Discuss, share and chat about all things relating to keeping Chickens including health issues
Sooner or later we come across a hen which shows signs of being unwell. The nature of hens is that they may be ill for some time before showing signs, its part of their 'genetics' that they mask illness to discourage predators from picking them off.
Symptoms of having an unwell hen can range from them being hunched up, head down, eyes closed, not moving, not eating or drinking, passing unusual faeces, not laying or laying unusual eggs, etc. More serious symptoms are going to be paralysis, hen having difficulty breathing, fitting, hen having accident resulting in broken limbs, deep wounds requiring stitching, prolapsing.
If you suspect your hen is unwell you have to make your mind up if you have the experience to deal with the illness, decide if you have any ideas what the problem could be and then decide if you can resolve or if you need the services of a vet.
Trying to work out what is wrong with your hen is detective work - ask yourself is your hens digestive system working properly (hen eating and drinking, crop functioning properly, hen passing normal faeces. Next hens breathing - hen not gaping (beak open and rapid 'breathing'), comb and wattles and mucus membranes looking pink, not dark red or even blue. Has your hen got any sign of ecto or endo parasites (worms, lice, mites, fleas, ticks). Remind yourself when they last had treatment against these parasites. Does your hen have a full range of movement, able to walk, no signs of injury to legs, wings, etc. Any paralysis, discharges loss of blood.
By now you should have an idea, at least, of what the problem could be and this is the time to decide - can you treat or do you need assistance of vet.
Hope this helps someone. I'm sure I've overlooked something here, but having one of those nights where I cannot sleep and just rattling on DTL.
Well said, this is a comprehensive list. Funny, I was on my blog putting some things together for some 4-H poultry members and you've jogged my memory to some needed items- thank you!
Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.
http://goldenhillsfarm.blogspot.com/201 ... -farm.html
Great post Bluebell...the only thing I would add is if the others are picking on the hen too...as you said....
or the others in the flock (because we know what little demons they can be!!) one sign of weakness and they use this to change their position in the pecking order so it can be a good sign that all is not well.
Living our version of the Good Life with 4 dogs, 6 cats, a cow, a few sheep, Angora Goats and ???? chooks.
Don't get your knickers in a knot..it solves nothing ~ just makes you walk funny
Thanks for your comments, girls!
Another thing to mention is if anyone decides they need a vet to see their hen, remember there is an announcement at the top of this page to help anyone in UK to find a vet who has experience of dealing with poultry regularly.
I have used the announcement, it was such a relief to get a list within seconds, and fortunately we have a great poultry vet within a ten minute walk from me, brilliant
I read the posts by clicking 'unread posts' first, so I had to hunt for that list. It is at the top of this category (which is easy to find if you are reading this, just click the 'return to poultry health' at the bottom of the page)
Hey, there are 2 within 15 mins drive (but not the chap I take the cat to)
Dance caller. http://mo-dance-caller.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-i-do.html
Sunny Clucker enjoyed Folk music and song in mid-Cheshire
Hi, i think that my hens have got bhronchitius. They are all rally weezy and snoty. In the last week i have lost 3 girls! I found my favourite lucy this afternoon, they are still laying however i am getting more and more worried, because i don't want them to suffer. My father in law who is co owner of the hens said that "it's just a cold". Is this right? I hope you can help as i am really worried.
Henryetta I think you need to get your chooks to a vet, I lost a beautiful Orpington (I did get them to a vet but they didn't get the meds they needed straight away as the vet tried other antibiotics then told me I couldn't expect them to be symptom free so I accepted they still had a cough which ended up fatal , eventually I took them to another vet and they were given tylan antibiotics which has got rid of the infection) nearly ended up losing another one that was really ill but she pulled through. I really think they need some medication before the rest are too weak to fight it, only my opinion, these girls amaze me they carry on laying when they're really poorly which makes us think they're ok when they're not.
Bumblefoot usually happens when bacteria gets into a wound. Very often battery hens will come out of the cages with it. As they live on wire and that damages the foot.
To start with a part of the foot, often between the toes or underneath is swollen and angry looking. As time goes by a black callous like thingy comes on the damaged area.
You need to get the pus out and the hen needs anti biotics. My girls always have baytril and the vet usually lifts the callous and gets out as much as possible.
When I get home, I bring them in door,with another hen for company, and keep the foot clean, by bandaging. A soak in hot, salt water a couple of times a day and then put some kind of poultice to draw out then poison.
I hope this helps. But you do need to take to a vet, to be sure it is bumblefoot and for some AB's
If you can't be a good example........
you will just have to be a horrible warning
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