Poorly hen

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AnimalFriend

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Poorly hen
« on: August 17, 2018, 23:25 »
Hello hen experts,
We got our ex commercial layers through BHWT in April and they’ve been a pleasure. They were free range hens, so weren’t in the state that ex-bats would’ve been in, thankfully.
One of them, Nesta, isn’t looking so good now. She keeps stopping doing what she’s doing and closing her eyes, sometimes today putting her head under her wing. She looks exhausted. I can pick her up and put her on my knee and she just sits down and closes her eyes.
I’ve never been sure if she has actually laid at all since we got her in april. We’ve only ever had 3 eggs max per day, but am not sure about exactly who lays when.
I’ve given her an Epsom salt bath today and have fed her some bees ssoaked in olive oil, which I read was good. She is eating and drinking fine, has always been - great one for her food and this doesn’t appear to have changed.
She was first to bed last night, when she is normally last one to bed. When I checked on them all later she was standing up in the coop, whereas all others were sat down.
She has always had the worst poos since we got them, often mustardy and smelly.
All have been wormed since I got them with flubenvet, plus all get Vermx once a month. All fed on free range layers pellets. I did worm count a couple of weeks ago which came back clear - reason for doing it was worms in one of the hen’s poos (not Nesta’s) - we figured it was probably tapeworm, but read that if hens seemed fine, given it was very difficult to treat, to pretty much leave it.
I clean them every week, disinfect coop, fresh pine scented bedding, then sprinkle DE throughout. Have also been spraying house with red mite spray too just as precautionary measure these last three times.
I have seen a louse on one of them a few wks ago and hey weee all dusted with DE. I dusted Nesta again today after her bath. Couldn’t see any signs of lice. I did see on one patch a small of skin near vent, a cluster of tiny orange (I mean orange, like when you see rust on a plant) specs, there were two small dots of these clusters. Unfortunately as I am inexperienced and my assistant is 5 years old I wasn’t able to remove these to identify what they were. I amhavent been able to find any reference on internet.
Thanks for reading this far! Just wanted to give most info up front to see what you make of it. I am eagerly awaiting any advice at all!many thanks, Charlotte

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New shoot

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Re: Poorly hen
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2018, 08:19 »
Hi Charlotte and welcome. 

I'm assuming this bit is a typo.  I've never heard of feeding bees and wouldn't recommend it if that is what you are doing.

and have fed her some bees ssoaked in olive oil, which I read was good.

It is hard to say what is wrong.  It may be worth a vet visit to see if they can feel any lumps or spot any infection that needs anti-bios to clear it.

It could also be an underlying problem like her heart, which is pretty hard to do anything about.  Commercial layers are bred to lay a huge number of eggs over a short space of time and they don't live long.  Some make it to a few years old, but it isn't unusual to lose them very young (compared to a non-commercial layer).   She may just be coming to the end and all you an do is look after her and make sure her quality of life is as good as it can be.


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grinling

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Re: Poorly hen
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2018, 20:49 »
Do you poo pick daily? What do you use in the hen house for the floor and nest box? Do the hens perch?
Are the hens going into a moult...feathers on the ground?
Do they have access to oyster shell and greens?
Check hens temp, hand under wing and compare with the others.
Check eyes are clear / any bubbles?
Check breathing is clear?
Is her comb/wattles bright red or a different shade of red...compare with the others.

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AnimalFriend

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Re: Poorly hen
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2018, 20:52 »
Heehee, I have been in stitches over the typo 😂 no, haven’t been soaking bees in olive oil and feeding them to hens, was just bread.
Thanks so much for comments, the good news is that Nesta looks really good again. The bad news is that one of the other girls, Nicole, looks how Nesta did the other day. She has one eye closed permanently and looks very sorry for herself.  I will try her with a spa bath tomorrow.
Not sure about moult, there are a few feathers around, but nothing excessive. I would say Nicole’s comb is not as red as it was. Yes, I generally pick poo up daily from in the house. Breathing appears fine, not noisy, but Nicole is sort of “smacking her lips” though her beak, rather than her lips, almost like she’s just had a drink if you know what I mean. Nesta was doing this too. They are such a worry.
They tend not to perch, but all sleep on the house floor. Yes, they have access to greens, get out for a decent time every day round the garden so I tend not to give them extra grit.
Other than the closing eyes, eyes seem to be bright and normal. Thanks again for your comments, massively appreciated.

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New shoot

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Re: Poorly hen
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2018, 21:02 »
Aaaahhh bread - I was racking my brains as to what you meant  :lol:  Bread isn't great for them, but a little bit won't hurt.

It may be worth checking they are not pecking at foxgloves or something else poisonous in the garden.  It seems a bit odd that one is off colour and gets better, then another shows the same symptoms.

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grinling

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Re: Poorly hen
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2018, 13:18 »
if free ranging they will pick grit up but they need oyster shell or boiled egg shells for the calcium. They dip into it when needed.
Have you got wasps or any slug bait down?



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