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Author Topic: help needed for sick hen  (Read 2464 times)

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
help needed for sick hen
« on: June 25, 2013, 08:33:53 am »
Hi - this is my first 'outing' on a forum, though I have been reading TAS avidly since acquisition of five hens at POL three months ago.... especially recently on diagnosing and treating poorly hens.  This site has been a HUGE help and a huge comfort, so thank you everyone for contributing....

Current problem is dealing with hen who has been poorly now for over a week.  She's a hybrid, 'blue haze/ french grey'.  Symptoms: not laid for over a week, neck hunched down (but tail always up), lethargic - sleeping on her feet at every opportunity, wont eat pellets, drinks a fair amount.  More positively, she's still accepted by her pals, no pecking at all, she puts herself into coop at night, and comes out with the rest in the morning.
We've tried: warm bath in case she was egg bound; feeling her crop and looking for impacted or sour crop (not supremely confident on our skills, but have felt around a lot) - syringed with olive oil; wormer powder (pinches in food since she's not eating pellets); syringed with poultry 'pick me up'.  More recently (two days ago) the flock were all dusted with mite powder - and the coop was properly disinfected (my confession is that hopelessly I was sure MY chickens wouldn't get mites!!! - and I only found a (small) 'colony' in the coop on Sunday.
She will eat mashed banana, scrambled egg, porridge - all with yoghurt and/or honey and/or mixed corn added.
All sister hens are fine.  They have a large run, but mostly free range in big garden during the day.
We did find two soft shell eggs laid in the run on Saturday (3 days ago), but can't be absolutely sure they were hers.... but no dramatic improvements in her thereafter.

Any ideas so welcome, or just some hope that sometimes these girls take a while to get over something...

mojocafa

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Angus
Re: help needed for sick hen
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 11:00:09 am »
Could she be broody, just a suggestion as when I was new to hens, I thought a hen was poorly and was always poking and prodding her or tempting her with something and all she wanted was to sit on eggs.

pygmy goats, gsd, border collie, scots dumpys, cochins, araucanas, shetland ducks and geese,  marrans, and pea fowl in a pear tree.

Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: help needed for sick hen
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 11:28:07 am »
See if you could get some tylin and give her some through a syringe for 3 days antiinf lamatrey it would pic her up

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: help needed for sick hen
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 11:30:35 am »
I did wonder, but she's not remotely interested in her nest box, nor aggressive to us...
So hard to know what to do! Most visible thing is her head hunched onto her neck, and her sleepiness.
If she turns out to be broody I'll yelp with joy!
Thanks for replying.

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: help needed for sick hen
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 11:32:31 am »
And thanks for tylin suggestion....is it from vet or country store?

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: help needed for sick hen
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2013, 11:38:58 am »
 Sorry to go on..... But also her poo is very watery and white -
Never thought I'd be beguiled by these creatures......

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: help needed for sick hen
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 11:51:08 am »
... But also her poo is very watery and white -
Never thought I'd be beguiled by these creatures......
Whatever animals you have poo watching is something we all get up to  :roflanim:
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: help needed for sick hen
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 12:25:07 am »
is she in moult? that makes them look rough and stop laying. how old is she?
id vitamin drench and worm and delouse her, then hope for best. maybe isolate her?
some birds just drop dead anyway.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: help needed for sick hen
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 02:55:45 am »
Sounds like sour crop or crop bound Brendon. Is her crop mushy or empty, or is it firm and hard? Perhaps a firm lump can be felt within a generally mushy crop as she will drink a lot to clear it. Sour crop when sufficiently advanced will result in bad breath as everything she eats will rot in the crop and her crop will feel slightly hot. The solution in that case can be as simple as a water only diet for 24 -48 hours. In extreme cases we have flushed them through with Epsom salts -teaspoon in a 250mL glass then 5 mL of that solution orally, then only water. When very advanced it can become a fungal infection of the crop leading to fungal cankers which gets very hard to treat. We give all ours a small amount of chopped onion every week which can help a lot to prevent it. Crop bound needs some massaging to break up the lump and this can be assisted with some olive or cod liver oil. I'd massage the crop in either case. We used to feed maggots to hens to break up a crop but have since found that this can lead to a fatal case of botulism so have stopped.


Sour crop can be started with eating old spilled food or if feed gets damp as it goes off in a day. Crop bound can be long grass or eating moulted feathers.


Hope that helps Brendon. Simple thing to sort either way. May be some more advice on www.poultrykeeper.com but generally we follow Storeys Guide to Raising Chickens by Gale Dumelow -worth a read for a serious chicken keeper.

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: help needed for sick hen
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 11:14:38 am »
Thank you so much for all that - these responses are really helpful - makes me feel not quite so alone in managing this!
Will try all proposals - and report back in due course.
Have, possibly, spent too much time on the internet, and it seems that almost every 'symptom' can be either innocuous and easily treated or potentially fatal.  Think I need to 'toughen up' a bit (and buy that book on chickens!).  Thanks again.

 

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