Undigested material in feces; lethargic; unbalanced

mf2021

Hatching
Jan 12, 2021
4
0
7
Hi there, our hen Tawny started exhibiting symptoms last evening of lethargy, off balance (putting wings out to stay on roost), walking funny. She was in a nest box this morning lethargic. I started treating for egg binding (Epsom salt bath, crushed calcium on yogurt, oil on vent), but she’s just finally had a fecal movement and it was full of undigested straw. She’s eating and drinking fine but not standing at all. She’ll take some steps if you pick her up but rests back down often. Her crop was empty this morning, and no respiratory issues. No bumblefoot or scaly mites. Full access always to grit, oyster/egg shell. Any ideas what this could be or how we could treat her? She’s in a dark quiet place in my office right now. Thanks for your time.
 

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Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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How old is Tawny? Was she vaccinated for Mareks disease? What do you feed your chickens, and do they have poultry granite grit to help their gizzards to digest their food, grasses, and bugs? Pictures of her are welcome.
 

mf2021

Hatching
Jan 12, 2021
4
0
7
How old is Tawny? Was she vaccinated for Mareks disease? What do you feed your chickens, and do they have poultry granite grit to help their gizzards to digest their food, grasses, and bugs? Pictures of her are welcome.
She is 1.5 years old, not vaccinated for Marek’s. She is fed a “regular” layer ration feed from our local farm store. Always has access to grit, oyster/eggshell, put out on our grassy/wooded run daily. She typically lays every other day, sometimes every day. She is an easter egger. Added a photo of her “normally”, and then one in her current cage rest state (that’s just yogurt on her face, the white stuff). She’s drinking (I put electrolytes in the water) and eating (gave grit & calcium supplements) but still very lethargic and doesn’t stand unless forced to.
 

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Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
63,238
56,743
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southern Ohio
Have you added any new chickens to your flock recently? Is she starting to molt or lose feathers? I would encourage her to drink often, and offer some wet feed and a little cooked egg occasionally. To check for egg binding you can insert a clean finger into her vent 1-2 inches to feel for an egg or other obstruction. If it is hot, she could be suffering heat exhaustion. I place wide flat pans of cool shaded water for my chickens to stand in to cool off in hot weather. If she is molting, that can make some a bit weak and aloof, and they will stop laying. How does she act with the other chickens? Hopefully, it is nothing serious.
 

mf2021

Hatching
Jan 12, 2021
4
0
7
Have you added any new chickens to your flock recently? Is she starting to molt or lose feathers? I would encourage her to drink often, and offer some wet feed and a little cooked egg occasionally. To check for egg binding you can insert a clean finger into her vent 1-2 inches to feel for an egg or other obstruction. If it is hot, she could be suffering heat exhaustion. I place wide flat pans of cool shaded water for my chickens to stand in to cool off in hot weather. If she is molting, that can make some a bit weak and aloof, and they will stop laying. How does she act with the other chickens? Hopefully, it is nothing serious.
We added some more hens from our breeder about a month ago - but she is the same one we’ve gotten all of our birds from the last year or so. I know that doesn’t mean she couldn’t have gotten anything, but I don’t know what it could be, and no others in the flock have symptoms.
I read that if it’s egg binding, she shouldn’t be able to poo since the digestive tract seals off when there’s an egg in the oviduct. I can’t feel an egg, either. Since she just had a big poo, I don’t think she’s blocked. It’s quite cool here, 15C and rainy, so not heat exhaustion. Don’t think it’s moulting either, no feathers lost lately…seems to be a balance/leg issue out of the blue starting last night. I appreciate all of the brainstorming in case I’ve missed something though 🙏🏼 I’ve isolated her from the others but this morning she was isolating herself in a nest box not moving.
 

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