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Author Topic: *sigh* Sick hen - long term.  (Read 2516 times)

melholly

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • East Sussex
    • My Blog
*sigh* Sick hen - long term.
« on: February 16, 2014, 06:13:08 pm »
Hello all,


I noticed about 3/4 weeks ago now my 3 year old columbian blacktail was looking a bit 'off colour.' She's had a moult and just looked scrawny and sorry for herself. I put a lot of it down to the rain and general extremities of winter but about a week ago I observed her hanging about with  the others not doing anything other than just standing. Then I've noticed more and more she's often by herself and today she's not pecking, scratching or generally doing anything chicken like. I keep examining her and other than a sore looking bald breast (she hasn't thrived since her moult) I can't see anything obvious other than the obvious. She was a top layer and she's been up and down a fair few times to the nesting box with no eggs to be seen. Her comb is bright red like she ought to be laying. She's as light as a feather (pardon the pun) and generally declining. I've ruled out mites, louse and worms due to treatments.


Any ideas?
Mx
http://selfridgestoscats.blogspot.com  **NOW UPDATED**
twitter - @southscouse
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chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: *sigh* Sick hen - long term.
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2014, 07:39:21 pm »
Check her crop Melholly. It may be sour crop. We've had several after the last moult. Check her poos; if they are slimy that's sour crop. So she will not eat much and after several weeks will lose a huge amount of weight.

melholly

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • East Sussex
    • My Blog
Re: *sigh* Sick hen - long term.
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2014, 08:11:01 pm »
Thanks Chris.


I'll do that first thing. I got all paranoid before with pneumonia symptoms especially after I discovered mould in the feeding area last week. But all that seems to happen quickly. This is something much longer term.


Thanks again
Mx
http://selfridgestoscats.blogspot.com  **NOW UPDATED**
twitter - @southscouse

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: *sigh* Sick hen - long term.
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 09:06:21 am »
She may be coming to end of her life.  Columbian Blacktails are a hybrid from an RIR cockerel and two strains of Light Sussex on the female side, bred for high egg production.  Most hybrids are culled when they reach their first moult as it's not worth feeding them when they're unproductive.

melholly

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • East Sussex
    • My Blog
Re: *sigh* Sick hen - long term.
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 01:33:53 pm »
Thanks Marches.


I didn't know that about their history. I checked crop this morning and there's no swelling. So I have:


1. Long term general being unwell
2. Slightly dirty vent
3. No obstruction in crop or hardness around vent.
4. Bright red comb.
5. Penguin stance, unsteady on feet, hunched constantly.
6. No rasping sound. She's normally very vocal but just the odd high pitched squeak when held.
7. No sign of louse or mite.
8. Slightly dirty nose (looks like compacted mud however and there's plenty of that!)
9. Not eating much - will eat treats such as sultanas, no mash, no corn, will peck at grass and ground every so often. Drinking ok.
10. Isolated behaviour - last in, last down, hunching away from the others constantly. Up and down into nest box but no eggs. No observations of 'straining'
11. Terrible feather condition - new growth appearing but falls out very easily. Breast exposed, red raw.


She doesn't fit into classic illnesses I've looked at and I did wonder about 'old age' She's not had any stresses or dramatic changes to her environment.


I think at this stage - having lost a whole load of ducks to DVE a few years ago I'm worried if it's anything contagious. I guess though the amount of time Penny's been ill counts in the others favour as all the others are thriving and laying.


Mx
http://selfridgestoscats.blogspot.com  **NOW UPDATED**
twitter - @southscouse

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: *sigh* Sick hen - long term.
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 02:52:58 pm »
If she is standing like a penguin then she is probably egg bound.  Apparently you can hold them with the vent over hot steamy (not scalding) water and this may help.  Do some googling.  Coming back into lay in cold weather can cause egg binding.
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: *sigh* Sick hen - long term.
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 02:54:30 pm »
Ps handle her carefully and make sure not to break the egg, as if you do they can get egg peritonitis which is normally bad news
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

melholly

  • Joined Oct 2010
  • East Sussex
    • My Blog
Re: *sigh* Sick hen - long term.
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2014, 04:21:08 pm »
Thanks DBE.


It's worth a go absolutely!


Mx
http://selfridgestoscats.blogspot.com  **NOW UPDATED**
twitter - @southscouse

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: *sigh* Sick hen - long term.
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 06:44:03 pm »
Sounds like a possible egg bound to me as well Melholly. The going to the nest box and red comb are indicators. As DBE says, steamy water. But if the egg does break there is risk of infection from the shell cutting the duct and also of a prolapse if the shell encloses part of the duct and she tries to push it out. Be careful and if the shell does break remove it VERY carefully.


The feather condition bothers me and I wonder why? Lack of protein could account for it and many of the other symptoms and that could be worms. When was she last treated with Flubenvet?

 

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