A little advice, please?

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Ulalume1

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A little advice, please?
« on: March 27, 2020, 10:29 »
Hi all.
A total newbie, both to the forum and to chickens. We had been given four hens and a rooster and later acquired two new hens. Weve no idea of breeds or age and no info was forthcoming. Today we notice one of our little hens, after coming out of the house for the day, was lethargic, had little interest in interacting with the others and ate very sparingly. She's pretty much standing in place in a slightly hunched position and is closing her eyes for longer periods than usual, only coming alert to a sudden noise or near movement.
Up to this point she has been fine, laying normally and is just like our others, ordinarily manic and chicken-like. I've grabbed her and checked her over. No indication of trouble with her eyes or breathing and she was as stubborn as usual about being handled.
I'd be grateful for any advice.
Many thanks

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New shoot

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2020, 11:03 »
Hi and welcome  :)

As well as her breathing, did you check for her crop?  It could be the other end and a problem with egg laying.

Some links here from the main site and forum


https://www.chickens.allotment-garden.org/poultry-illnesses-ailments/impacted-bound-crop-chickens-guide/

https://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=64395.0

See point 5 of the last one.

Hope that helps  :)

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Ulalume1

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2020, 11:35 »
Thanks new shoot, I'll check her crop and also check for a stuck egg and will report back. As a point of learning for me, would any of these conditions cause any loss of colour from the face / comb at all? Her colour is fine by the way but I would assume, as with people, the blood supply to these areas may be redirected when a hen is ill

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New shoot

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2020, 12:02 »
I don't think so.  I have had a couple lose colour to their faces when they have been feeling unwell, but not from sour crop or a bound egg.

Work your way through the basics first.  Chickens are very tough and bounce back from a lot.  If you have a dog crate or somewhere similar where you can isolate her, that might be a good idea.  It just removes the pressure of the rest of the flock and let's them relax.  If she gets upset about being separated, put her back.  There is not much wrong.  If she is happy to sit quietly on her own, she is feeling pretty ill, but that doesn't mean she won't get better with a little care.

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Ulalume1

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2020, 13:58 »
Again, thank you. We have checked both crop and for any stuck eggs. Her crop, from what little I know, seems clear of any hard matter. We were able to feel an egg like formation in her, but it seemed fairly soft and pliant. She is a small hen though, usually laying only one or two small blue eggs. We shall keep an eye on her as when she has been removed from the flock, she has seemed to become anxious. Once again, many thanks for your help

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Ulalume1

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2020, 13:03 »
Just to update. We are still very worried about this hen. We had the vet take a look at her. He has given us some worming solution but seemed unable to suggest anything wrong. Today she is less responsive and when I tried to coax her to eat she twisted her head around and only seemed to have one leg able to function correctly. This only l as Ted for a minute or so. Now she is in the house and we're trying to get some water into her. She is still fairly lethargic and is unwilling to move about much, though she can when prompted. Her poop is very watery and we're concerned about dehydration. Any further thoughts from you guys would be very appreciated

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New shoot

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2020, 15:13 »
If she is refusing food and water, then I am afraid she is pretty unwell.   If she is also pretty much 'down' in the coop, then that is also a bad sign.  It could be old age, an infection inside her, heart problems, or any other number of things.

They do mask illness for a long time, so when they go downhill, it can be very rapid.  It is nothing you have done wrong. but if the vet has no ideas and can offer no treatment, then the kindest thing to do is just to end any suffering.   It might be time for a final vet visit to get her put to sleep, if you can't face doing it yourself.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news  :(

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Ulalume1

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2020, 14:54 »
This is what we were thinking.  Today has brought changes though. Although she is still not quite herself, she is eating a little, drinking and moving around, interacting with the others etc. Its all confusing the heck out of me I admit. Hopefully, she continues to improve!
Thanks for your advice so far, it's good to not be wandering alone in the dark with this.

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Ulalume1

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2020, 06:49 »
I'm beginning to think I'm harping on about this too much. This morning she came out of the house, immediately our rooster went to jump on her. I was in the run so he backed off but she suddenly lost balance and  stumbled back and forth until she fell forward, her head tipped back and her legs rigid. She stayed this way for several minutes until I picked her up. She relaxed with me until she decided she wanted down and flew to the floor! She's not right though, standing in place and looking slow.
Do I just end all this or is there any hope at all?

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New shoot

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2020, 11:00 »
I'm beginning to think I'm harping on about this too much.

Please don't think that.  We are more than happy to help if we can  :)

If the rooster is bothering her, can you isolate her (perhaps with a friend) somewhere else?  Shed/outbuilding maybe?

If she is eating and drinking, that is a good thing.  It will be easier to monitor that if you have her apart from the rest.  Greens or an apple to peck will help with hydration.

If she doesn't perk up quickly from the rest and time away to recover, it is probably time to do something about it.  I would expect a rapid improvement over 24 hours if she is just a bit under the weather. 

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grinling

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2020, 19:27 »
How is she?

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Ulalume1

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2020, 06:51 »
Hi guys.
Sorry for the delayed response, things are all over the place currently here.
Sadly, after our little hen started having repeated and increasingly frequent seizures, we made the decision to end it. We had been keeping her indoors with us as it had become necessary to give her food and water by hand and we had started seeing some improvement, but the seizures became the major problem. None of our others are showing any signs of issues at all, so hopefully that's the last of it.
Thank you all for your concern and advice. It's been a great comfort for someone who is new to keeping chucks.

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New shoot

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2020, 09:19 »
Sorry to hear it ended that way, but I think you made the right decision.  I'm glad the rest seem OK  :)

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grinling

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2020, 21:39 »
Please could you describe what was occuring during a seizure.
What breed of hen?
Pictures of the birds if unsure.
Are the birds in a new hen house or did they come with their original one?
What other birds did the last owners have?

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Ulalume1

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Re: A little advice, please?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2020, 14:25 »
Hi Grinling
Sorry for the late reply. During a seizure her head would turn up and back across her back and her legs would become rigid, unable to move. At the onset of this she would become disoriented and stumble as if very dizzy.
As to breed, no idea sorry. She was one of a very mixed flock we were given. She was by far the smallest, I shall attempt to find a photo, it may not be great quality I'm afraid. I built their hen house and run new before we got them. Where they were originally ( a friends farm) had many types of chickens and Guinea fowl, all free ranging. It was not a poultry farm though and they have not had any illness in their flock. I hope this answers your questions
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