sick hen, please help

t-bred(5)August 27, 2008

Hello everyone. I have 5 hens and 1 little bantam rooster. Over the past week, one of my hens has become ill. She is about 2 years old. Over the past week her stool has become very watery and has gotten stuck all over her backside. Her appetite has dropped off, she is tucking her tail and is very lethargic. I understand it is very diffcult to diagnose such symptoms but any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I have been administering Amprol for coccidiosis but that has made no difference. Many thanks in advance!!

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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

I'm not good at diagnosing, but my advice is that you isolate her, give her extra heat and monitor whether she's eating. She could be eggbound or have a parasite or disease.

In my experience, sometimes just putting the hen in her own cage with a heat lamp (don't overheat her, but make it so her body doesn't have to expend energy to heat itself) for a few days gives the system a chance to heal itself.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 7:07PM
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Thank you so much for your quick response Johanna!! I read about egg bind after you mentioned it and soaked her in warm water for awhile. I have also isolated her and put a brooder lamp nearby. While checking her out more closely, I noticed the area between her legs is very distended feels like a very large water baloon. I did not feel an impacted egg, just a very large "squishy" area. I compared her with the other hens and none of the others had this. Any other thoughts would be very welcomed!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:10PM
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Hi t-bred

I'm fairly new to keeping chickens, but i read a lot over at backyard chickens. They have so many knowlagable people there someone may be able to help you out,. Poor little hen, I do hope she gets better for you. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 7:40AM
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I am new to this site. Did you find out what was wrong? I hope she got better.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 2:34PM
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Doesn't sound like egg bind. It maybe an intestinal infection or bad case of worms. Separate-always separate to a different building if possible. Sickness can spread fast. Try a sulfur based antibiotic double the does the first day for the sick hen and regular strength for 4 more days. Heat lamp like Johanna h suggested. I also mix their feed with the water with the antibotics in it so all sources of moisture is medicated. Don't give fresh fruit and veggies while medicating. Many time they get most liquids required from the foods they forge when free ranging. If it doesn't begin to clear up after 24 hours you might want to consult a Vet that is familiar with poultry. Watch the stool of your other birds-if you see watery or off color or runny stools you may want to treat your whole flock. Hope this ends well for you and your friend. Keep on Chick'en!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 7:17PM
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I have a chicken with a hurt foot she holds it up and close to her body - when I examined foot it looked like it was bruised/blue/green streaks in some areas of her foot - could be she got hung up in something? never had a chicken with a hurt foot and am not sure what to do. Any suggestions?


    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 7:04PM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)


I once had a chicken have what I initially thought were "streaks" across her foot and it turned out she had a piece of string wrapped very tight around her foot. I had to carefully cut it off -- the foot had swollen a bit around it, what a mess. For the next day or two she limped, but then she was good to go.

I'd take a closer look -- see if it's really discoloration in her skin or if it's something on the surface?


    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 7:32PM
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Johanna H: thanks for the quick reply - after posting I went out and checked again - I also looked around the coop and beyond, nothing on her foot - but since you mentioned string that is what the marks reminded me of - that something may have been wrapped around her foot at one time
I will keep a close watch on her - they are free range on 4 acres so could have been anything. Is there anything else I should do for her? maybe cage her so that she can't run around until it heals?

Thank you so much

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 1:18AM
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