Health forum: Hen distress prior to laying?

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ImageSonoita
Apr 12, 2010 11:35 AM CST
Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
While working on the enclosure this weekend I noted that the hen's who were scheduled to lay that night were pacing the pen, clucking, and yesterday one even had her wings droopy. This is only my second year breeding, and I don't recall this behavior last year, but I may not have been watching at the same time of day.

I haven't gone checking my resources yet, but as I recall, the hens lay at night just before going to sleep? If so, does that mean I can go collect eggs after dark? I found one broken and eaten this AM and want to discourage them from getting the idea eggs = yummies. Blinking
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Imagekenboy
Apr 12, 2010 6:13 PM CST
Name: kenboy
Big Sandy TX zone 8
What they are doing is common peahen behavior just before laying. Sometimes they will start this a few days before the start laying. I gather eggs after sundown but before it gets dark, that really freaks them out. If an egg is broke it may be because they lay while on their roost. This happens because they are not comfortable with their surroundings. It is a new pen and may take some getting use to. Shrubs planted here and there helps as well as a bail of hay here and there, to give them something to hide behind. I take a bag of leaves but hay will work and scatter it under their perch to break the eggs fall. Every egg is precious to me these days. Catch you later, it is time to gather my eggs.
ImageSonoita
Apr 13, 2010 12:12 PM CST
Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
Thanks kenboy, I'll provide more privacy in the various nests I have made, and increase the cushion under the perch(s).

One of my 2 year old hens laid her 1 st egg, I believe. Is it common for a beginner layer to not lay consistently? It would make sense that they may take a while before they start the every 3 day routine.
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Imagekenboy
Apr 13, 2010 10:00 PM CST
Name: kenboy
Big Sandy TX zone 8
It should be every two days but they sometimes make up their own rules. I am swamped with eggs, I only have 8 hens and 6 are laying, I do not have enough hens to set the eggs. I will let the hens set them for two weeks and then move them to an inc. My Java cock that was so laid back has just gone crazy on two hens ( one 7/8 Purple Spalding and one 3/4 Opal Spalding and only seems to like the Java hen.
ImageSonoita
Apr 14, 2010 10:16 AM CST
Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
kenboy
I have plenty of hens, wish I could send you a few! Rolling my eyes.
I am very interested in hearing about your breeding that you are currently doing. Purple spaldings, sounds very interesting!
I have a 2 year old purple male, and 2 hens, one is a dark pied. I'd like to get a breedsing to a white male to her so I could start some purple pieds Thumbs up

Here is a picture of one of the new laying suites for the hens.

Thumbnail by Sonoita

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ImageSonoita
Apr 15, 2010 9:20 AM CST
Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
The girls have started laying again Hurray! Of course they did not use any of the laying suites Sad Rolling on the floor laughing
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Imagekenboy
Apr 15, 2010 10:27 AM CST
Name: kenboy
Big Sandy TX zone 8
Only Purple males can throw a Purple, hens will only throw splits unless they are bred to a Purple male. If you could find a White Homozygous Purple you would be in good shape.

I am only breeding Javas or Spaldings these days. I am working with several peafowl buddies around the country and we ship birds back and forth every year. I'll start a new thread and get into some of what we are doing, this will take some time.
ImageSonoita
Apr 15, 2010 11:38 AM CST
Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
Good point on the White Homozygous Purple, I'll have to start looking. I'm not real interested in purchasing, but I suspect birds are not like other animals that are sent out for stud Rolling my eyes.
I look forward to reading your new thread Hurray!
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ImageSonoita
Apr 21, 2010 8:11 AM CST
Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
OK the eldest hen, ~4yrs., has been dragging her wings. Sunday as well as half of Monday she set under a bush, no eggs under her. TuesdayAM she was just standing by the water wings down sipping water. I caught her, checked her, and she feels lighter than I think she should, I checked her vent and loaded her with KY, but found nothing. I put her in a wire dog kennel for observation. She ate a little last night, but she is still not right. I spoke with a vet who said she either has some sort of infection, a tumor, or laid internaly (that's not the term he used). He stated the later 2 were terminal.

Any ideas? Feedback? Crying Confused
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Imagekenboy
Apr 21, 2010 4:30 PM CST
Name: kenboy
Big Sandy TX zone 8
She may be wormy. I would give her 20 drops of Ivermectin in mouth, then give her 1/2cc B-12 and if you can give her some oatmeal with a little honey in it. Oats is high in carbs and that will give her the energy to get through whatever her problem is. If she has worms, her breast bone will be lacking in meat.
ImageSonoita
Apr 22, 2010 8:17 AM CST
Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
Her breastbone does lack meat. I wormed her with ivermectin for 3 days straight 6 weeks ago. I will give her more plus the B-12.
It's been a crazy week, my DH has been in the hospital since Monday and I have been driving to and from the ranch, work and hospital. The triangle is 70 miles from hospital to ranch &/or work, 35 miles from ranch to work. He may get out today, or tomorrow, and I have a semi load of hay being delivered tomorrow at 9AM. Blinking
Be the person your pet(s) believes you to be.
Imagekenboy
Apr 22, 2010 4:35 PM CST
Name: kenboy
Big Sandy TX zone 8
If you could get her to eat cat food with fish it would help a bunch.
Sometimes there are more important things than a sick hen. You can only do what you can do. Good luck.
ImageSonoita
Apr 22, 2010 6:18 PM CST
Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
She is eatting catfood & loving it!
I get a break tonight! I get to go home, sleep in my own bed, no child & no sick hubby to attend to. I get to go to sleep early and wake up later than 4:45AM! Hurray!
Be the person your pet(s) believes you to be.
Imagekenboy
Apr 22, 2010 7:11 PM CST
Name: kenboy
Big Sandy TX zone 8
Sometimes there is nothing better than a good night sleep in our own bed. Sleep tight.
ImageSonoita
Apr 29, 2010 12:14 PM CST
Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
I spoke with the vet, but have not picked up the report or meds yet, but the report, he says, is mainly e coli, and is responsive to Batryl. He suggests feeding her the meds, yogurt, vitamins and electrolytes.

In humans e coli is usually a secondary diagnosis, unless you are drinking contaminated water. I wonder if this is the case in birds?
Confused
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Imagekenboy
Apr 29, 2010 5:56 PM CST
Name: kenboy
Big Sandy TX zone 8
In birds e-coli is usually a secondary infection behind Chronic Respiratory Disease/Mycoplasmosis and is usually treated with Gentamicin. Batryl is very effective on Chronic Respiratory Disease/Mycoplasmosis and if that is under control the e-coli takes care of itself.

I have an old gun cabinet that I put extra shelves and made into a medicine cabinet. Some of the drugs are old and need to be thrown away but it is loaded with meds.
ImageSonoita
May 3, 2010 9:38 AM CST
Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
Good news! She is up and about fretting about not being with the other birds, I will treat her for one more day with the Baytril in her water, I would also like to see her eating a bit better before she joins the others.

OTS - NONE of my hens are setting! I have had to put my eggs directly in the incubator. So far everyone is alive and growing.
Be the person your pet(s) believes you to be.

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