling around the pen today. I tossed in their flake of hay and they all flocked to it except one BC hen. She just sat on the ground outside, puffed up a bit and uninterested in the hay. We went to church and when we came home she was sitting in the outdoor pen by herself. She had moved closer to the coop but was still puffed up. When I went to get her she did try to run away but not wholeheartedly.

    I brought her in the house and have her in a box with a towel, water, and some bits of apple. She hasn't been interested in them but I think she's nervous. I cannot feel anything had in her abdomen externally but when I felt inside I feel something hard that could be the end of an egg. It is covered in tissue so I can't maneuver it at all. I don't understand their anatomy well enough to know if it is normal to feel the tissue around the egg, perhaps is it still in another section of her abdomen and hasn't passed far enough yet to feel it outright? Or maybe it isn't an egg at all? I examined her underside: she does have some fecal matter stuck in the feathers below her vent but not affecting the vent itself. She has some redness on the skin on her chest, maybe from laying on the cold ground. Otherwise she is quiet but alert and responsive when handled.

    Am I jumping the gun by bringing her in? Should I bathe her and treat her as an eggbound hen? Am I missing something? I wanted to take care of this early on but maybe I am overreacting?

    Thanks in advance for your time, I hope I'm not being a bother!

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  2. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    She could be eggbound. What I always did was to put them in the bathroom and run the shower on hot. (have her in a crate sitting on the toilet seat or higher if possible) The steam in the room should relax her enough that if it is an egg she will lay it. HTH Terri O
  3. MarriedToTheFarm

    MarriedToTheFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 27, 2009
    Thanks for the advice. I ended up doing the warm water bath and lubricating the vent a bit with some vaseline. She ate and was acting fine after that for awhile, then she went back to being kind of hunched up. I set her up in the dog crate in the house for today with a cardboard box. She's resting in the box for the night so I guess we'll just wait and see. I'm sure I feel an egg in there but don't know if that's the problem since it is clearly still on the other side of some soft tissue in there.

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