What could be wrong?

Studio2770

Songster
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
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I've noticed that our three year old hen hasn't been herself lately. She's a little lethargic but will eat, drink, and run for treats. She feels a bit light. I picked up one of her sisters as a comparison. Her butt has gotten poopey quite quickly. I'm not sure if this is exactly specific but it's what I can observe right now. Any ideas on what it could be?
 

Wyorp Rock

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Is she still laying eggs?
How does her abdomen feel - hard, soft, fluid filled?
Is her crop emptying properly?
Has she been wormed?
What does the poop look like?


In older hens, internal laying/reproductive disorders can be common, but you want to rule out mites/lice or internal parasites just in case that is the cause of her lethargy and weight loss.
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2015/11/control-treatment-of-worms-in-chickens.html
http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx
 

Studio2770

Songster
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
1,064
61
191
Is she still laying eggs?
How does her abdomen feel - hard, soft, fluid filled?
Is her crop emptying properly?
Has she been wormed?
What does the poop look like?


In older hens, internal laying/reproductive disorders can be common, but you want to rule out mites/lice or internal parasites just in case that is the cause of her lethargy and weight loss.
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2015/11/control-treatment-of-worms-in-chickens.html
http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx
As far as I know she's not laying eggs.
Her abdomen feels sort of normal though a bit bony I suppose but I'll double check.
I'd have to check on that. I don't know how to check for that.
As far as I know, no. We got her from Tractor Supply so I don't know if they do that.
I'd say it's runny since it's collecting in her feathers.

I'll examine her again.
Thank you for the links!
 
Last edited:

Studio2770

Songster
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
1,064
61
191
UPDATE

I cleaned off her butt after seeing that there were worms on in her poop and feathers. I thought they were maggots at first but they don't look like maggots. I'm guessing they are what's causing her to feel ill. They were crawling around. I checked inside her beak to see if anything was wrong with her crop and it looked and smelled normal.

I took some photos but this is the only good one.
 
Last edited:

BantamFan4Life

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Jun 15, 2012
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If the internal parasites are large enough to see, they are likely tape/gapeworms. I would get a good dewormer--I've heard good things about Ivermectin, but that was a while ago, and parasites are becoming resistant to it. Hopefully someone else will comment on an alternative dewormer.
 

battagliac

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 12, 2012
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Look for an "avian veterinarian" online. Not sure where you are located, but we found an great one in Sacramento, CA. (Dr. Jean Smith) Most regular vets don't know very much about birds, but if you can't find an avian-specific vet, then call as many as you can asking how much experience they have with birds. Most might say sure bring her in and charge you, but not help you or misdiagnose her. Healthy hens usually clean up poop around their vent, but not always, and so you need to clean up big poop build ups because fly's will lay eggs on it and the larvae can travel up inside and cause infections that will kill them (called fly strike). It's not hard with two people, my wife and eye do it after dusk, pick her up with a towel take her in our mud room, cover her head with towel if needed, and trim the whole area with scissors and of course wear latex gloves. It's sounds like you have worms, which I don't have experience with, so I can't really help you there. You can also do a search of this forum for worms, and bet you'll find tons of past posts on the same thing you hen has. Don't wait too long though or she might not make it, or that's been my experience.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Since you are seeing them in the poo and on her feathers, you will need to deworm her. Check the vent and surrounding tissue to make sure there are no sores that the worms have gotten into.
If you think it is tapeworm then @BantamFan4Life is correct, Ivermectin would be the best choice.

This thread is a great description of the medication and pictures of what it looks like and how to administer it https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1117111/what-kind-of-worms-are-these


Here's a little more info on worms as well.
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2015/11/control-treatment-of-worms-in-chickens.html
 

Studio2770

Songster
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
1,064
61
191
If the internal parasites are large enough to see, they are likely tape/gapeworms. I would get a good dewormer--I've heard good things about Ivermectin, but that was a while ago, and parasites are becoming resistant to it. Hopefully someone else will comment on an alternative dewormer.
I'm leaning toward tapeworms. She doesn't gape for air. I assume it might be best to worm the whole flock? I've read that worming a couple times a year is recommended.
Look for an "avian veterinarian" online. Not sure where you are located, but we found an great one in Sacramento, CA. (Dr. Jean Smith) Most regular vets don't know very much about birds, but if you can't find an avian-specific vet, then call as many as you can asking how much experience they have with birds. Most might say sure bring her in and charge you, but not help you or misdiagnose her. Healthy hens usually clean up poop around their vent, but not always, and so you need to clean up big poop build ups because fly's will lay eggs on it and the larvae can travel up inside and cause infections that will kill them (called fly strike). It's not hard with two people, my wife and eye do it after dusk, pick her up with a towel take her in our mud room, cover her head with towel if needed, and trim the whole area with scissors and of course wear latex gloves. It's sounds like you have worms, which I don't have experience with, so I can't really help you there. You can also do a search of this forum for worms, and bet you'll find tons of past posts on the same thing you hen has. Don't wait too long though or she might not make it, or that's been my experience.
We have one about 20 minutes south of us, though they have vets that work with birds. The only tricky part is that of the two that work with birds, one is more experienced than the other. That vet said that a hen I brought in had a fever but the temp was around the normal temp for chickens once I googled it. She also said to be careful when injecting into the breast so I don't puncture the lungs, but I saw on google that the lungs are near the top of the chicken. I did clean it up once I saw worms there though not totally clean but got most off. I want to clean more off today.
Since you are seeing them in the poo and on her feathers, you will need to deworm her. Check the vent and surrounding tissue to make sure there are no sores that the worms have gotten into.
If you think it is tapeworm then @BantamFan4Life is correct, Ivermectin would be the best choice.

This thread is a great description of the medication and pictures of what it looks like and how to administer it https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1117111/what-kind-of-worms-are-these


Here's a little more info on worms as well.
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2015/11/control-treatment-of-worms-in-chickens.html
I think so too. From what I saw yesterday, I didn't see any sores.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
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Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
You can find the worming meds at the feed store or if you want, you can take a fecal sample to your vet - they can perform a fecal float that will tell you what type(s) of worms you are dealing with. This will let you know which meds you need to treat them with.

Keep us updated.
 

Studio2770

Songster
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
1,064
61
191
You can find the worming meds at the feed store or if you want, you can take a fecal sample to your vet - they can perform a fecal float that will tell you what type(s) of worms you are dealing with. This will let you know which meds you need to treat them with.

Keep us updated.
I observed her more today to see if she shakes her head or gapes and saw none of that. So I am leaning more toward tape. As I scooped out poop I tried to spot some worms but didn't see anything. I didn't look intro detail but just looked over each shovel scoop. I took another peak at her vent area and didn't spot any worms but I want to get a better look later on. She is quite small and whimpers a bit when I pick her up, she's not one for being picked up anyway. I'm getting that worming med today and will call my vet to get a price for a test.
 

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