UPDATE Broody? Sick? I'm worried about my hen...here's a poo pic:

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Astrid, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Astrid

    Astrid Songster

    Dec 30, 2007
    HI there,
    I've been posting on the behavior forum, but tonight I decided to ask you folks:

    9 month old Buff Orpington hen, listless and sitting in a nesting box for two days, but thinking back, she's been a bit "solitary" for a week or so. Until today she ate, pooed and acted fine.

    Today I picked her up and thought she's a bit thin. Feathers fluffed out, not grouchy, but just kind of blah. Eyes are bright, comb, etc. nice bright red. I scrambled and egg and she ate most of it, but I think she's drinking an awful lot. Her feathers under her beak, down her front a bit are wet, from the dribbling water, I"m assuming. Every time I take her out of the nesting box she heads to the waterer. I've seen her poo several times today and all have been very watery. Earlier in the day they were water with bright green chunks, and tonight I just went to check on her and she did this poo: (see below)

    At first I was thinking she's broody (new to chickens; so I'm clueless about these things) but now i"m worried that she's sick, and I may have to separate her from the other three girls.

    Please take a look and tell me what you think--- and give me some advice!


    Last edited: Jan 19, 2008
  2. johnnyjack

    johnnyjack Songster

    Oct 21, 2007
    that cant be good i hope someone can help ya i have no clue.but i would keep that scratch feed away from the poo they dont need to eat any of that stuff if shes sick or not.jmho... good luck with her..
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    So is she broody? If so, weight loss is normal along with frantic eating and drinking when the chance is given. However, that poo doesn't look like broody poo. (The thick smell terrible, golf ball sized piles they leave when they go out for the day). Is she leaving any big stinky broody poos too, and that was like the last bit that splorted out from the end? Green is often a sign she is not eating. Is she eating enough you think? More feed just for her maybe and see if it improves. No impacted crop? No worms? Not really sure here.
  4. Astrid

    Astrid Songster

    Dec 30, 2007
    I've only had chickens for a few months, so I don't really recognize broodiness, but I was thinking it's what's happening until I started seeing those poos.

    I don't think she's eating enough, but she did eat about 2/3 of a scrambled egg this afternoon. Can I get some vitamins at a feed store? Does she need to be seen by a vet? How the heck to I even find a chicken vet?

    The poo doesn't stink, but it's just really abnormal-looking to me.

    Do you think she needs to be isolated?
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    If she puffs up when you come near as if she is telling you to go away, that is a good sign she is broody. I would personally just get her off the nest if she doesn't have any fertile eggs to hatch, and encourage her to eat and drink more often. Breaking her broodyness might be the best thing for her health. Some first time broodies don't quite know they have to eat so this poo might be the result of a week of not eating. How are the other birds? Are they normal? Poos and else wise? You could ask a vet to do a fecal float test to see if there are worms in the flock, but as for individual bird vet's, those will be hard hard hard to find. All I'd do is watch her condition and make her eat again to see if she improves.

    Oh, as for vitamins, the feed store should have some made for birds. Some people also recommend pyvisol(sp) and avia charge, although I've never used them.
  6. BlueMoon

    BlueMoon Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    Scenic Verbank, NY
    Look up some of the posts on egg binding - is this a possible reason for her? One of my hens had problems for about two weeks - puffed up, standing with tail dropped, eating if I brought the food right to her.
    Good luck to the both of you
  7. thechickenfarmer

    thechickenfarmer Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Hi Astrid,
    How is Minnie this morning? You can buy a vitamin at Blue Seal called "Poultry Nutri-drench" I use Avia charge, (from McMurry) I find my chickens will tolerate it where they didn't care for the other.

    To answer your vet question.....My chicken vet is in Roxbury which is a lot closer to me than you however. I would call the vet that you use for your dogs and get a recommendation. Even if you don't end up taking Minnie it's good to know who's in your area. If you go to a vet that doesn't know poultry you're wasting your time and money in my opinion.

    Does Minnie only get out of the nesting box when you take her out?
  8. Astrid

    Astrid Songster

    Dec 30, 2007
    Hi everyone,
    Here's this morning's update, following the poo-laced drama that unfolded last night at 11 pm!

