Unknown illness in my hen
Unknown illness in my hen: I have a 1 1/2 yr. old hen who has been acting lethargic. Her eyes are clear & bright, she has no respiratory problems, no swelling, discharges or foul smells, although she does have a greater number of dark colored stools that smell.
Today, she passed what looked like a yolk/clear colored gelatinous mass. Is it an egg product or a stool? She wants to follow her sisters around, but she just doesn't have the pep of a healthy hen.
Her lack of symptoms confounds me. I do not think she is egg bound. I do have her isolated from the rest. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.Answer
Your hen gave you an egg without a shell. This is a sign of a calcium deficiency. It is very important that you offer oyster shells are some other form of calcium supplement. Without proper calcium levels, she will continue to lay shell-less eggs.
The dark feces could be worms. Has she been wormed lately? Stop by your feed store and pick up a good quality wormer.
I would worm your entire flock, just to be on the safe side.
Worms and the calcium deficiency can cause lethargy. I would be sure to put a water soluble vitamin supplement in her water dish.
Offering the chicken some yogurt will also help give her extra strength and calcium. A little bit of molasses on her feed will also entice her to eat better.