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Hey there everyone,
I've got a chicken that is having some serious issues. Looks physically healthy but hides in dark places for most of the day, acts very sluggish, and doesn't seem to be eating. I'm isolating it because the other chickens are roughing it up pretty badly.
I've got two theories:
1. It's egg bound. There is slight swelling in her posterior, but there isn't really signs of an egg. (I'm not positive what I am looking at/for however.)
2. Chicken depression. She is part of a group that just got added to our flock a week ago. As they usually do, there was some sparring between the new and old hens (all the same age). Is it possible that this chicken just got beat up one too many times? I should note that I can't find any particular damage on the chicken except for a red (but still feathered) neck.
If anyone with experience (especially with egg bound chickens) would like to stop by and give us some advice, that would be great.
I was speaking to our veterinarian last week about which chickens are well suited for the heat. She has a flock of 100 + girls and stated the lighter bodied hens handle the heat better then the full, heavier hens. I know Polish are lighter and smaller then my Reds. So it would follow that Polish do better in our climate. Anybody have any evidence to support this opinion?
There is none. The best chickens for hot areas are "Mediteranean" breeds, most notable of these are Leghorns or Leghorn hybrids. All of the breeds will do okay to well here with a simple mister to help them out during the hottest part of the day during the summer.
Yeah, I was worried my relatively fluffy wyandottes would overheat in the summer, but I couldn't find any examples. Most stories I heard were positive and even suggested the more well insulated breeds in the summer (orpingtons, barred rocks, etc). We'll see. I am about to head into my first desert summer for the chickens (and building a mister).
Same old problem, adding birds to a flock, hard to do and sometimes never works out. If she is egg bound, best to kill her and put her out of her misery.
Likely, she is just so pushed around by the other birds she is seeking a safe place to stay most of the day. Adding birds to an existing flock is overall cruel. Better to have a flock all in, and all out. Lessens disease issues and greatly lowers the stress on all of the birds!
Look up this problem on different forums, even on the forums here. You will find the same suggestions, same tragic stories, same poor overall results.
Time it is called what it is, not very nice for the chickens!
Ok, so over the weekend, our hen surprised us because she laid an egg. Unfortunately, she is still acting lethargic and the egg was very very thin shelled.
Both of these indicate that I was wrong about the egg bound situation and that poor girl got a bath for no reason.
This leaves me with the symptoms of severe lethargy, no respiratory symptoms, and thin egg shells....which doesn't match symptoms of any disease I can find. At this point, we are just going to keep her isolated and hope she heals over time.
If you haven't already, please try to de worm her. Its very common for them to get worms, and that would explain lethargy without respiratory symptoms. Use Safeguard, because it is the most broad spectrum and will kill a broader range of worms. I like the horse dewormer paste because its simple to treat just one hen. Put a little bit of the paste on your finger tip and put it on the roof of her mouth. She will swallow enough to treat her. also, any runny poop or signs of coccidocis? That's another thing I would be suspicious of. She may need to be dusted with Seven or DE...dusting the coop may not be enough to keep parasites away.
Sometimes, they just seem to get failure to thrive and have metabolic issues that makes them weak and eventually die. I hope she pulls through, and I suggest treating her for the simple things that are easy to treat, just so you can rule those things out.
Good idea. Plus I'm sure it would be good to have a few of those treatments on hand as well.
Safeguard horse dewormer paste
Amprol powder for Coccidosis (or medicated chick starter if you can't find amprol)
Seven dust or go organic with food grade Diatomatious Earth to prevent and treats mites, lice and kills fly larva to control fly problems.
Done, thanks! I actually got a chicken specific dewormer. Plus I plan on trying to use DE to slow/discourage squash bugs.
great! Let us know how it goes.
What is the typical withdrawal period when using a dewormer?
They say to wait 2 weeks before eating the eggs. This is standard for any medication, not because there is necessarily any danger to eating the eggs but because there will never be any human testing done to prove or disprove the safety of eggs after medication is administered. It is really up to you to decide if you want to eat them. If you choose not to, you can always scramble them up and feed them back to the chickens!