Urgent Help! Hen going downhill fast


In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2018
Hi all,
I've got 4 ex-battery hens and one of them has been giving me cause for concern for a month or so now, because she has gradually developed a very pale comb. I though it might be anaemia, so I dusted them all for mites, and wormed them all. I kept her under observation and fed her iron-improving things like small pieces of lamb, spinach, scrambled egg and kale.This was a few weeks ago, and though her behavouir has been absolutely fine (til a few days ago), her comb has remained pale, and has now even started to yellow. A couple of days ago she started to be all hunched and fluffed up and unhappy. I've given her an epsom salts bath, and a dry with a hairdryer, given her mealworm in olive oil to hopefully help clear any internal problem. She had been laying some days, quite pale eggs, but okay inside. A little wrinkly, and occasionally very frail shells.
She's not eating very much, and I've been giving her drops of a vitamin tonic for birds, but today she had really gone downhill fast. She's now just sleeping a lot, cosied in a towel on my knee. I don't know what to try now! Any advice?
Hi, thanks for the quick response. I checked her vent and it seems fine, she hasn't had diarrhea, or any blood in her poop, which has been pale and almost like single cream half mixed with water. She's just sunk so fast today, I'm really afraid I've somehow made things worse. She was walking about this morning, and picking at food sporadically before "zoning out" for while. Now she's just motionless, with her eyes closed and won't stand up. :(
I'm sorry, she doesn't look like she's got much longer to live. :hugs You've done what I would have done with her symptoms- wormed and mite treatment. If her crop feels normal, and her belly feels normal, I cant think of anything that might help her. Unless you wanna give Corid a go.
Thanks fot the help. I think you are right. her crop and belly feel fine, crop a bit empty perhaps, but not surprising given how little shes eaten. :( I'll order some Corid, but I don't think she will be around long enough to try it. :( Still giving her drops of vitamin tonic, and keeping her warm. Will see how she get on.
Id bet she has something going on that you cant do anything about, but who knows. I'm not sure where you are located, do you have a feed store nearby? I don't think she will make it waiting for Corid to be delivered.
She had been laying some days, quite pale eggs, but okay inside. A little wrinkly, and occasionally very frail shells...she started to be all hunched and fluffed up and unhappy

Hi @kit-e-kate I'm sorry to hear about your hen.

How does her abdomen feel - bloated/swollen, fluid filled, etc.?
You mention wrinkled eggs, do you have a photo of one of them?

Since she is an ex-bat, with the symptoms you describe, my suspicion would be that she has an internal laying/reproductive disorder like Egg Yolk Peritonitis, Ascites, cancer, tumors or Salpingitis. There is no real treatment for these, except to offer supportive care.
Thanks for the advice. Her abdomen feels fine, I think. Soft and and squashy, not firm like a basketball (like with ascites). I did think she might have some sort of fatty liver disorder, she is a big hen and the symptoms seemed consistent. I just didn't expect her to sink so fast. She's really out of it now, i've put a warming wheat filled cushion under her chest (not in direct contact) to try and help comfort her. :/

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