Underweight 6 year old Buff Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by firerunner, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. firerunner

    firerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lucy one of our hens, is severely underweight. I feed her extra morning and night and I get her up to about 4 pounds, soon as I stop the additional food. She drops down to 2 pounds.

    So off to the vet we went and He came back with some numbers (he is waiting for a specialist to contact him) but one alarming thing was her protein levels are very low (2.1)

    Does anyone know anything about this?

    She no longer lays, she will be 7 in jan, and her two sisters are HUGE and their rooster (all the same age) are well and healthy. Everyone else in the flock looks good.

    Lucy has been residing inside with us since we noticed her weight loss, she thinks she is a queen now LOL.


    Any ideas?
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  2. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What do you feed them?Is she getting bullied away from the feed?What does her poop look like?Can you ask your vet if he can do a fecal flotation or Smear?
     
  3. firerunner

    firerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He already did the fecal on her and it is normal. We also did fecal on Nugget, the Rooster, since he was at the vets with her, to get a beak trim and spurs trimmed and his also came back normal. Poop is normal -- she is in the house in the florida room so I see her poop every single time and its normal.

    The flock --I feed grits and oyster shells , an omega 3 layer pellet, meal worms, scratch grains, sheesh these guys are spoiled, they get fresh made oatmeal and berries and kale and lettuce and broccolie and corn and right now fresh pumpkin. every single day they get something different.

    We really are at a loss on what is wrong with her and other then her protein - all her other blood work/fecal was normal. He said protein should be over 5.

    I think I will add some sardines to their diet maybe. I dunno everyone tells me she is old, thats why she is sick, but sheesh she is so sweet follows me around outside in the yard, in the house I will go sit with her and she hops into my lap. Very sweet bird but I wish we knew what was wrong with her.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

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    Hi @firerunner
    I'm sorry to hear your Lucy is not doing well:hugs I have a Buff Orpington named Lucy too:)
    Can you clarify what you mean when you feed her extra in the morning and at night - does she have access to feed free choice during waking hours or do you only feed a couple of times a day?

    You give your flock some nice goodies for sure, these are things my girls love too. Since your Lucy is having a problem with her protein levels you may need to eliminate or drastically cut back on some of the goodies you give her. Anything given in addition to normal feed dilutes the protein and nutritional content of the feed. Look at your layer feed to see what % of protein it contains. You may want to offer her chick starter or a flock raiser type feed (18-20% protein). Aim for goodies to be no more than 5-10% of her daily intake. Hopefully by tweaking her diet, you can get her weight back up and keep it there.

    Sometimes as hens get older they are not able to absorb the nutrients they need, so consider adding some poultry vitamins to her water a couple of days a well.

    Please keep us posted.
     
  5. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 True BYC Addict

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    I will voucher for what Wyorp Rock just said about "drastically cut back on some of the goodies". Followed his advice -
    I have 4 BOs that were under 2 - 3.5# at 21wks, I stopped all kitchen scraps & treats. They get their fermented Flock Raiser all day, at close up I sprinkle 1/8 cup of Scratch/BOSS for them to scratch at in their enclosure. In 6wk they put on at least a pound each & I'm hoping they'll soon be at least 5 - 6 pounds

    They're so fluffy we thought they were at least 5# until I picked them up. I now weigh them about every 2wks. Once a month they get some grass clippings when the lawn gets mowed, they don't free range so it was more like "guilt" treats.

    Thank you Wyorp Rock for enlightening me.
     
    Crooked Chicken and Wyorp Rock like this.
  6. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you post a picture of your hen?
     
  7. firerunner

    firerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Avian Specialist called me this evening and based on her numbers and that they felt a *lump* on her they believe she has cancer. We had some options such as surgery, meds etc but Lucy is 6 years old.

    We are going to spoil her and love her and when I think it is time we will euthanize her.
     
    Junochick likes this.
  8. firerunner

    firerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lucy in my Florida Room she thinks she is a Queen
     

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  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

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    Sorry to hear about your Lucy. In many older hens, egg yolk peritonitis, internal laying, and oviduct cancer can all be common. You sound like you have a food plan to keep her comfortable and spoil her until she starts to suffer. That is about all we can do. Sometimes, if we want to find out an accurate cause of death, we can get the state vet to perform a necropsy if the body is promptly refrigerated, then shipped or taken in to them. We can give you contact information if needed. Not everyone can do that to a pet, but it can be a learning experience. I hope you and Lucy have some good quality time together.
     
  10. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 True BYC Addict

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    :( Sorry to hear Lucy's prognosis but I'm sure she'll get spoiled & enjoy it all. Best wishes for the quality time you all have with her.
     

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