What's wrong with my hen?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Auroradream26, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    I need some experienced advice. One of my black copper marans hens that I've had separated and waiting for eggs to be infertile so I can breed is suddenly having problems. She was fine yesterday but today, when checking for eggs, she was laying on her side in the nest, breathing raspy and heavy. I picked her up and brought her in immediately. She was weak, keeps falling asleep, and spit up some clear fluid a couple times. At first, she seemed to not be able to even hold her head up. Hubby and I gave her a 1/2 cc of penicillin. Now, she's wrapped in a towl on my lap. She keeps dropping in and out of sleep but she's holding her head up on her own right now, her breathing seems almost back to normal. She seems a bit pale on her face but her comb looks fairly normal (it looked slightly blue tinged when I first found her like that). Any clues what this could be? Is penicillin a good choice of treatment? I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing. This is a new one for me.

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    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  2. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    Before running to antibiotics I would first do a thorough exam. Here's a link to help you begin making observations and things to look for.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1048620/how-to-provide-emergency-and-supportive-care

    If she was spitting up fluids the first thing I would check is her crop. Then make as many observations as you can to narrow down what is causing the symptoms.

    Note on penicillin: Antibiotics are only good for bacterial infections not viral. Many bacteria are resistant to several antibiotics and more so with penicillin (and similar) because of over usage and incorrect usage. So it helps to know what type of illness your treating so you can give the correct antibiotic for the correct illness and in the correct dosage.
     
  3. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    Thank you, I'm going to save that link for future use. Not 10 minutes after posting my origional post, she went into convulsions and passed away :( her crop was empty.
     
  4. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    I'm so sorry for your loss. Seems so sudden. Did you check to see if she was egg bound?
     
  5. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    I didn't feel anything but I'm going to do an autopsy and see what's going on. She was never a big layer and in the last week and a half that she was separated with her sister, she only gave me one egg (yesterday ironically). I had assumed it was just the stress of being moved to a new spot but now I'm wondering if maybe she was an internal layer. Even outside with everyone, her eggs were few and far between.
     
  6. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    I hope you can report back on anything you can find that may be helpful to someone else that has a similar experience.

    My only other thought for a quick death (other than egg bound or internal laying) is possibly heart trouble. But who knows she may have been ill longer and hiding her symptoms well.
     
  7. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    I didn't find much though I've never opened up a hen before. We've butchered plenty of roosters. Her abdomen was filled with clear water. Heart looked normal. Liver seemed large and so did the gallbladder. The ceca were both full and kinda greenish. I'd never even noticed the ceca in any butchered roosters but they were very obvious in her. Is that normal? Other than that, I didn't see anything else.
     

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