Virus?

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Beckyy
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Virus?

Post by Beckyy » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:28 pm

We had to have one of our hybrids PTS this evening. :(

When I went out at 6am she was walking around the garden, the auto chickenguard door must have opened because of our garden light and she got out during the night. Unsure if this had any bearing on today.

I took her back to the henhouse and opened the door up, and she seemed fine, though a bit tired. Was out until lunchtime after which she was just standing in the nestbox, picked her up and had a check over then put her on the grass. She just stood there, nodding off until I brought her indoors a couple of hours later. She hadn't had anything to eat and drink and wasn't interested. Her tummy felt a little hard and she didn't want to sit down - just standing all day. I gave her a warm bath concerned she may be egg bound, then sat her on a towel in the kitchen where she just stood nodding off again. I used a lubed/gloved finger to have a feel in her vent and didn't seem to be anything obvious, a small amount of watery poop came out. Tried to give her some water & scrambled egg, she wasn't interested so left her cosy and to rest. She wasn't improving and was getting wobbly on her feet so expecting the worst I called the vets and said I thought it wasn't looking good, took her in and they agreed it would be kinder. He was concerned it may have been something viral as she wasn't standing properly and leaning over to one side.

Very sad to lose her, she was our friendliest hen. We also lost another hybrid a month ago, we found her dead in the corner of the coop thought she may have been egg bound but didnt find her soon enough, felt terrible. Both had just about finished moulting but hadn't been laying through it, the first time they've stopped for a while. We got our hybrids 2 years ago at POL so we think it may just be their age as they've been hardy layers, however concerned that the vet mentioned the possibility of a virus as we have our 2 other hybrids and our rescue light sussex.

Has anyone had any similar experiences? It's difficult when they're so good at hiding things and symptoms seem to match up to multiple issues.
chickenfan
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Re: Virus?

Post by chickenfan » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:13 pm

Hello Beckyy,

I am so sorry to read your news about your hybrid girl. Was she one of the brown, warren type egg-layers, or another type of hybrid? I lost one of these at a similar age. I took her to the British Hen Welfare Trust Vet, and she said she sees a huge number with tumours and was 100% sure this was what was wrong with mine as she could feel a 'mass' that I thought might have been egg binding. Sadly, these hens have been bred to be enormously productive, which also makes them more prone to tumours.
Beckyy
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Re: Virus?

Post by Beckyy » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:24 pm

Thanks for the reply chickenfan.

She was a white hybrid - she had very white leghorn looks about her. We also have a brown warren type, and black rock type hybrids.

Sorry to hear you had a similar experience. It's such a shame about their lifespans and how prone they can be to health problems. :(
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Marigold
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Re: Virus?

Post by Marigold » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:58 am

How sad - sorry to hear this, Becky.
I'm interested in when she must have actually got out if the coop, as I don't think she would have set out on her own into darkness, do you, and at 6.00 I would imagine it's now rather dark for them to be up and out. Could she possibly have been late to roost the night before, perhaps because not feeling well and not very mobile, and so had missed closing-up time and stayed out all night? If so, I don't think it would have made any difference, or in itself done her any harm, as the temperature would have been well above freezing and dry. I do think you made absolutely the right decision to have her pts - when they go downhill like that, there's no point in prolonging a painful life.
I suppose a virus is possible, but if you've kept a healthy closed flock for 2 years I would imagine the risk to the others is small. A tumour seems more likely to me.
Hybrids don't always keel over after a couple of years - I've got a little Columbian Blacktail who must have laid over 700 eggs in her first 2 years, and since then has settled down to a happy, post-menopausal retirement. She's now nearly 4, and never lays, which is good, no problems with softies or egg binding etc, and also has never moulted. What was once a little smart black flag of tail feathers has become eroded over the years, and is now a rather tatty worn-down stump, but she's healthy and lively and holds her own in the flock.
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chrismahon
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Re: Virus?

Post by chrismahon » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:59 am

Sounds more like peritonitis to me Becky so PTS was certainly the right decision. Can't accept the virus theory tabled by the vet. No evidence of that at all. As Chickenfan said it could also be tumours- lymphoid lucosis it's called. LL would be PTS as well. Her stopping outside may have just lowered her resistance and made the underlying condition evident, so from a suffering point of view it was the best thing that could have happened in my opinion and well done for spotting it and reacting so quickly.
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