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weak adult hen, won't perch, losing weight

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by northens, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. northens

    northens New Egg

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    Nov 24, 2011
    Our almost three year old Silver-laced Wyandotte hen is seeming quite sickly. One of a mixed flock of 5 hens that free range in our fenced city yard. This is our first flock and we have had no illnesses since they were purchased as chicks. They eat laying mash from the local feed mill, supplemented with veggies from us and anything they can find and dig up in the yard. The other 4 appear fine, nobody has been laying the past 6 weeks due to lack of light, it only recently got cold enough for the heat lamp in the coop/run (they have done this every late fall). She has always been the biggest and strongest hen, but hasn't been perching the past week or so, has a bit of trouble walking long distances (strength seems to fade) and has lost weight. She has been eating and drinking, although today seems less excited to move around and feed, more content to just sit. There is plenty of feces stuck to her feathers around the vent, not sure if it is actual diarrhea or just because she is sitting on the ground most of the time. Any ideas?
     
  2. Uniontown Poultry

    Uniontown Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    I got some ideas. When was the last time she was wormed? The loss of weight and weakness despite eatng and drinking could be a sign that she's got worms and is taking it kinda rough. All flocks get them at some point, especially if the chickies can roam and dig in the dirt, and some birds seem to take it harder than others. If you haven't wormed your flock in awhile, you may want to give that a try. If they aren't laying right now, even better, as worm meds sometimes have withdrawal periods for the eggs. I would recommend that if her condition is dire, you bring her inside in a warm place (you can put her in a cage w/ a heat lamp above it, so she can bask in the warmth & it will encourage her to drink the medicated water), give her water with worm medicine in it (wazine, piperizine, panacur are all good wormers), and feed her some treats (grapes, bits of melon, moistened bread balls). If she'll eat the treats willingly, great. If not, open her beak & stuff them in, b/c she needs food. You should only need to do it for a few days.

    I'd also check those feet for signs of paralysis, signs of injury or infection - especially check the bottoms for the telltale dark spots of bumblefoot, which would make walking more painful for her. Bumblefoot is common as dirt and there are many ways to cure it, but left untreated it can cause lameness and death. The poopy butt might be related to her laying around, to a worm infestation, or just to her digestive system not being at 100%. If the worming don't cure it, add some apple cider vinegar (ACV) to their water with every fill. That worked like gangbusters on my Delaware hen's dirty bum. Some also advise probiotics like plain yogurt or kefir. Hope this helps!
     
  3. Uniontown Poultry

    Uniontown Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Also, Welcome Aboard!! [​IMG]
     
  4. northens

    northens New Egg

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    Nov 24, 2011
    thanks for the ideas. No, they have never been dewormed, probably would be a good idea. I didn't think the feet looked like the pictures of bumblefoot I had seen but will have to look closer to be sure. She is currently cozy in the roosting box (on the floor) with the others, thankfully nobody is picking on her. Planning on a good bathing of her bottom in the morning. thanks again
     

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