Very odd hen.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by SilkiesForEver, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. SilkiesForEver

    SilkiesForEver Crowing

    Mar 24, 2012
    Sacramento, CA
    I have a Wellie hen who is just...... odd. [​IMG]

    That's her, and just in case she doesn't look odd to you, here is her sister:

    That still probably doesn't make you think odd. I didn't think so either, until I picked her up. Her keel bone is VERY crooked. It bulges outward at the top, then nearly disappears in the middle and seems to curl to the side, then feels normal at the bottom. Also, whenever I pick her up, she closes her eyes like she's in pain. And when she eats, bubbles form at her mouth and it looks like she has extreme difficulty swallowing.

    I don't know what to do. She shows no signs of being sick, she isn't skinny, and eats and drinks well. But, neither of them have layed eggs, although her sister looks like she could anytime.

    Suggestions? Could it be genetics?
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    Crooked breastbone can be genetic or caused by injury but is most often dietary in cause. Looking at her face though, with the squinted eye, shriveled and curled wattles and crest, and deep almost purplish coloring, she looks sick. Congested appearance in terms of bloodflow. Liver disease perhaps? Something affecting her blood, I'd guess.

    Since a deficiency can cause crooked breastbone, it makes sense that it could be caused by disease too, since diseases can rob the body of specific nutrients. Or it could be as simple as her being silly enough to keep eating a plant that's damaging a vital organ. It could also be a case of toxicity from eating something bad.

    It's not a deficiency in the feed itself if the other birds don't have the same symptoms. Some birds don't process nutrients properly though so will always be insufficient in something, and develop malnutrition based diseases, no matter what you feed them. Also, desperation for a nutrient they're not able to process or synthesize can drive them to eat toxic things.

    I can't diagnose anything from her appearance and what you've written except that she does indeed have something wrong, without a doubt. I hope someone with more info can help you out there.

    Best wishes.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013

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