Very Thin Hens

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Very Thin Hens
« on: February 21, 2012, 18:14 »
Hello everybody,

Looking for some advice please. 2 of my hens are extremely thin. I am now worming them with flubenvet 1% (started on Sunday). I have checked them over for mites / fleas and both are clear. They are very quiet and don't cluck about the garden like they usually do. Stools are like water and one has a very mucky vent. I have brought them both in the house (they are currently living in my kitchen!) Their eyes are bright but combs are dull and they are just standing still for most of the day. I am giving them their feed (a mix of corn, split peas, grit and pellets) mixed with pro-biotic natural yoghurt and flubenvet. I am also giving them both a daily dose of nutri drops and cod liver oil.

Please could you let me know if there is anything else I can do for them and if there is any feed I can give them to give them a boost to regain weight more rapidly. I have been searching the internet and have seen a few suggestions to give them scrambled eggs, however I do not want to dilute the flubenvet in their system. Could I sprinkle a small amount on the scrambled egg?

Would it be possible that they caught the cold in the snow and frost? Where we live it went down to -16oc (the coldest place in the country!) Obviously they don't sleep outside, they sleep in their hen house but wondered if that could be a possibility.

Any help / suggestions will be greatly receivied, it is so difficult to diagnose and treat problems with chickens and I don't want to lose my girls.

Many Thanks in advance!!!!

Laura

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kegs

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Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 18:28 »
What breed are they and what are their ages?  Have you got a poultry friendly vet you could take them to?

Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 18:33 »
They are about one, just had their 1st moult this winter. one is a speckledy hen and the other is a black rock. They vets near us don't seem to have any experience so I have been sorting problems out via forums etc.

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Tony H

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Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 19:35 »
my black rock feel thin aswell, but as i understand it many hybrids are thin as everythin is put into egg production, I hope that is the case for your girls and its nothing els  :D
Chicken crazy

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ANHBUC

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Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 20:38 »
Three of my four black rocks molted this winter.  One seemed to not cope with it very well and got thin so was being bullied.  She even had a problem walking, would take a couple of steps and then crouch.  I took her out of the coop on a morning and put her in a hospital coop/run during the day.  I just gave her layers pellets mixed with boiling water and let to cool.  I put her back with the others on a night so she kept warm.  After three days she was strutting up and down the run wanting to be back with the others.  She has taken quite a few more weeks to put the weight back on but she is back in lay now.  I treated them all with flubenvet (Marriages premix layers pellets) to be on the safe side.

You could get some growers pellets to build them up but choose the ones without medication in case they start to lay again.  Keep treating them with flubenvet for the full week to be on the safe side.  You can mix a pinch in with the pellets/water mix each day which they should like.  Start off with a small amount so you know they have had their daily dose and you can increase the amount of pellets as their appetites increase.  With it being mixed with water they are getting fluids at the same time.

Best not to have the Kitchen too hot for them as they don't cope with heat very well.  It would also be a big shock for them when they recover and you put them back outside.  I have 2 quail indoors at the moment in a bedroom but have turned the radiator down to number 2.

Hope that they improve quickly Laura.   :)
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens!
Bagpuss RIP 1992 - June 2012, 1 huge grass carp (RIP "Jaws" July 2001 - December 2011), 4 golden orfe, 1 goldfish and 1 fantail fish (also huge)! plus 4 Italian quail, 1 Japanese quail, 1 Rosetta quail.

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Karhog

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Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2012, 11:14 »
Hi- personally i would continue as you are especially with the flubenvet. I use the half grape method to flub my girls- then I know each one has had their daily dose.
If you are really concerned about btheir weight I would give scrambled egg- also try and tempt them with a mash of their pellets soaked with hot water (allow to cool to warm)- they often think this is a treat and will gobble it down!
If their poohs are runny and they are off colour- it may be Cocci - I am currently treating my girls for this with Coxoid (available online)- check out the symptoms and see what you think.
There is a 28 day egg withdrawel period  if you do decide to use the Coxoid.
Hope your girls are better soon

Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2012, 16:52 »
Thanks all, I gave them scrambled egg this morning, Florence (the black rock) had a bit but Lily (the speckeldy) didnt have hardly any and I've not seen her eat all day. I've got some coxoid but I don't think they've got coccsidiosis and don't want to give them 2 lots of meds at the same time, does anyone have any thoughts on that?

