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Possible SOS

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Well, I'm having a right old week with my hens:

One of our little ranger hens has spent the last few days hunched up with her tail feathers down a lot of the time. She's eating and drinking well, so that doesn't seem to be a problem.

In the last 2 weeks, they have been wormed with Flubenvet, and we've done a bi-annual treatment of Ivermectin, so by rights there shouldn't be any little nasties on or in her.

Her crop is puffed out too; however, I checked it and it felt empty, so I'm 99% sure she doesn't have sour crop or impacted crop.

I thought she might be egg-bound, so I checked her just now, and she doesn't appear to be (in fact, I'm 99% sure she laid an egg this morning) - but the only thing I did notice is that she has an incredibly dirty, smelly bottom. I haven't had a chance to bathe her, but I did put on some gloves and check and in so far as I can see, she does not have fly strike.

It's hard to know who has done what, but I couldn't see any icky poop in the run of any kind, so I am literally out of ideas.

She's also not that old, probably about 18 - 22 months, at a guess.

Anyone care to hazard a guess?

I'll give her a bath tomorrow and take her to the vet as soon as I can, but any suggestions are welcome!

I managed to take the attached picture, but it's not really that insightful, I appreciate that.





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51 minutes ago, Cat tails said:

Maybe she has an upset gut from the worming? If she had a high worm burden, the dead worms maybe could be disrupting things? Just guessing here though.

I suppose that's a possibility... although I've never noticed anything that makes me think for a second that any of them have ever had worms.

I worm every 3 months, and when we do a clear out, I always put lots of Nettex down to sterilise the ground as much as is possible.

I'm completely stumped with this one. Maybe she's just having a moment.

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1 hour ago, mullethunter said:

Has this come on since the fox attack? Just wondering if it could be a stress reaction? It doesn’t seem very likely - they generally seem to be fine once they realise it’s not them that was got - but you never know.

No other ideas really - hope she gets better.

It might have exacerbated the issue, but she's been like this for a few days, so I think it's unrelated. Unless, of course, the fox has paid more than one visit that I have been aware of!

The new electric fence gets here tomorrow, so hopefully no more foxings after.

We might go and get some more hens at the weekend to build the flock up again.

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Sadly little Red didn't make it. We were checking on her, and I found her slumped in her sandbox to discover the other girls had turned murderous and had plucked her feathers out and left her raw and bloody. It was awful, so I had to take her up to the vet to have her euthanised. The vet said she wasn't sure what was wrong, but she could feel a large build up of fluids in her chest cavity. :(

RIP Red.


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12 minutes ago, mullethunter said:

That’s a sad end - sorry to hear it.

I know it shouldn’t really because there’s nothing we can do but it bothers me when you never know what was wrong.

I'm going to phone back tomorrow and see what the vet's notes were (assuming she added any). She said during her initial assessment that she could 'possibly' see a couple of issues - but she only shared her thoughts about the fluid in the chest cavity.

I'm absolutely devastated because I just wish I'd rushed her down to the vets yesterday, but I had checked her over for everything I could think of and she (to my lay-person's eyes) seemed ok just not herself. I'm absolutely kicking myself.

Just now, soapdragon said:

Sorry to hear that, Andy. Honestly don't think there was anything more that you could have done; sometimes these things just happen - vet was obviously stumped to so perhaps it was just her time? 

Maybe. She was a fairly young hen. I'm going to see what the vet's notes were tomorrow... the only thing she mentioned was the fluid on her chest.

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