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Weak hen? *she's gone :( *

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shelleyd2008, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    My little bantam EE hen has been acting weird for a few weeks now. She doesn't have any signs of illness, no runny nose, runny poo, sneezing, coughing, nothing like that. She is just really weak acting. She also is kind of thin? My dad keeps telling me she is sick, but she has no outward signs? She just hangs out in the barn all the time. I figured it was from all the stupid roos we had. Every time she would come out of hiding, they would jump her. So I figured she was just hiding, like they had broke her spirit or something [​IMG]
    Today, I found her in the pig's pen. He is a potbelly, and all the chickens seem to hang out with him. She had gotten in there, probably to get a drink of his water, and I guess he went to investigate. I found her with her head stuck between the wall and a post, like she was trying to get away. She was covered with mud, but none the worse for wear. I don't know why she didn't just fly out?

    Anyway, she has been kind of fluffy looking a lot, I just figured it was from the cold. She has no symptoms of being sick, other than the fluffies, and when it warms up, she doesn't even do this. But she just doesn't act right. She walks around real slowly, so much so that my 4 y/o is usually carrying her, since she is the only one he can catch.

    Any ideas? Could it be something else that I don't know the symptoms for? She is pretty skinny, you can feel her breastbone pretty good when you pick her up.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009

  2. tim_TX

    tim_TX Songster

    Jun 4, 2008
    Sounds like she is sick to me. They will hide when they are sick. I would separate her and keep her warm, put some electrolytes in her water, and give her some active yogurt.

    With her apart from the others you will be able to monitor her food and water consumption better.

    You might also get a sample of her droppings and have a vet check it for worms. He does not need to be a poultry expert to do this, and it should be pretty cheap since you won't have to take her in for an office visit.

    I assume you have already checked for lice and mites.
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Hard to say, since it's a vague problem. If she were mine, I would bring her into an isolation cage in the house- warm, lots of food/water and close observation. No kids hauling her around, no other chickens, just peace and quiet. She may have been too weak to fly out of the pig pen. It sounds like she is not getting enough food and water, if she has to go into the pig pen to get it.
  4. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    She has food and water available, but she won't go to it. I keep a seperate water dish for her where she hides at, but the pig is in the same part of the barn that she and a lot of the other hens hang out in, so they just use his water.

    But I don't think she is getting enough food. She literally will not come out of the barn, and barely goes into the side where the feed is from what I can see.

    I put some vitamin/electrolyte solution in the water, as well as some wazine wormer. That would be the only thing I could think of, other than that she just isn't eating.

    I only have 4 or 5 roos now, and still they all seem to jump her if she comes out of hiding.

    I doubt my dad would like having a full grown chicken in the house, but maybe I can put her in a cage in the barn and watch her that way.
  5. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    describe the droppings..color and consistency.

    have you checked the crop?

    could be a few different things, including cocci, stress, worms, respiratory illness coming on..
    is she wheezing?

    agree with ranchhand..

    also Tim_TX..about the fecal sample..
  6. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    New issues.....

    I came home from the feed store to find her laying on the floor of her cage. I thought she was dead, but she kind of spasmed? So she is not dead, but I thought she was. I went and dug a hole to bury her, but 30-45 minutes later, she is still alive. I don't know what the problem is.

    Her droppings are normal, greenish brown with white. They may be a little bit more loose than they should be, but other than that they are normal.
    I don't know what you mean by 'check the crop'? What am I supposed to look for? I know her breastbone is very prominent when you pick her up.

    She's not weezing, or sneezing, no runny nose, nothing.

    One thing I did notice today is that she has an odor to her? I didn't notice the other day cause she was covered in pig filth. But I gave her a bath then, and today she is very stinky. It could still be pig smell, cause I couldn't wash her head very well, but I don't think that's what it is.

    She is still alive, but she is just sleeping. If I bother her she wakes up, but she doesn't make any effort to get up. Any ideas what it could be?
  7. estpr13

    estpr13 Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    She may be extremely stressed.

    Could be partly starvation. With too many roos and she being little, she may have been kept away from food for weeks. Feel her crop and see if it is full or empty. If she has been isolated it may be too late to check.

    Is she getting anything green to eat? B-vitamins. Is she old enough to molt? That could add to the problem.

    All the cold weather we have been having could have added to her stress level as well.

    I would isolate her and make sure she has food, water, and warmth. She will either improve or not.

    I'm hoping for the best for you and her.

  8. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Songster

    Feb 5, 2009
    This sounds like the symptoms one of my leghorns was exhibiting; weakness, thinness, full crop, and lying unresponsive on the floor (she wouldn't even bother opening her eyes except in slits, and she was completely limp). I am almost positive she had suffered from a crop condition.

    The smell, is it her breath? It could be sour crop. Giving Apple Cider Vinegar is supposed to help (a few tablespoons per gallon of water).

    I'm sorry I couldn't be more help [​IMG]
  9. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I went out to chek her crop and see if the smell was from her breath. My poor girl was gone already! [​IMG] My little boy is just crying his eyes out. I think this is the first time that he has had something die that he really cared about. Anyway, thanks all for your help. I am posting a picture to remember her by. This was her, last fall, when she was broody. She was such a good mama, stayed with her chicks till they were at least 3 months old. She was almost a year herself, so still just a baby. My poor little boy says he needs another Emma, he is so sad [​IMG]

    My beautiful, sweet Emma....you will be missed....[​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  10. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    So sorry you lost her...........

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