Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes

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Silkychicks

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Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« on: November 21, 2013, 19:04 »
I hope some one can help: my hen Adje has layn her last egg last week friday (15-11). Today it is thursday (21-11). Adje is a Silky and normaly she lays about 4 eggs a week. Sometimes she takes a break of 2 or 3 days.

A few weeks ago I saw her limping, so I picked her up, examined her but found nothing and the next day the limp was gone so I thought it was due to her running around like a nutter as soon as she sees something she wants. It did appear again, but would go the next minute.

The last few days I have been watching her closefully: Is something wrong and will I be able to see what. Today I noticed she stopped scrathing. Her companion is a cockerel: he does nothing. She on her own emptied my garden over last summer. Normally is unstoppable. She eats, is up and about, seems alert.

I contacted the vet but he thought it is a little early to say anything concrete: watch her closely: she could be eggbound.
I picked her up, checked her 'belly', couldn't feel anything thick or hard or 'stubborn'.

When I put her down, she was seriously limping!! I have been very very gentle because I am way to scared to break a 'shell-less egg' inside of her by squeezing to hard or holding her to tight..

Tonight she wouldn't allow Truus into the coop: she is defenitely not well.

Does anybody recognise any of this?

Thank you much for replying.

Btw: I am not sure of her age.

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barley

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2013, 21:06 »
don't want to sound alarmist but I had chooks years ago that developed Mareks disease

it started with limping - thought the bird had injured it's leg but unfortunately it turned out to be Mareks disease

there is info on google about this illness - if it is that unfortunately the prognosis is not good  :(

hope it is something less sinister ( fingers crossed)

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Silkychicks

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2013, 21:53 »
Oempf, that doesn't sound good.. I looked it upon the net and found a few good pages for example:
http://birdhealth.com.au/flockbirds/poultry/diseases/mareks_disease.html

Allthough I do not immediately recognise the symptoms it would be the neural or visceral form if it is MD.. Her skin is in good condition and today I sat in the penn for a while: we had a good look at eachother  :) her eyes are still dark brown and shiny..

What I would like to know: did your chooks limp on and off as well?

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Silkychicks

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2013, 22:14 »
Some additional info:

I had a look at the last egg she has layn: the side of the air bubble has a strange bleuish spot as you can see in the photograph. The rest of the shell and the inside look normal.
DSC_0315.JPG

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barley

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 22:35 »
when I first got it my cockerel   just developed a limp overnight - he never got any of the other symptoms but died 3 days later  :(

then about 2 weeks later a hen started to limp , she also developed the neck symptom  :(

slowly they all unfortunately started to develop Mareks symptoms which is when the vet who was horrified  :ohmy: at the out break told me I would loose the whole flock

sadly he was right   :(

it is a devastating disease and most chicken keepers think they won't get it  :wacko: I kept chooks for 5 years before I got it and Goodness knows how we got it .

the vet told me once you have had it you will get it again as it can lay dormant for years in the soil and surroundings

I now can only get fully vaccinated chooks

I didn't mean to panic,  you but just thought there may a chance it might be that

I expect it might be something less sinister - maybe others on here may be able to offer you advice

let me know how she gets on xx


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Silkychicks

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2013, 22:54 »
That sounds horrible  :ohmy:  You must have been really worried!

I just read that when you had it once, you never really get rid of it.. when I bought the chickens I asked the breeder if they where vaccinated and he said no.. By then it was to late: someone on this forum told me.

Now I was checking plants in my neighbours garden (they freerange an hour every day and visit the neigbour..) Lily of the valley and our fence is build up with bay tree/laurel (with the black berries) which both contain glycoside (I can not find an english translation for this) which can damage the liver and resperatory system. Damage to the resperatory system leads to death within half an hour or so, so that won't be it..

I'll see tomorrow, maybe put her in a bath for a while just is case she is egg bound.





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Casey76

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2013, 14:16 »
Hi Silkychicks, one first thing to check... are her feathers matted between her legs?  With silkies, sometimes the feathers get caught around a twig or even just themselves and creat a mat.  This can be very uncomfortable and even cause muscle strains if the mat is very tight.

next thing to check are her feet: Start with the toes, and compare one leg to another to see if there are any differences.  Also, as silkies have an extra toe (or two, or three!), check to make sure she hasn't torn her toe nail or even whole toe off (sometimes the back toes are a bit more delicate than the normal toes and can tear).  Check to make sure the pads of her feet are soft and not mud encrusted, and make sure she hasn't any cuts or twigs poking into them.  Check between the feathers on her legs to see if you can see any signs of feather mites or scaley leg.

