What's wrong with my sweet hen?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by novatobones, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. novatobones

    novatobones Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2007
    Novato, CA
    Romie, my White Crested Black Polish, is laying in a nesting box tonight. When I pet her head it drops, drops, drops till her tiny head is face down in the pine chips and it stays there. She's hardly breathing it seems. Her wattles are a beautiful red, her feathers are shiny - she looks good. She just doesn't act well.

    It started two days ago - she was in the nesting box with the same symptoms but she got out when the treats were doled out and I saw that she had layed an egg without a shell. She was active and looked normal but pooped a light green blob. The next day she was out playing for a while and then back in the box looking like she was dead again but that night she got out and flew up to the roost with the others. Everything seemed normal again. But now it's the third day of this.

    What's going on???
     
  2. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Oh gosh, don't know, but has she just started laying? How old is she?

    There are folks on here with tons of knowledge who should be able to give you some direction here.
     
  3. novatobones

    novatobones Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2007
    Novato, CA
    She's two years old and has been laying eggs without a problem. It's weird that she looks like she's on death's door and then she's just fine and perky for a while, then back to looking barely alive. She spent one night in a nesting box (and layed a shell-less egg), one night on the perch normal as can be and now she's back spending the night in a nesting box looking all droopy. Maybe she's just trying to lay another shell-less egg?
     
  4. can you hear me now?

    can you hear me now? Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    I hope this isn't it but do you have anything that she could have hit her head on while trying to walk under it? If so and she did she may have given herself brain damage. I read a site on this but can't remember for the life of me where I saw the post. Maybe try a search on the site? Maybe just stress and for your sake I hope i am wrong but one of the symptoms I remember the most was the hanging of the head. Good luck and best wishes.
     
  5. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    what ALL do you feed the hens?
    do you offer crushed oyster shell?
    sounds like this hen might need some calcium supplement..
    is the weather where you are hot?
    sometimes hens need extra calcium in hot weather..
    there is a liquid calcium for humans you can use..
    you can try crushing a Tums into her food.
    she might also need some vitamin D to help metabolize the calcium.
    she might also need other vitamins..if you don't have poultry vitamins on hand, you can use Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins Enfamil brand..no iron..3 drops once a day on beak, for a week or so, then taper off for a week..
    in the meantime do get some poultry vitamins.
    also..try and get some Avia Charge 2000 from McMurrays Hatchery or Strombergs..it is a mineral supplement.

    http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/product/avian_charge_2000.html


    watch for any other symptoms, such as wet, sticky or swollen eyes, mucus, breath sounds (wheezing/rattling)

    laying soft shelled eggs takes a lot of effort and causes discomfort..very hard on the hen.
    also...check her vent for any drainage or swelling..and especially prolapse.
    If you find prolapse, separate the hen immediately from the others and post..

    has this hen been wormed?
    if so..when? and what was used?
    describe her droppings (color and consistency)when she acts like she is feeling well and eating.

    it's possible she might need an antibiotic..
     
  6. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    CHECK HER CROP....make sure she's been eating. I have 5 7wk old cochin chicks, 4 of which were seeming lethargic and weren't going outside to play (LOL). I had no idea that something was seriously wrong until I realized their crops were empty and they weren't eating AT ALL. Now, all but 2 are okay. You may be giving her all the stuff she needs to lay good eggs, but if she's not eating it it's kinda pointless. Make sure she's eating!!! I don't know anything about 'prolapse' (my hens just now started laying YESTERDAY [​IMG] I'm not quite that far), but what I've heard people doing for hens with weird eggs/laying problems is separating them for a few days, placing them in a dark room, and feeding lots of nutritious foods. That way it kinda 'resets' their cycle and gives them some nutrition, as well as allowing you to observe their eating habit.
     
  7. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    prolapse is when part of the insides are pushed out from exertion of laying soft shelled eggs, or very large eggs..
    if this happens..the hen needs to be separated right away, since the others will peck her and injure her further, even pulling more out..can result in death.


    prolapse is a serious situation, but treatable if caught early.


    trying to "reset their cycle" probably isn't a bad idea.(along with good feed and supplements)

    and yes, it's always a good idea to check the crop.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2008
  8. novatobones

    novatobones Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2007
    Novato, CA
    I wonder if she's just in a funk because she's molting?

    I thought she had mites a month or so ago - 3 of my 6 chickens had lost feathers around their vents and stomachs and all of them looked like something was itching them so I powdered them with mite dust a few times. I didn't actually see any bugs. The girls haven't lost any more feathers so I thought they were cured.

    Now that Romie is staying so still, I notice some pin feathers on her fluffy head. Maybe she was molting all that time? Although she didn't flinch or anything when I would pet her or pick her up (before her 'episodes' started). Now she doesn't want to be picked up but I can pet her all I want.

    I thought she might not make it through the night last night but she was up and running around this morning - eating scratch and sunflower seeds. When I came home today she was laying in a nesting box again. I let the girls out in the yard and she eventually came out for a while but went back to her box after 1/2 hour or so.

    I don't see anything weird around her vent. Not sure how to check a crop but I don't feel any lumps anywhere around her neck. None of my chickens have ever been wormed. Hasn't layed an egg in two days (which isn't unusual for her). Eyes are clear and bright. Red wattles. Looks good except she doesn't move much...
     
  9. novatobones

    novatobones Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2007
    Novato, CA
    Her main food is Purina Layena pellets. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing her poop in a couple of days but I don't see anything gross or weird in the hen house or run.
     
  10. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    Quote:On the left side of her chest (if you're looking at her) you should be able to feel a lump. This is a full crop....I'll see if I have a pic of what it's supposed to look like/where it is....
     

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