Weak hen, unknown illness

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by VeggieVampire, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. VeggieVampire

    VeggieVampire New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Ireland
    Hi I have a 20mth old hybrid ex batt chicken. I've had her and five others for about 8 -9 months. She has been sneezing for at least a couple of months now, I thought she just had the cold and was adjusting to the climate with her not used to being outside. Now she is really sick. Today when I was giving them a treat I noticed her huddled in the back, not interested in food. She truthfully looked really depressed. I took her out and tried giving her food on her own as she is at the bottom of the pecking order but still she won't eat, I took her inside and thats when I noticed her walking. She has very little energy and if she was to walk it wouldn't be straight but she'd lean/fall to the right. She hasn't eaten anything all day and still won't. She has taken a few sips of water but if I don't give it to her she won't drink. She has sneezed a few times in like a sneezing fit. She hasn't moved around since. She lays down and appears to be sleeping and has done that for most of the day. Her poop is watery and white. I now have her isolated in a cage for the night. I don't have a chicken vet I could take her to. Anyone have any idea what could be wrong with her? Thanks in advanced.
     
  2. VeggieVampire

    VeggieVampire New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Ireland
    Sadly she passed away but I'd be grateful if anyone has any suggestions as to what might of been wrong in case my other hens get sick.
     
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I am sorry for your loss.

    I wonder, was she laying eggs for you? Maybe egg binding? Not sure of the sneezing. Any of your other birds showing symptoms?

    Sorry you didn't get sooner responses. These things go by really fast on the front page and get missed easily.
     
  4. VeggieVampire

    VeggieVampire New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Ireland
    Thanks for your reply. She never laid eggs, I just thought from her background she had just stopped. Thankfully no one else has been sneezing but I'm definitely going to keep an eye, though I do have another hen who isn't laying, her last egg was shell less she now she has stopped completely.
     
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Shell less can be sign of their system starting up or shutting down. And at 20 months is the right age for a first molt.

    What are you feeding? Since not all are laying, I suggest "all flock" or "flock raiser" and oyster shell on the side, only those who need it will use it. Those who aren't laying could suffer long term side effects including kidney damage from the added calcium in layer feed. If they indeed are starting to molt, something with a little more protein would be helpful. And that may be the reason they got rid of them because they may not lay through the winter and therefor not be profitable.

    Also, some of the hybrid, prolific layers are more prone to early death and laying issues, unfortunately. [​IMG]
     
  6. VeggieVampire

    VeggieVampire New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Ireland
    I've been feeding them layers and barley mixed and at times fruit and veg for treats. I'm not entirely sure if I can get flock raiser can you buy it anywhere? I live in Ireland so I'll need to look into that but I've never heard of it here.
    [​IMG] oh no, they aren't suffering are they when they stop laying due to this?
     
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    If you can't find flock raiser type, any unmedicated starter feed will work. You might find the term grower instead of raiser. The one I use is 20% protein. Do you have a feed store or a farm store that you can check? That is where I usually get it.

    They aren't suffering like in pain. But if they are allowed to retire at your place even thought they don't lay, LONG TERM could cause kidney stones or failure. If they are just taking a break, maybe no big deal. Don't let me be a fear monger. I am only trying to share helpful info not worry you more. [​IMG] They did not stop laying because of your feed. Molting seems uncomfortable to me but they seem OK. It looks terrible, if you haven't seen it before. Feathers everywhere except on the bird and then uglyness of the pins coming back in on them. Come to think of it.... Are you providing extra light at night? If so, that may stop them from molting and cause them to lay eggs during winter. I don't provide extra light. I think replacing the feathers is natural and helps them to be more comfortable through the winter with their fresh down jacket.

    Sneezing isn't a good sign. But I would expect your other birds to be doing it by now if they were going to. If you see new sneezing, start researching that symptom specifically. Also, not sure if you have an agriculture department or sometimes the universities animal science department.... might provide a necropsy on a bird to make sure it didn't have avian influenza or something like that. If they do, many times its free or very low cost. You would probably have to have refrigerated the body upon finding it though.

    Are you sprouting your barley before feeding it out?


    Nice of you to rescue these girls! [​IMG]
     
  8. VeggieVampire

    VeggieVampire New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Ireland
    I went to check today, where I buy the food only does animal feed for every farm animal basically but for chickens they only have the layers, barley or crumbs. Is crumbs any good or is it just the same as layers? I've asked my aunt to check her local feed store as hers might have a better option than mine due to where I live.
    I think a few are molting, I have other hens who aren't rescues and a most of them seem to be molting too. They were chicks last year so this will be my first year with molting hens. Two of the rescues don't appear to be molting but maybe they are just not ready yet? One of which is the one I mentioned above with the shell less egg. I don't have light, I honestly didn't even think of it.
    I really hope it wasn't avian influenza, if it was would they all not show signs? I also should of mentioned her comb and face was always pale, she never regained redness like the others maybe this was a sign she was ill.
    I'm afraid I didn't keep her body, I'll have to look in to the agi dept to see if they do things like that for the future [hopefully never will need too]
    No, just straight from the bag. Are you supposed to sprout it?
    Thank you and thank you for taking time to help and answer all my questions! [​IMG]
     
  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Crumbles would be fine. There are usually crumbles or pellets. But those are just the shape. The crumbles could be layer, starter, or grower. The main difference is layer usually has a lower protein content and higher calcium, often 16% protein and 4% calcium. So how to tell if the crumbles are the same as layer or not, you would check the tag that is often sown to the bottom of the feed bag. Even a gamebird, turkey, or duck feed should be fine as long as it is for poultry. Those ones usually have higher protein levels than chicken feed. The "flock raiser" that I use says it's for all of them, for people who raise all those birds together. 16% protein is the lowest possible amount to sustain the layers life so you rarely see lower.

    I wasn't actually suggesting that it was AI, just using it as an example reason why the department do provide testing.

    Since all birds are individuals, they won't synchronize their molting. I felt bad when one of my girls waited until the dead of winter before entering molt. So some may still molt later, or not.

    I don't use light as I am not trying to get every egg possible out of my chickens and I think it increases their stress level. Also I think it increases other health issues like egg binding. And I am happy to let my chickens live the way they were created.

    Even though you didn't keep her body, most of us wouldn't.... You are armed with info if there ever is an unfortunate need in the future.

    I just ordered a bag of barley. Since you do have internet, look up sprouting barley for fodder. I think Ireland is pretty far north, so I don't know how conducive the temps will be to sprouting. But the science to sprouting indicates huge benefits both nutritionally and financially. So that's win, win. And it sounds super easy to do. There are different types of barley as well. If it is pearled, it will not sprout. But whole should.

    Also, if I want something my LFS doesn't carry, they are always willing to order from their suppliers and usually the price is very decent the same as what they have in store & they just don't sell enough of that product to wanna keep it on shelf.

    I am honored to be able to help answer questions! [​IMG] So if I jumbled anything up or left anything specific unanswered, feel free to ask again. I am sure one day you will be answering someone else's questions. [​IMG]

    If you need to, the feed store could probably tell you the nutritional analysis over the phone for the crumbles. Look for about 1% calcium and preferably 20% protein, but down to 16 and up to 28 is probably OK. I don't use grit because my chickens have access to the ground and dirt and therefor get it naturally.
     

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