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Hens not behaving normally

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Hi there


My two ex-broiler breeders are both behaving oddly. Both stopped laying back in September, had a massive moult and feathered up beautifully. Neither have come back into lay but occasionally I'd get a "mini egg" looking thing and a few lashes. I wormed Annie and Betty two months ago with no sign worms.

Now for last 4 weeks both have gone off mash and will only eat corn, sunflower seeds and anything such as rice, cous cous, spaghetti I feed them. They wont eat any greens either. Betty started getting a dirty bottom and I cleaned her up several times. Now resorted to clipping off her bum feathers. Poo's are small and bright green for both of them and they seem lethargic. They go to bed early and just hang about in the garden. I ran Betty to the vets as she seemed to develope laboured breathing and the runny bum got worse. Vet said heart was fine, she was bright and vocal and comb a good colour. No temperature but did indicate that symptoms might relate to an underlying problem but what she didnt know what.

Over the last 2 weeks she seems to be passing lash type things that vary in size of peas to small slugs and are a dirty yellow colour, not like a normal lash thats generally a pinky colour. Both girls are lethargic and lack interest in anything but yesterday were doing the usual demented odd behaviour dustbathing. They are both on antibiotic denagard in their water and Betty is on oral Metacam. Her laboured breathing has stopped but Annie appears to be breathing oddly now. This morning I found the remains of a normal lash that had been torn apart and partially eaten (YUK!) but not sure which hen laid it as I have 2 new ex-batts living next door to these girls and they roam together. Ex-batts are in good form with no similar signs and eating like horses.

All this seems really strange. The girls are about 30 months old and have been fine up until recently.

Any advise would be really appreciated.





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I would get a sample of their droppings analysed and I would keep them off anything but layers mash so they get what they would normally need. Could be a parasitic gut infection.


I don't think they would lay normally on the diet they have at present if they were ok. Mine would eat only that if they got a chance. :D

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Hi There


Thanks for the reply.

Apart from a little Brown Rice I am giving them layers mash with a little rabbit critical care formula mixed in with garlic powder. I also have some poultry nutri-drops that I am giving Betty. They really seem uninterested in the mash dry but are reasonably happy with it when mixed with warm water.

I'm beginning to wonder if the problem is not just one but a mixture of many things. Today her poo's seemed a little better but not a lot. The signs make no sense to me. The only thing I havent done is worm them since February. I'm wondering if this might be part of the problem. Not seen any worms though.






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Hi there


Just an update on my two girls.

Vet advised to give them porridge and rice to get them to eat. I brought my two new hens in to eat with them and this encouraged the eating, them having to fight for their food. Betty is now eating and the bright yellow poos she produced are now white with green but Annie now has bright yellow poos and really laboured breathing. Got both of them on Denagard antiobiotic and Annie on Metacam again together with nutri-drops for the diahorrea but I really fear for her as her breathing is terrible. If you listed to her lungs through a stethascope all you can hear are rattling as if the lungs are full of fluid.Took a large poo selection to the vets and they are running tests on it to see if they can figure out the cause. I was just reading about histamonis and hoping this isn't the cause. Betty is back to normal and after cleaning her bottom up there doesnt appear to be any more problems. Guess I will have to persevere with the medication and hope for the best. Vet says at present there isn't any more he can do until tests come back.



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