Hen standing on her own

Posted by: maryharp

Hen standing on her own - 08/26/12 03:14 AM

I rescued 4 ex-battery hens last December, and sadly lost one a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, one of the remaining 3 has been looking unwell for a couple of days. It started with her laying an egg with no shell, after which she has not been her usual self at all. At the moment, she is standing on her own with her eyes closed for most of the time. As far as I can see, she is not eating. What can I do? Thanks
Posted by: Wieslaw

Re: Hen standing on her own - 08/26/12 03:26 AM

Standing with eyes closed most of the time is usually a very bad sign. She may be terminal for some reason which is not obvious from your description. Sometimes you just can do nothing. Have you checked her for all the usual things as heavy infestation with lice/mites, compacted crop, eggbound and so on? What does the poop look like?
Posted by: Foehn

Re: Hen standing on her own - 08/26/12 03:42 AM

Soft shelled eggs are very painful for most hens to lay. Try giving her honey and water to drink. Mix at the rate of 1 teaspoon per breakfast cup of tepid water. Often the sugar boost from the honey, will perk her up by lifting her energy levels.
If you can keep her separate from the others for a few days, then she is less likely to be picked on by the others and you can keep her both warm and able to monitor what if anything she eats, and what her poop looks like.

If the egg had no shell at all, that is not such a good sign. May be that she had a soft shelled egg that has broken and the shell may still be inside her. There is a small chance that she will still pass the shell.
I have had similar cases with my hens.
Had one where the shell eventually appeared but was still stuck, and it took some extremely gentle pressure on the shell, working with her as she pushed ,to get the shell out without leaving any behind.
Posted by: maryharp

Re: Hen standing on her own - 08/26/12 04:22 AM

I have just been out to spend a bit of time with the hens, and am pleased to see that the poorly hen seems to have perked up a bit. When I let them out, all 3 immediately rushed into the sun and had long dust baths. Margot (poorly one) seemed as active as the others, and when she returned to the run, I noticed that she ate quite a lot! Her poop was rather on the runny side though. The egg with no shell appeared 3 days ago, and she hasn't laid anything since as far as I can tell.
Posted by: Foehn

Re: Hen standing on her own - 08/26/12 09:52 PM

She may still have the remains of the egg inside, so keep a close eye on her. The fact that she's eating again however is a reason to be hopeful that she may continue to improve
Posted by: maryharp

Re: Hen standing on her own - 08/27/12 12:15 AM

Thank you for the encouragement. Margot is still with us, although no sign of any egg or egg shell yet. She is definitely eating, and no longer standing on her own with eyes closed, so I am going to keep my fingers crossed for her. I felt her tummy this morning, and cannot feel any obvious signs of egg inside her.
Posted by: jonnydot

Re: Hen standing on her own - 08/30/12 07:39 AM

More likely coming from ex-battery it is Saphlingitis ...has she a penguin like stature ? this problem presents like an egg bound hen or perentinitous
Posted by: maryharp

Re: Hen standing on her own - 09/04/12 06:12 AM

Several days after the egg with no shell, Margot produced a lump of shell. Since then there has been one slightly odd-looking egg, and then a couple of days later a normal one. I am hoping that whatever the problem was, it is now sorted. Fingers crossed.....