My hen is sick!

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Flo123

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My hen is sick!
« on: February 21, 2019, 01:48 »
One of our hens has suddenly fallen ill.
I went to put the hens away one night and there was one missing. I looked around the property a bit but couldn’t find her. There are snakes around so I just assumed she’d been attacked, or she somehow got lost (we live on an unfenced property). The next day she showed up again– but her crest had fallen over and she was extremely weak to the point she could barely walk in a straight line. We’ve speculated that something very traumatic happened to her that night, or she was actually sick the day before and went to her roost early, so that’s why we couldn’t find her. Either way, she is still, a week later, very sick. When she first became ill she wouldn’t eat any solid food, but I could get her to eat some lorikeet paste stuff we happened to have lying around. I slowly weened her back to grains, which she now eats fine (although the big pieces are still a bit tough for her). Her wellness has gone up and down throughout the week, as has her appetite. She is substantially lighter than the other chooks, and extremely fatigued. She has no poop hanging from her bum, and no longer lays because of old age. Now my question relates to how we manage her— we live in a very hot climate, so I thought it might be better for her to be a bit cooler, so she’s currently in the house (26°c as opposed to 40°c), but I’m now worried that it’s TOO cold for her, and that she won’t handle being put back into the heat later. She also seems to be having difficulty regulating her temperature— her body feels hot as anything, but her face and feet are freezing. I’ve now got a rag laying across her face, in an attempt to help.

I really don’t know if what I’m doing (keeping her inside, isolated, with a rag on her face) is going to help her or worsen her condition still. Any insights would be greatly appreciated!
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 01:53 by Flo123 »

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Flo123

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Re: My hen is sick!
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 03:47 »
Like I mentioned she is a rather old chicken, so if any one knows if this ‘illness’ just looks like dying of old age please let me know! It’s worrying me because her downfall was so sudden!

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grinling

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Re: My hen is sick!
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 11:35 »
Chickens require grit to break up food so mash rather than pellets would be better, or porridge .
I presume you do not have a reliable chicken vet near you. Suggestion would be to cull her if you think she is in discomfort.
40 is hot for chooks, I presume you offer lots of shade for yours with a change of water daily and the water is fresh rather than water butts.
Best way to tell temp for a chicken is to feel under the wing, do that with several.
Breathing good? eyes clear? comb colour? poop good/colour/consistency? Vent clean? Crop hard/squishy/smelly?

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Flo123

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Re: My hen is sick!
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2019, 04:11 »
Chickens require grit to break up food so mash rather than pellets would be better, or porridge .
I presume you do not have a reliable chicken vet near you. Suggestion would be to cull her if you think she is in discomfort.
40 is hot for chooks, I presume you offer lots of shade for yours with a change of water daily and the water is fresh rather than water butts.
Best way to tell temp for a chicken is to feel under the wing, do that with several.
Breathing good? eyes clear? comb colour? poop good/colour/consistency? Vent clean? Crop hard/squishy/smelly?

She is breathing and looking fine, the only indication of her being sick is she is fatigued. Her comb is a bit pale, but it regains its colour when we feed her (she won’t eat independently and obviously we can’t be handfeeding her 24/7, but we try our best to check on her frequently). You did remind me however of a detail I forgot to mention– the solid parts of her poos have looked fine (and obviously solid), but the runny part is milky green. It seems of a regular consistency, it’s just the colour. I did a bit of research about it and most sources pointed to some kind of infection she could be fighting.

Our chooks have multiple sources of fresh water, and limitless shade. Keeping them cool has always been important to us.

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grinling

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Re: My hen is sick!
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2019, 20:24 »
what are the feeders and water holders made out of?
have you got chipped old paint anywhere outside? Do people shoot near you? Do you use lead water pipes?
Lead poisoning can only be treated by a vet.

When were they wormed last and with what?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 20:36 by grinling »



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