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Sickly hen

AriasFarmAriasFarm Junior Member
edited November 2006 in Poultry Health and Welfare
Hi again - been in the States for 4 weeks so just discovering some issues with my chooks. Besides all the broody hens to de-brood, I've got a sickly hen with diarrhea.

White Sussex, 1 year only, was laying, not now
Eats very little, mornings only, nearly empty mushy crop
Mopes, lethargic, droopy wings
Thin breast, feels too light for her size
Diarrhea is white/clear liquid, frequent
Vent is clear, but feathers below sticky white.
No swollen abdomen, can't feel any stuck eggs or anything.
Sleeps in the nesting box rather than the roosts.
IF this is the same bird that was mopey before I left, then she's been like this for 6-8 weeks now.

I also notice a couple other hens with white sticky feathers below the vent, and couple other whitish diarrhea in the pens. Never noticed any bloody droppings - dosed them for coccidiosis a month ago. But most of my hens still seem a bit on the thin side despite ample feed (pellets, greens). I suspect the entire brood is due for a worming now. Could this one hen just have a bad case of worms???

Kerris

Comments

  • AriasFarmAriasFarm Junior Member
    edited November 2006
    Hey another question - I've just found another hen thats about 3 years old, thats gone all yellow - yellow skin, yellow vent, red comb gone orange - acts and looks very ill indeed - I assume fatal liver failure?? Best to end her misery now, right?
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited November 2006
    Yellowing of the skin indicates some form of poisoning

    Copper Poisoning or Mycotoxin Poisoning

    Usually the result of improperly formulated mineral mixes or certain plants causing mineral imbalances. Primarily affects sheep but can affect other animals. Signs are related to liver damage and include diarrhea, pain, dehydration, jaundice

    Either that or the birds have Lymphoid Leukosis

    Click here for Information on Lymphoid Leukosis



    Usually the result of improperly formulated mineral mixes or certain plants causing mineral imbalances. Primarily affects sheep but can affect other animals. Signs are related to liver damage and include diarrhea, pain, dehydration, jaundice


    Usually the result of improperly formulated mineral mixes or certain plants causing mineral imbalances. Primarily affects sheep but can affect other animals. Signs are related to liver damage and include diarrhea, pain, dehydration, jaundice
  • crazychickcrazychick Senior Member
    edited November 2006
    I, too, suspect lymphoid leukosis, most likely in both your birds. It is moderately contagious so when one bird gets it, sometimes a couple more do as well. Signs include all you've described so far- the yellowish or jaundiced skin can be a sign of liver failure, as you've mentioned, because lymphoid leukosis will often target the liver. Affected birds may have a large, swollen liver that you can feel through the abdomen on their left side, behind the ribs. Extreme emaciation, loss of appetite, slowing of digestive system, ruffled feathers, sleepy eyes and dehydration - sleeping in a different spot (so they don't have to jump up to roost), diarrhea... these are all symptoms of LL (although many of them are symptoms of other diseases too, which is why LL is so difficult to diagnose). If the bird has a swollen liver, though, this is a pretty clear indication that they have LL.

    Sorry that your birds are sick... I just lost one to LL last weekend. :(

    Laura
  • AriasFarmAriasFarm Junior Member
    edited November 2006
    Hi guys - reporting back.

    Wormed the chooks.

    No change in poor PomPom (the yellowed one), so put her out of her misery.
    Hardly any blood left in her, and what was there, was very light and watered down - not the deep dark red.
    Can't believe how much fat a little bantam could have throughout her insides!
    Liver not all that enlarged, but very pale indeed.
    Poor heart had been worked half to death - very saggy and limp.
    No other chickens have shown this same yellowing, so I'm hoping it was a one-off.

    The poorly hen has made quite a good recovery - can hardly tell her from the others now. Woopee!
    In fact, the entire flock has really perked up. No more diarrhea on the ground.

    Obviously worms made a big impact. They are free range several hours a day and eat lots of worms and slugs, so how often do you recommend I worm them - twice a year??

    I've noticed the Leghorns were not all that affected. Shavers seemed well but layed less. But the Bantams, Sussex, Araucanas and mixed ones were the most poorly. Is this typical with differing breeds? Are Leghorns the most hardy? I'm experimenting to find the least hassle, highest laying breed...but they do fly over the fence and go a bit flighty at times!
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited November 2006
    AriasFarm wrote:
    Hi guys - reporting back. Wormed the chooks.

    You will need to re worm them in 14 days time... what happens is the worming medication only gets rid of the adult worms not the eggs laid by the adult worms.. in 14 days time these eggs should have hatched ..and the second worming will get rid of them also .. so it should leave your birds just about free of worms... but they are never totally free of them ever
    No change in poor PomPom (the yellowed one), so put her out of her misery.
    Hardly any blood left in her, and what was there, was very light and watered down - not the deep dark red.
    Can't believe how much fat a little bantam could have throughout her insides!
    Liver not all that enlarged, but very pale indeed.
    Poor heart had been worked half to death - very saggy and limp.
    No other chickens have shown this same yellowing, so I'm hoping it was a one-off.

    Sounds like she bled internally.. poor little thing
    The liver was not working from the sounds of things

    Actually reminds me of Infectious Bursal Disease

    This is the PM findings... does any of it ring a bell with what you found

    Postmortem Finding:
    Cloacal bursa is swollen, edematous, yellowish, and sometimes hemorrhagic.
    May also see congestion and hemorrhage of the pectoral, thigh, and leg muscles.
    Kidney lesions are sometimes seen (excessive urate deposits).
    Chickens that have recovered have small, atrophied cloacal bursas.
    Sometimes none significant or dark shriveled breast muscles flecked with bloody streaks
    Mucus filled intestine
    Cloacal bursa may be yellow, pink or red, or black, swollen, oblong-shaped, filled with creamy or cheesy material and surrounded by gelatinous film (as the disease progresses, the bursa returns to normal size, then shrinks and shrivels up)
    Swollen spleen covered with gray dots
    Birds that die from inflection have swollen, pale kidneys
    The poorly hen has made quite a good recovery - can hardly tell her from the others now. Woopee!
    In fact, the entire flock has really perked up. No more diarrhea on the ground.

    Obviously worms made a big impact.

    Good news that they are looking a lot better
    Many people underestimate how worms can affect the health of their flock, its good that you have wormed them and can see the difference
    They are free range several hours a day and eat lots of worms and slugs, so how often do you recommend I worm them - twice a year??

    Every worm or bug has worms inside them and this is how they become re infected...

    If they were inside birds yes twice a year.. but they are outside birds so they need more .. at least 3 times a year .. if they have access to lots of bugs.. do them 4 times a year
    I've noticed the Leghorns were not all that affected. Shavers seemed well but layed less. But the Bantams, Sussex, Araucanas and mixed ones were the most poorly. Is this typical with differing breeds? Are Leghorns the most hardy? I'm experimenting to find the least hassle, highest laying breed...but they do fly over the fence and go a bit flighty at times!

    Some birds can hide that they are sick... better than other birds can

    But worms affect their general healty no matter what breed they are
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