SOS! What's wrong with Violet?

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Marigold
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SOS! What's wrong with Violet?

Post by Marigold » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:05 pm

She was fine this morning, her usual chirpy and active self, and I think she laid an egg. Five hours later when I came again she was standing with the feathers on her back all fluffed up, swaying a bit from side to side, periodically closing her eyes, and clacking her beak without any sound coming out.
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Any ideas? I've got rather attached to her in the past month!


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rick
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Re: SOS! What's wrong with Violet?

Post by rick » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:01 pm

Oh no Marigold!
Can you be fairly sure it was Violet who laid the egg?
I can only think to run through the usual checks that we all know but good to revise:
Is she pulsating (for want of a better word) her vent?
Crop Ok?
Any discharge from vent or odd poops? Or other discharge from nares or eyes?
Abdomen hot or swollen?
As always, put her in the sick bay so you can be sure to identify clues and to keep safe from the rest of the flock.
As long as there doesn't seem to be a crop blockage, etc., I must admit that seems to me that a bit of extra protein encourages them to eat something and gives a boost to get over a passing upset. I only surggest that if there seems to be nothing else to go on.
... Is the dust bath very dry or fine (I lost Betty that way to a respiratory infection but the tell tail sign was the dust encrusted around her nares.)
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Re: SOS! What's wrong with Violet?

Post by MrsBiscuit » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:20 pm

Yes she looks like an unwell hen, tail down. I can only echo Rick's ideas. Is she eating/drinking/pooing OK? If not, could be any number of things, but I find hand feeding, particularly sloppy stuff like pellets in water with something enticing like mealworms or corn sometimes helps get something into them. Crop OK (ie emptying? sour crop or impacted crop?) Is it squishy around the breast or does she waddle? (ascites?) Can she stand properly and move? (mareks? physical break or other issue?), lice and mites checked? Odd Breath sounds or bubbly eyes (respiratory issue of some sort and myco respectively). Assuming it was her egg then I guess its not egg peritonitis nor that she is seeking to lay a 'lash'. She is a bit old for cocci, but it is poss. Or it could be some internal thing we'll never know.

I'd keep an eye on her. Probably separate her tonight if convenient. Keep warm, fed and hydrated as far as you can. If she continues to look rubbish, then personally I continue the mollycoddling for 24 hours and then decide if its a vet thing or not. And take the appropriate steps depending on everything else. In your case, she is a young bird so all to play for.

Did you lose another one recently, forgive me for not going to check? Any similarities?
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Marigold
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Re: SOS! What's wrong with Violet?

Post by Marigold » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:49 pm

Thank you both for your kind help. I checked her every hour from 4.00 until 7.00, and there was little or no change. She was just standing in the same area, looking as if it was painful to walk around (this is a pullet who has been jumping up on to my shoulder when she got the chance.) I tried tempting her with mealworms etc but she didn't want to eat or drink. Crop felt OK, not squishy or compacted, but very little in it. Comb still bright red and erect. Vent clean, no poos observed but there was a runny watery poo on one of the perches in the run, don't know who did it. Eyes and nostrils clear, breathing OK, except that she was clattering her beak open and shut. They've been fed on a new bag of organic pellets and a controlled amount of fresh greens, no long grass etc, with a small helping of mealworms and corn each day (less than an egg cupful.) Run and coop exceptionally clean since the new girls arrived, after my big clean up and disinfectation, so no parasites and as bacteria-free as possible. No attacks or disturbances or bullying. All are commercial hybrids thus fully vaccinated anyway. It looks like peritonitis to me, but I think that's quite unlikely in a POL bird who had laid her first 3 small eggs normally.
At 6.00 I put her in a nestbox - not much point in stressing her out by separating her, I thought, as it doesn't look infectious and anyway they've all been exposed to it. By 7-15 the other three were roosting on the perch and she had moved out on to the floor of the coop.
Yes, Mrs B, this group of 5 POLs arrived a month ago, from a farm I hadn't used before, because my usual trusted breeder, Chalk Hill Poultry, seemed to have gone off the radar and I thought he wouldn't be able to provide any. The new farm looked OK, - they were in a barn, not out at grass, but it was the week after the first lot of snow so I thought this was a good thing for growers raised commercially over the winter. I examined all the birds, and they were all very lively and growing on well to start with. The remaining three seem fine ATM. The first one to die was a RIR hybrid, last week - again, a sudden deterioration, followed by an apparent recovery, and then death overnight in the coop. I supposed that it was just one of those rare occurrences, maybe a heart attack, but now I'm wondering.
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Re: SOS! What's wrong with Violet?

Post by Margaid » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:06 pm

So sorry to read the post Marigold. I can't offer any advice or help (except a virtual hug) but it is beginning to look a bit suspicious. As you say, you had such a thorough clean and disinfection and your run is covered so it shouldn't be anything they have picked up since you got them. Just hope she's improved tomorrow.
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rick
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Re: SOS! What's wrong with Violet?

Post by rick » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:31 pm

Even if she misplaced a yoke where it shouldn't be this morning after laying an egg, it wouldn't have time to have become peritonitis yet.
I may be wrong but a deep respiratory infection does not produce upper respiratory discharge as a sign. No sniffles. I think play sand is too fine, especially if it's bone dry under cover and isolated from ground moister. It's very quick. Hope I'm wrong.
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Marigold
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Re: SOS! What's wrong with Violet?

Post by Marigold » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:09 pm

Thanks for the idea, Rick. Yes there is play sand in the dustbath, but actually it's out of a new bag, (all part of the big clean-up.) It was quite wet to start with, and it got some snow on it, and so it's still rather damp, so not dusty at all. This cold wet weather it's taking a long time to dry out. I've used it for years and never had any respiratory problems with any of the birds.
Her appearance and stance was really odd, it was what first struck me when I saw her. It looked as if her wings were being held lower than usual, to accommodate what looked like a hump on her back, where her feathers were all raised up on end, totally changing the normal outline of the back. Not really like the 'penguin' appearance of peritonitis, which is more upright somehow. And it came on very suddenly, she was fine at 10.30 when I picked up all of them in turn and gave each of them the daily once-over I'm doing at the moment. I thought gut infections usually take longer than that to develop. We'll see what the morning brings.
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Re: SOS! What's wrong with Violet?

Post by LadyA » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:28 pm

Sounds very odd. Did you mention an extra large egg or was that someone else? I used to have a hen that regularly laid double yolkers, and she'd always look off colour when she was brewing one. However, given that you've already lost one of this batch suddenly and mysteriously, it might be worth letting a vet have a look, if you have a poultry vet near you.
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rick
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Re: SOS! What's wrong with Violet?

Post by rick » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:31 pm

Good, that rules that one out.
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Marigold
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Re: SOS! What's wrong with Violet?

Post by Marigold » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:21 am

Not a lot of sleep last night, worrying about Violet. Went down this morning in trepidation. 3 hens in the run to greet me, not 4. No Violet. Oh dear, I thought, dead in the coop.
Then she came running out, jumped up on the Aubiose bale to get a start on the others pecking round my feet, and greedily ate a large handful of mealworms. Apparently her normal bossy self.
Strange creatures, chickens.
Thank you all very much for your help and support yesterday. It was really good to have people to tell about what was happening and to ask for advice. Much appreciated.
I'll update on her progress later. Sod's law, I have to be out most of today - I was wondering how I could fit in a trip to the vet.
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