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Poorly hen, please help!

Posted: 02 May 2015, 09:09
by Sisterhood
hello all,
I've been studying the poo pictures page this morning, so thought I would ask for any advice on my poorly hen.

We separated her from her sisters a couple of weeks ago as she was getting picked on and needed to grow some feathers back. She seemed a bit sad at being on her own, but otherwise normal, until yesterday when she didn't come out of the coop in the morning and refused to eat anything. Even corn. She looked quite rheumy in the eyes and she had passed a lot of shelless egg. I got some nutridrops down her and checked she was at least drinking.

I got an appointment at the vet for later in the afternoon, but then cancelled that when she seemed feistier and started to eat some corn and tuna. She was then hanging out sadly in the garden and only ate very little. She did watery poos and passed more egg white.

I began to wonder whether she had been struggling to maintain her body temperature over night on her own. We have had a clutch of frosts, one or two of them quite hard. She had returned herself to the pet carrier I had been going to take her to the vet in, so I thought maybe she was cold and brought her into the house overnight.

She ate a little bit more and this morning I put her back outside at about 6.30, she has done more normal poos overnight, but also passing some egg white, and she wasn't happy, still wouldn't eat and looked like she was shivering so I've brought her back in.
She then ate quite a bit more than yesterday, a mixture of pellets, corn and tuna, but she's very subdued, head hunched, feathers fluffed up, just standing in the pet carrier and snoozing. Eyes still rheumy and closing more.

Probably should have kept the vets appointment, but the poultry specialist was in Buxton, which is half an hour's drive, so that might not have done her much good.

Sorry for the massive post, any advice gratefully received. I'm thinking more nutridrops, keep her in, keep trying to persuade her to eat? But she needs to stop trying to make eggs!


Re: Poorly hen, please help!

Posted: 02 May 2015, 09:24
by organic chick
I hope someone comes along to help you with this soon. I don't think I can help on this one. I am interested in where the poultry specialist vet is in Buxton though?

Re: Poorly hen, please help!

Posted: 02 May 2015, 09:28
by Sisterhood
Grove veterinary Centre in new mills and high peak Veterinary practice in Buxton are part of the same group and they have a vet called Victoria who keeps chickens. She is some times in new mills and sometimes Buxton.

Re: Poorly hen, please help!

Posted: 02 May 2015, 09:57
by ladyplumber
I managed to get a hen through this last year, but may just have been lucky. I gave her a warm bath every day for about 4 days - this seemed to help evaquate much of the yolk and gunk, drying her off each time with a hair dryer on a warm setting, then I let her back outside with the others, although I replaced the layers pellets for allwith straight wheat temporarily to try to slow down her egg production.

I repeated this until she started to pick up which she did luckily, but to this day, she only lays once in a blue moon, and always a whopper.

There's no saying this would work for your hen Sisterhood, but it's always worth a try. My Molly has become more of a pet now, but she's earned it - she's now 5 years old.

Good luck :thumbright:

Re: Poorly hen, please help!

Posted: 02 May 2015, 17:00
by Sisterhood
Thanks. It sounds like stopping laying could be the best outcome if her egg-bits (technical term) are permanently damaged. She's doing much better now but obviously needs long term monitoring. I'll try some dry oats as well, not that she's eaten a lot of proper pellets.
If she carries on improving can I skip the warm baths? She would absolutely hate it!

Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Re: Poorly hen, please help!

Posted: 02 May 2015, 22:45
by subruss
Stick to giving her good quality pellets a bit of corn and a small amount of greens(if she is not free range) and plenty of clean water, giving them other foods does not help with digestive or egg problems. :thumbright:

Re: Poorly hen, please help!

Posted: 04 May 2015, 17:04
by organic chick
Thanks for the vet details. Will add to our file.

Re: Poorly hen, please help!

Posted: 11 May 2015, 07:58
by Sisterhood
Sadly she didn't make it. She was perky during the week, but was down with another much worse round of infection this weekend, so we said goodbye yesterday...

Our first dispatch that we'd done ourselves - and don't particularly want to do another... :(

We collected 4 rescues hens on Saturday we were feeling upbeat... but it was a sad end to the weekend...

Re: Poorly hen, please help!

Posted: 11 May 2015, 10:06
by CP
So sorry. :cry:

Re: Poorly hen, please help!

Posted: 12 May 2015, 06:43
by Henwife
Dispatch is never pleasant, but the first time is always the worst.