    Well, this morning Minnie was walking around the floor of the coop when I went in, and when I let everyone out, she was #3 (out of four) out the door. She spent the morning acting very normal-- walking around and scratching up the dirt. I went out with a pan of oatmeal with yogurt mixed in and she went to town, slurping it up with the rest of them, so her appetite is good. I looked up "eggbound" as some have suggested but she doesn't have any odd postures or gait.

    On the whole, MUCH improved over yesterday. I haven't seen her poo yet, so can't compare that. One thing though....her comb is a bit pale, in comparison to my other Buff's comb. Is it just because she'd been off her feed? Does she need vitamins? Is this an indication of something else wrong?

    The rest of the flock continues to be completely normal in every way.

    Does this still sound like she's eggbound?
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    When a bird seems not to be eating much one is tempted to give anything and lots of "treats" (something is better than nothing principle) ...however, a bird has such a high metabolism and their health is really depndent on what they eat in a 24 hour period . I would suggest that in the morning you cook up those oats in water (I just pop mine in the microwave a couple minutes >cook in water) and add just enough to their layer feed tho make it clump together... I have noticed that after the evening fast the birds tend to eat the feed most easily in the a.m. when they get up... take a second feeder in the afternoon and add some scrambled egg ontop of what was not eaten in the morning with a dollop of yogurt on it. From the poo pics it seems as though she may have a bit of dysbacteriosis (a "light" form of enteritis)... I think you are on the right track to add the nutritional/vitamin supplement.
    Here is my (extensive) info on poos and below that I have selected one excerpt discussing enteritis and dysbacteriosis:
    (the above link is to an extensive thread of collected articles to help you identify signs of illness in poos)
    Ph.D., D.P.M.P., M.R.C.V.S.
    ....is characterised by diarrhoea with the production of abnormally wet droppings.
    The faeces usually have a larger volume, are pale or viscous with an excess of fluid around them. The use of litter boxes (described elsewhere) can be helpful
    in recognising the early stages of the condition. At the onset of enteritis there is normally an increase in water intake but sometimes there may actually be a reduction in water consumption. Sometimes birds are huddled with ruffled feathers but this is not a consistent feature. Often selective feeding is reported where birds ‘flick’ feed or whole grains out of the pans onto the litter......
    The end result is a reduction in growth and an adverse effect on feed conversion. There are often secondary effects such as an increase in leg problems due to osteomyelitis.

    Post mortem features
    .... The signs described above are similar for quite a broad range of pathological lesions. The most severe lesions are seen in necrotic enteritis, but these occur less frequently now, as most cases of enteritis occur without mortality.
    Where death occurs, the birds are usually in good condition with food in the crop and gizzard indicating that death has been sudden. There is often a
    greenish tinge on the abdomen and the intestinal tract is swollen and flaccid, with a thin wall. There are usually focal areas of ulceration or larger patches of necrosis, which ultimately coalesce resulting in sloughing of the intestinal lining.It is much more common to investigate cases of wet litter or enteritis where
    no mortality has occurred. .....
    .......Where the enteritis is mild the wall of the intestine maybe thinned, ballooned or slightly inflamed. The gut contents may be full of bubbles, watery or contain viscous orange-coloured mucus. Occasionally the contents appear yoghurt-like and the presence of whole grains of wheat is indicative that digestion is not occurring properly. This condition is often referred to as dysbacteriosis.
    In many cases, there is no enteritis and the intestine contains an abnormal amount of fluid, which is clear and like water. The caecae may be dilated.
    It is important to distinguish this condition from malabsorption syndrome which can produce similar clinical signs, in particular selective feeding behaviour. Also the possibility of coccidiosis either at a clinical or sub-clinical level must be considered.

    Prevention and Treatment
    Various strategies have been employed within one integration with varying degrees of success. These regimes have to be changed regularly because, not
    surprisingly, the antibiotics become less effective over time......"
    (refer to link for details of treatments and slide presentation)
  10. Astrid

    Astrid Songster

    Dec 30, 2007
    Thanks so much for the info!
    She's up and eating and scratching around outside, but her feathers are puffed out a bit and her comb is pale. The comb color is what's worrying me now. Is it a reaction to her illness?

    Thanks so much for any info!

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