Hen Looks Weak and Confused

by Cyndie
(Long Island)

Question:
Hen Looks Weak and Confused: My hen this morning doesn't appear normal. She came out of her house with the other hens and didn't seem herself.

Her comb was pale and she was drinking lots of water(no it's not hot here as of yet 60's. She seems like she is confused and won't really eat.

I tried offering her different things, she just doesn't seem right. She seems to have a stool all stuck to her feathers on her bottom. She had something similar to this about 1 yr ago.

A friend gave me Baytril which i gave to her orally. She was so bad but she pulled through and has been fine ever since until now. She has food in her coop 24/7 but yet seems very thin. Any clue? I would really hate to see anything happen to her.

Answer:
She should be separated from the flock. If Baytril helped her last time and something similar happened, it may help again.

If she has been broody, sitting on the nest a lot, that could account for thinness. She may have worms, which might account for thinness and loss of good color in her comb.

Worms can consume some of her blood supply leaving her weak and feeling poorly. I would get some vitamin electrolyte powder at the feed store. This can help boost her energy and give some appetite back.

If she has worms you need a good broad spectrum wormer. You may need to treat your flock, if you find she has worms.

Offering her some heat at one end of a cage may help raise her metabolism and spark an appetite again.

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May 25, 2011
hen looks weak and confused"please help"
by: Anonymous

Thank you very much for your quick response...I followed your advice and have her separated from the other hens ...now she is having another issue..

I'm trying to explain the best that I can..she seems confused as if she were drunk then it seems like she puts her head all the way back where it is resting on her back she wiggles it back and forth I support her and bring her head back to normal I tell her it's ok then it's like she relaxes and will attempt to drink and eat but very little.

She ...when I was assisting her to eat today she seemed to push, allot of air came out along with clear fluid and green stool but more air then anything....would you think this sounds like a seizure? or some sort of poisoning?

I just don't get it.... -did you ever hear of anything so strange? i am giving her electrolytes
along with baby bird food the one you use to hand feed with(bird formula),

I feel like she's fighting for her life and I wish I could help her...I'm desperate. Ethel is only 2yrs old..:o(

May 28, 2011
Hen Weak/Confused
by: Sharon

You haven't said what breed she is. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Production Bred hens, like the breeds available at feed stores each spring, may only have 2 healthy years in them.

So, sadly, you may be fighting a losing battle, even prolonging suffering. She could be suffering from major organ failures, or any number of internal issues.

If she is not a Production Breed, she may recover.

The trouble with chickens is that once it's obvious they are not well, they have been having problems for possibly weeks and it can be a long road back to recovery.

You have to really watch them and look for any little unusual behavior that might give you a clue something isn't right.

Their survival instincts cause them to act normally as long as they can, so as not to draw the attention of predators or the dominant in the flock that may insist the weak leave.

Illness and weakness are perceived as a threat to the whole flock, even from one chicken, and even if predators can't actually get to them.

If she and any of your chickens are Production Bred, I would suggest researching "Heritage" breeds, since they are generally longer lived.

Production breeds were developed for short but very productive lives, giving eggs and meat.

Even with the best possible care Production breeds, especially hens, just weren't bred to do well after 2 years of age.

These breeds are used commercially and often replaced after their first year of laying, so there is just no need for them to be long lived and healthy much past that time in their lives (1 1/2 - 2 years).

When I hear of hens having problems at 2 years of age, I first suspect they are Production Bred. It never hurts to care and doctor them, unless there is a serious and contagious disease present.

The longer they are contagious, the more risk to your flock and even possibly wild bird species, depending on the disease.

This may just be a case of "old age", but I couldn't say for sure.

Jan 06, 2012
reply
by: Anonymous

Yup, what you describe sounds like sour crop, or impacted crop. Any good google search will supply you with multitudes of info on either condition. Personally, bread dipped in lots of olive oil and lots of massage worked for me, few times daily, over a period of 4-5 days. Hope i'm not too late.!

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