In the meantime will keep them in the warm I think (but not too warm!) and see how they get on. My concern is that I don't know if I'm doing more harm than good with having Lily in the house, she's not a sociable bird (she doesn't let me get close to her or pick her up in the garden like Florence does) so I don't know if she will not eat because of the shock of being in the kitchen with me in and out. It's good to have her in the house because I can keep a real eye on what she's eating / drinking throughout the day and what her stools are like (currently a yellow water with brown bits in that look like sticks!). Lily's combe is very pale so am a bit concerned about that as well.

I never thought I would have chickens living in my kitchen, gave my postman a bit of a surprise yesterday morning!!!!
 

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kegs

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Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2012, 19:08 »
I was trying to clarify the cat food suggestion but I came across a few recipes for sick chickens which you could try (nothing ventured and all that).

http://www.small-farm-permaculture-and-sustainable-living.com/home-remedies-for-sick-chickens.html

Also have you checked the coop for red mite (I know it's winter but our weather has been so mad recently and it might explain the pale comb)?  She may need antibiotics though so a trip to the vet might be in order if she gets any worse. 


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ehs284

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Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2012, 19:18 »
No expertise, but, from experience:
Many birds, (we've some Black Rocks) are thinner than you expect even when well fed. The feathers fool you and moulting is worrying.
You can't expect birds to gain weight whilst worming.
If they are thin they need to be kept warm.
A little sugar and vitamins in warm water given by dropper or syringe seems to give them a boost. Put to side of beak so drops can go into mouth or they can shake them away - just putting directly into front of beak can cause gagging reflex.
Talk to them whilst they are in the kitchen.
Smell them - anything other than chook and poo, e.g. rotting meat, get help.
Best of luck

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ANHBUC

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Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 19:21 »
The pale comb could just be due to them coming out of their molt.  If they are not laying again yet it may be due to that.

Some birds might be nervous and not thrive in a strange environment so you might be right about keeping her in the kitchen.  The weather is improving (don't know where you are) in the uk so Lily might be better in her own home if she has not taken a turn for the worse.

Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 21:23 »
Thank you all once again! Kegs, I shall give that recepie a whirl and see how it goes down, we've got them in tonight for one last night. Didn't want to risk them infecting the other girls incase it was something contageous but it doesn't appear to be and the ducks are in the other hen house!

Surely if it was red mites they would be on the birds and also be affecting the others?

Florence is usually thinner than the others but is thinner than usual, she has absolutely no meat on her breast and the breast bone is protruding a lot!

The hen house has a metal base and is cleaned out regularly and have never seen any evidence of lice / mites but will keep an extra observant eye out. I have some tonic coming for them and also giving them ACV, garlic granules and poultry spice with fennel etc in it so will see what happens. Florence seems a bit brighter today and she has been in the house for 2 more days than Lily so that is a good sign, I know it takes a long time to regain weight so will keep an eye on them and see how it goes.

Again, thank you all for your guidance, will keep you updated and hope for a happy result!

Laura

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Karhog

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Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 21:41 »
They certainly keep us on our toes! Mine have similar symptoms and are all on Baytril at the mo- am also treating fot Cocci. Totally understand you don't want to mix meds. I was also concerned but as I had no definitive cause for their illness I checked with vet if ok to give coxoid at the same time as A/B and they said it was ok so hopefully am covering all bases.
I have seen a definate improvement though am still having to coax Bertha to eat and she is still very underweight. like you say just keep doing your best and see how things go- Good Luck!

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ANHBUC

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Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 22:17 »
Surely if it was red mites they would be on the birds and also be affecting the others?

Laura

Red mite only feed off the hens on a night and don't live on the chickens.  They will hide in small cracks and crevices in the coop especially at the end of the roost bar.  Use a piece of white paper to slide into the crevices, if you get red on the paper you have feeding red mites.  Lice will live on the chickens but I understand they can be difficult to spot.

Re: Very Thin Hens
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 22:31 »
Thank you for that, I will have a look tomorrow



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