Updated 1-15-11 Very sick hen; not egg bound; diarrhea, droopy, standing upright

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pigcoon, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. pigcoon

    pigcoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've poked around quite a bit on this site. I've looked up chicken diseases.

    She is droopy, tail down, wings extended for balance. One foot seems less adept than the other. No problems on her feet or her comb. Her color is good.

    I've soaked her in warm water a couple of times. I've donned a glove and checked and do not feel any eggs hard or soft.

    She is a 2 1/2 year old Golden Comet in a flock of 5 hens. She has had diarrhea on and off since June. The whole flock basically stopped laying around July, slowly decreasing from 5 to 4, to 3 to 2. She was the last one laying, and now that she is sick we are getting none.

    The whole flock layed very well from 8 months to 2 years of age.

    We brought her inside yesterday to a cage with water and food and greens.

    This morning she was a little more alert. She has eaten some dark green lettuce, and some cooked oatmeal today. She only takes water when it's introduced to her by hand.

    The vet ran a stool sample and it was negative.

    I can see that there are many different diseases that describe a droopy hen and diarrhea so I'm not terribly hopeful here. It seems weird that the whole flock stopped laying. They're not molting. Plus, this has been since July.

    ANY ideas at all???
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Have you checked for lice and mites? What are you feeding them?
     
  3. Tracy the chick

    Tracy the chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could she of eaten some moldy food or drinking out a dirty puddle? Mine were drinking out a puddle once and i didnt relise at the time that it could make them poorly....
     
  4. Beth G.

    Beth G. Gaetano Family Farm

    I'm not an expert on food at all but, I was reading an interesting article from the Chicken Doctor about the way grain is processed now and the grain co supplementing with different grains instead of corn, messing with the crude fiber and protein etc.... He said alot of ppl have had a huge drop off in egg production.

    Now aside from that, your hen does sound like she has an issue aside from the food. I would ask if you have ever seen a meaty type of object in the roost area, laying nests, or outside? Golden Comets are great layers and I like them but, afte many years of bad luck with them become egg bound, I noticed they would pass oviaries more than other breeds. Hens have two oviaries and one usually goes dormant (sp) and the other produces. Sometimes the oviaries become detached and the hen will pass them cause a total drop off in egg production and sickly looking hen. I'm not saying this is definitely the answer but, just and FYI to see if you have seen a weird type of meaty looking dropping in the housing etc... It could be that, that she is dealing with and I've seen some take up to 3 months to bounce back, other die from it, and others that live never lay again [​IMG]

    Best wishes [​IMG]
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  5. pigcoon

    pigcoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the responses!

    CMV no lice or mites on any of them. No moldy food or dirty puddles.

    I've never seen a meaty type object anywhere in their pen.

    They eat a standard layer pellet with oyster shell. Daily they also get some greens and/or some black oil sunflower seeds. These things were going on long before they stopped laying.

    My primary concern at this point is the hen that I've brought in. She is eating some, but has a very awkward stance, almost like a penguin. She won't roost. Her tail is straight down. Her wings are hanging on the side kind of like a cormorant. Just now she was moaning for quite a while. She stopped to eat some brown rice.
     
  6. pigcoon

    pigcoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh Beth I did switch up the food for a while when the laying first dropped off. Tried a very different brand that a fellow chicken lover recommended because it boosted her flock's production. No response.
     
  7. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Did the vet check to see if there is fluid in her abdomen? She could be laying internally, which is different than being eggbound. Although I'm guessing the vet would know to check for that.

    Could the water they get in the coop be contaminated in some way?

    Such a puzzle. Strange that they would all stop laying so early. I have a 2.5-year-old Buff Orpington who still lays 3 or 4 times a week.
     
  8. Beth G.

    Beth G. Gaetano Family Farm

    Hmmm, I don't know. Very strange and just two more questions. Do you have a rooster that is mating? And, does she have any cripling effects to her feet?
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  9. pigcoon

    pigcoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for the delay. I didn't get a notification that there were more replies.

    We don't have a rooster at all. She doesn't have any crippling to her feet. The main 'body effect' is that she has been hunched over, tail down, and can't seem to roost.

    UPDATE: She has been in an indoor crate for the last week. She is much better in that she is eating strong, her poop has improved to the point where I think it is normal chicken poop, and she is much more alert. However she is still hunched, tail still down, and physically not really acting like a chicken. Her energy is just better. I may try her outside with the flock today and see what she does.
     
  10. pigcoon

    pigcoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just got back from the vet. My chicken has a fever and an upper respiratory infection. He says it was caused by stress, though I don't know what stress she may have had. He gave her shots of enrofloxacin (antibiotic) and meloxicam (antiinflammatory). I have to force feed her protein powder ('carnivore care') as she has lost a lot of weight and continue with the nursing care.

    She's doing a lot better but her recovery is slower than expected. Today she preened a little bit.
     

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