What is wrong with my 2.5 yr old barred rock???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Madison Lorenzen, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Madison Lorenzen

    Madison Lorenzen In the Brooder

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    I need help. My barred rock hen has been missing a lot of feathers lately. We weren't sure if it's a molt, or if the other chickens were picking on her (she's at the bottom of the pecking order). Today my mom noticed she was laying kinda weird with her eyes closed. While observing that, she also noticed she was pulling out her own feathers. By the time I got off work, she was up and moving again, but I took her in the house where there is AC, with water and a plate of various foods. She has feathers missing everywhere and has no feathers left on her crop, so it's quite a bulge, but it doesn't feel different from the other chickens crops. Also, what looks like a scab on a naked part on her belly. I took pictures that I'm posting too, but if anybody knows what's wrong, please let me know. (I also added a random picture of her eye, cause it hasn't been right for months, and I figure I might as well post it) also a foot picture because her toes look like they might be swollen? i started her on amoxicillin, in case it's something serious. Could it be mites or lice? I just don't know why she's pulling out her own feathers.
     

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  2. Latestarter

    Latestarter Free Ranging

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    IMHO with regard to the feathers, I see a lot of new feathers coming in and it may be that she's had a light molt. I can't tell if her back or head have missing feathers from mating. Is there a roo with them? You could up the protien content of their feed for a while and that will help with re-feathering. I always fed a can of whole mackerel, all chopped up for the protein boost. Looks like her keel bone area is bald and possible scabbed due to rubbing while roosting. Not entirely unusual. Not sure what diameter your roosts are but should be in the 4+ inch range.

    lice you'd be able to see crawling away from the light when you blow her feathers aside under her wings and near her vent. You'd also be able to see egg clusters at the base of feather shafts. Mites are microscopic and I don't see any indication of scaly mites on her lower legs. Doesn't mean she doesn't have them but if you determine she does, with either, then you'll need to treat all birds and completely clean and sanitize the coop and run area.

    Perhaps some of the other much more experienced chickeneers will chime in @casportpony @Eggcessive @aart @ronott1 @azygous @Wyorp Rock or any of the multiple other good folks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  3. Cayuga momma

    Cayuga momma If u try, u risk failure. If u don’t, u ensure it. Premium Member

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    It could be mites or lice, but she could also be doing it because she is frustrated. How is your coop and run set up. What's the square footage of the run and coop? How many birds do you have?
     
  4. Madison Lorenzen

    Madison Lorenzen In the Brooder

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    Not sure the square footage, but the space has never seemed to be an issue for them. I have 4 birds total. Her poo was pretty dark and she's pooing more than usual. I don't know if that means anything. Here's some pictures
     

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  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    That crop looks pretty full and perhaps a little inflamed. What does it feel like? Can you remove access to food overnight and check that her crop is empty in the morning, just to make sure all is well in that department. They can certainly pluck their own feathers if they have a crop problem that is irritating them.

    She does however appear to be recovering from a moult with all those new pin feathers, so that is a good sign. It may just be that you are seeing her preening out the old dead feathers and breaking the sheaths on the new feathers as they come in. The pin feathers are uncomfortable for her so keep handling to a minimum during this period.

    Her eye is a bit of a concern as that can be a symptom of Marek's disease. Is it just the one like that.

    The lying weird could just be her sunbathing which can often look concerning as they sometimes stretch a leg or wing out as they lie in a dust bowl soaking in the rays and will remain like that for pretty long periods.
     
    coach723, Cayuga momma and dawg53 like this.
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member 9 Years

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    I agree with Rebrascora. The crop looks very full, possibly impacted crop and/or gizzard. Picking feathers in that area is a telltale sign something is wrong. Hopefully it'll have gone down in the morning. Also, your hen appears to be thin for a Barred Rock, probably due to food not passing into the digestive tract. If she is eating feathers, it means she needs more protein in her diet, and could be the cause of impacted crop/gizzard.
    The eye looks to be a sign of Marek's disease, just a guess. I've never dealt with Marek's but have seen pics. However, I would think both eyes would look the same, not sure though.
     
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  7. Madison Lorenzen

    Madison Lorenzen In the Brooder

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    This may be a dumb question, but how would I tell if it's gone down in the morning? Would it just feel and look smaller? What are other symptoms of impacted crop?

    As far as Mareks goes, it wouldn't surprise me. About a month ago, one of my hens got basically paralyzed. She would eat and drink occasionally but she couldn't walk. If she tried, she would fall on her face. After tons of research, it looked like it could have been mareks, and although she was isolated for almost the whole time, she didn't move into isolation right away, so the whole flock could be infected. But can Mareks be like dormant for a while? Nobody else had any symptoms like the hen that passed.
     

  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    When the crop is empty, you will not see or feel it. It is quite a flimsy pouch which stretches when it is full so that the bird can store food in there to be digested overnight and should be completely flat and empty in the morning, provided food has been removed.

    Yes Marek's has dormant phases (which is why it is so difficult to diagnose and predict) and there is minimum period of 3 weeks between infection and any symptoms manifesting themselves but it can be longer. Once they are symptomatic, they actively shed the virus. If a bird survives an outbreak, they will be prone to future outbreaks which are usually triggered by stress. They can go weeks, months or even years between outbreaks but will carry the disease for life. It is a similar virus that caused cold sores in people ( both are Herpes viruses) and just like people, they are not infectious until they are symptomatic/having an outbreak. The virus is shed via dander dust and inhaled by other birds to become infected, but as I said, there is a minimum 3 week period after infection before there is a chance that bird will exhibit any symptoms, so usually by the time you have a bird showing symptoms, the flock has all been exposed. I therefore don't isolate sick birds but offer supportive care within the flock but some people cull to prevent a reservoir of infected material building up in the flock's environment. Some chickens will be naturally resistant to the virus, but a significant proportion will be infected and because of the nature of the disease having those dormant phases and the symptoms being so varied and unpredictable...... they can vary from a bird with a droopy eyelid or odd looking pupil to full scale paralysis. The final stage of the disease is usually the development of tumours and muscle wastage but it also gives rise to secondary infections like coccidiosis or respiratory disease or even worm infestation that the bird's immune system would normally be able to handle because the virus has an immunosuppressant action.

    It is possible that your bird's crop is not impacted but there may be a tumour causing that swelling instead. Palpitating it should give you an idea of whether that is the case. Depending on what you feed the crop should feel grainy or mushy and pliable whereas a tumour will be firm and have a fixed mass.
     
    Pork Pie Ken likes this.
  9. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    With Marek's the paralysis is usually asymmetrical at least in the initial phases so it is quite common for only one eye to have a contracted pupil like this or one eyelid be droopy, or one wing or leg be weak.
     

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