What's going on with this hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Steve777, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. Steve777

    Steve777 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2013
    I have a ~4yr old hen with some strange conditions, possible more than one thing going on. I was hoping that someone here might have some pointers.

    She is a good sized hen and was second in the pecking order. About 3 weeks ago we had a predator get into the chicken pen, three hens were lost, and I found this one and another hiding in the corner of the pen. At the time of the attach all the hens were just coming out of molt and starting to lay again.

    I think the predator problem is fixed (electric wire at top of chain link and camera). And the two surviving hens seem to have gotten over the trauma of the attack. But this one hen is "not quite normal." She always seems to have a bunch of white poop on her rear feathers. I did give both of them diatomatous earth in the feed for several days, but it did not seem to make any difference (other hen is fine). I have not noticed any abnormal poop, no signs of worms or eggs. This hen also has some odd behaviours since the attack. She walks around "hunched up" with her head pulled down between "her shoulders." She can extend her neck if she wants, and does so when feeding or drinking, but most of the time she just hunches. She also seems to have lost the ability to fly. She does not fly up to the roost in the coop anymore, just sleeps on the floor or nest box (I think she was doing that before the attack). And she does not go into the coop herself (I place her in after dark), because I think she always flew up the first few feet on the ramp and now she can't (or won't). She can and does move her wings in a flying motions for a bit now and then, just does not get any lift.

    At first I thought she might have been injured in the attack, but there are no signs of blood, or cuts or broken bones (although I did not do a real thorough check as I did not want to further traumatize her). And she still goes through all the motions of the usual routine, eats, drinks, scratches in the dirt, flaps wings, etc. And I think she has laid one egg; her comb has gotten bigger but is not fully red yet.

    So I am not sure what is up with her. Possibly some intestinal thing for the poop? Possibly some attack injuries? Maybe just getting old and the old joints just aren't working like they did before (hey I can relate to that)?

    This is an relatively old production hen, not a pet. I'd like to "fix" her if I can. Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Maybe a combination of age and being traumatized. You did mention she is a production hen and their life span is shorter than other. Was reading about red sex links and similar hens, and that is where I read about them not living very long lives after heavy duty egg production.
    It was implied that once their egg laying is spent, they go to the other side. Hope this helps, although it does not provide comfort. [​IMG]
     
  3. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    I would suggest that she may well have a worm infestation...a poopy butt is a good indicator that worms may be present..

    Sorry to say but DE when ingested is useless...

    I would try using a chemical wormer....such as Safeguard goat wormer or Panacur paste...

    Hope she improves very soon
     
  4. Steve777

    Steve777 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. I will try a chemical wormer and see if that helps. The Dia earth has seem to help with the other birds (eliminating the traces of poop on their rears) when administered as needed, every 6 months or so. But perhaps this is a particularly bad infection.

    Need to correct one point: the hen in question was able to go into the coop on her own right after the attack, it is only in the last 7-10 days that she has stopped flying up to the ramp. She also seems more wobbly on her feet, I noticed her stumbling when walking down the ramp today to get out of the coop, and actually falling down a bit...

    So it may be old age is playing a role here. Or she is very depleted from the attack and worms or whatever else she is dealing with.
     
  5. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    I would check the underside of her feet..she may have a bumblefoot...if you see a raised brown or black scab...that may be the reason as to why she is stumbling..it is treatable.

    Good luck!
     

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