Next thing to check is if you can detect any heat in any of the joints.  Move from the toes to the ankle, to hock and to hip, always compare one leg to another, if you can't feel any heat or swelling, then it will be time to check for other things.

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Silkychicks

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2013, 15:57 »
Thank you Casey for such clear instructions!

What do you think will be wise: Get her out of her coop in the evening or wait untill tomorrow day time?
I am questioning this because at the moment she is seperated from Truus the cockerel. She is in a box and maybe if I keep putting her out of the box and put her in again she will start associating the box with stress.


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Casey76

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2013, 19:16 »
Waiting until tomorrow will be fine

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Silkychicks

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2013, 16:09 »
Wright. This is wat I found. I will split it up in 2 messages because of the photographs.

She is loosing some feathers on her back so I checked her skin and this is how it looks like.

I thought is was becouse of Truus .... uhm couldn't find the Englisch translation we call it treading to much. (I am looking for another 2 silkie bantham hens because now it is one hen with one cockerel)

DSC_0324.JPG

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Silkychicks

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2013, 16:14 »
The next thing I found is a round bubble under her right foot: which is the foot she uses less. Is this bumble foot?

As for the rest: no signs of something wrong. She didn't respond to the touching in a way that indicaded it hurt.
No heat, no swelling, no wounds, soft feet, no scaly look on top..

I hope the photograph is clear enough: I took it while I was holding her  ::)

It it is bumblefoot: what to do? I saw a video of a lady taking a knife and just cutting it out..
DSC_0325.JPG

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Casey76

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2013, 18:41 »
That is a very typical presentation for bumble foot.  It isn't something I've ever experienced when I had hens, but it is something I would take to a vet, I think.

It is an infection in the big pad of the foot, but as the pus tends to be solid/fibrous, rather than the liquid in humans, it can need special cleaning - at least for the first time.

BTW, the feather loss, is most likely due to Truus treading her all the time - both the hen and Truus will feel better if she has a couple more companions :)

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Silkychicks

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2013, 11:46 »
Last night I had a talk to a lady who does herbal medicine on animals.

She adviced me to treat her with green clay: internal and external: on the bumble, echinea in the drinking water, and treat the bumble with a creme of aloevera, elm powder and manuka honey..
She said I should start seeing results after 3 days. If no changes show: take her to the vet..
I won't be able to take her to the vet until tuesday so I will start this tonight (have to go to the shop first).
Will she go downhill quick with bumble foot? Can Truus get this as well?

Is it possible she stopped laying because of this? Since she stays rather active, eats and drinks I sort of let go the idea she might be eggbound. Is it correct to think so?

Truus is a female name  :) He wasn't suppose to be a he.. It is very hard to get by female silkys: most silkies are sold before the sex is defenite. I can not afford the risk of getting another cockerel: they are sleeping in my hallway now so Truus won't bother the neigbours before agreed times.
Ad not wanting to share the coop with Truus now is a very good opportunity to start separating them at night time so Truus can get used to sleeping alone. Earlier they both reacted very distressed when I separated them in the evening, but Truus was still young then. He is about 10 months now.

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Silkychicks

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2013, 10:53 »
Update:
I have been treating Ad now for 5 days. This is what I do: every evening I mix green clay with fresh aloevera (I've got a plant) and tea tree oil. (I started giving her echinea and clay for internal use from sunday).
I leave it over night and the rest of the day: she loses the clay during the day but the bandage keeps her foot clean.
The bandage I use is a 'sportstype' of bandage that sticks to itself, but doesn't stick to the skin. She doesn't seem bothered with it.

Ad has gone back to her old acitive self, scratching and running about as she used to and I haven't seen her limping any more.
She has layn an egg last wednesday (so that was a 12 day break of laying) and has layn 2 more since.

But.
We're there jet: the bumble seems to be less 'filled' but there is a very obvious hard bit in the middle and this has to go. For now I am hoping her body will start to discard it self from it, so at one point I can take it out.
If it doesn't seperate from it self I will take her to the vet: Without guidance from someone who has done this before and something to anaesthetize I don't think I will be able to stick a knife in her little foot.

When her foot keeps improving I will take another photograph to keep you informed about this treatment.

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Sassy

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Re: Hen stopped laying and is limping sometimes
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2013, 09:40 »
This sounds nore positive. Bumble foot should not be contagious.

Am I right in thinking you have one cockerel and one hen? I notice he was supposed to be a she. Ad would not be welcoming his attentions with a poorly foot which is why she probably did not wish to roost with him. I do think that come next spring, if not before, you will have a problem with only one hen. I had 3 hens to a cockerel and they all suffered from bare backs! You could do with more hens or re-homing your cockerel and getting another, preferably two hens. :)
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!



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