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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:55 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 113
Location: Melbourne
Age: 18mo
Breed: Light Sussex Bantam
Sex: female

Your Location-
ANSWER: Melbourne

What is wrong? What symptoms have you noted? - As much detail as possible please.
ANSWER:
was laying nearly an egg a day (large) for a year. Laid 2 or 3 soft shelled eggs towards the end of winter, then stopped laying altogether. (none of the usual reasons for soft-shelled egg laying seemed to apply and all other hens laying normally) Sits on the nest each day as though laying but no eggs, not moulting. Today she was on the nest for longer than usual so I thought I'd check on her. She is growling and fluffing up like a balloon if another hen approaches her as though broody, but as she didn't want to walk when I put her on the lawn I turned her over to check her feet, and found she has a small scab on her abdomen which lifted off but no significant amount of anything coming out, she was also lame and favouring one leg. This seemed to disappear after walking for a few minutes, but I'm not sure as I have isolated her in the broody cage with food and water for now so she's not walking about.

What are you feeding? - Please list everything you're feeding to your birds, including type of basic feed, free ranging, scraps, extras, etc. If possible give approximate percentages.
ANSWER: I switched over to layer pellets a few months ago because the birds were being fussy with the layer mix and picking out their favourite seeds. They are not keen on the pellets, but she is a good eater. They get some table scraps including a bit of bread and some quick porridge oats each day. They free range on grass during the day.


Full droppings description.- colour, consistency, frequency, offensive smell.
ANSWER: normal.

Respiratory Changes?- eg. breathing sounds, discharge, laboured breathing, facial swelling
ANSWER: breathing fine, no swelling to the face

Digestive Changes?- eg. eating, drinking, crop filling & emptying
ANSWER: A very greedy hen. She is quite heavy. Not losing weight. Crop is fine.

Condition Changes?- eg. Weight, comb/wattle colour, skin, feathering
ANSWER: red comb and wattles. feathering fine. Not sure why she hasn't had a moult in over a year. She was at POL when we bought her last October and was laying like crazy since then, until she stopped at the end of the winter.

Behavioural Changes?- inc. socialising, laying, crowing, broodiness
ANSWER: She's the top hen. Bossy as usual. But today, as mentioned before, withdrawn to the nest box, as she has gone broody.

Agility Changes? - eg. any lameness, favouring, energy levels
ANSWER: lame in one leg. Reluctant to move.

Describe your usual worming routine and products.
ANSWER: I was worming them every 3 months until I read that it's now considered best to worm only when the flock show symptoms. I'm guessing lots of people's opinions vary on this point...

1. When was the bird last wormed??- approximate date.
ANSWER: She was last wormed with Avitrol+ 4 months ago. Treated with Pestene for external parasites at the same time. I think at the time I spotted one or two lice on her. The new birds were all wormed and treated with Pestene upon arrival 5 weeks ago.

2. What product was used to worm the bird, and how was it given?
ANSWER: tablets for Avitrol. powder for external parasites.

3. Was a follow up dose given?
ANSWER: no

Any other recent medications?-
ANSWER: no

Other changes? – additions to the flock, diet, housing, extreme weather
ANSWER: Yes. Additions to the flock 5 weeks ago. 2 pullets are housed separately so that they can get pullet grower and they did recently show entirely different symptoms of illness (poor appetite with pink / slightly bloody faeces although extremely lively!! I've put them on Coccivet in their drinking water.) But they have been in contact with one another, and spent some time free ranging together. One new adult hen joined the adult flock. She is very healthy so far. The only change to housing is that due to the new hen who is scared of the Grandpa Feeder, I've had some food out in a bowl and also rigged the Gpa Feeder to the half open position to teach the new girl to use it... The rats are no doubt delighted with this arrangement. :-(

Photos? – any relevant photos are very helpful
INSERT HERE:

I'm not sure if I need to see a vet over this, or whether I should just treat the scabby area with Betadine or something and observe her for a day or two? But I don't want to leave things to get really bad. Hard to tell sometimes. Minor or major problem…?

An internet search yielded a list of poultry ailments and treatments. (The list originated in Florida, not Australia, so not sure if all diseases are found here). One of the possibilities seemed to be this:

Staphylococcus
Synonyms: staph infection, staph septicemia, staph arthritis, bumblefoot .
Species affected: All fowl, especially turkeys, chickens, game birds, and waterfowl, are susceptible.
Clinical signs: Staphylococcal infections appear in three forms -- septicemia (acute), arthritic (chronic), and bumblefoot. The septicemia form appears similar to fowl cholera in that the birds are listless, without appetite, feverish, and show pain during movement. Black rot may show up in eggs (the organism is passed in the egg). Infected birds pass fetid watery diarrhea. Many will have swollen joints (arthritis) and production drops (see Table 3).
The arthritic form follows the acute form. Birds show symptoms of lameness and breast blisters, as well as painful movement (see Table 3). Birds are reluctant to walk, preferring to sit rather than stand.
Bumblefoot is a localized chronic staph infection of the foot, thought to be caused by puncture injuries. The bird becomes lame from swollen foot pads (see Table 3).
Transmission: Staphylococcus aureus is soil-borne and outbreaks in flocks often occur after storms when birds on range drink from stagnant rain pools.
Treatment: Novobiocin (350 g/ton) can be given in the feed for 5-7 days. Erythromycin and penicillin can be administered in the water for 3-5 days or in the feed (200 g/ton) for 5 days. Other antibiotics and drugs are only occasionally effective.
Prevention: Remove objects that cause injury. Isolate chronically affected birds. Provide nutritionally balanced feed.

or this:

Mycoplasma synoviae
Synonyms: MS, infectious synovitis, synovitis, silent air sac
Species affected: chickens and turkeys.
Clinical signs: Birds infected with the synovitis form show lameness, followed by lethargy, reluctance to move, swollen joints, stilted gait, loss of weight, and formation of breast blisters. Birds infected with the respiratory form exhibit respiratory distress. Greenish diarrhea is common in dying birds (see Table 1). Clinically, the disease in indistinguishable from MG.
Transmission: MS is transmitted from infected breeder to progeny via the egg. Within a flock, MS is spread by direct contact with infected birds as well as through airborne particles over short distances.
Treatment: Recovery is slow for both respiratory and synovitis forms. Several antibiotics are variably effective. The most effective are tylosin, erthromycin, spectinomycin, lincomycin, and chlorotectracycline. These antibiotics can be given by injection while some can be administered in the feed or drinking water. These treatments are most effective when the antibiotics are injected.
Prevention: Eradication is the best and only sure control. Do not use breeder replacements from flocks that have had MS. The National Poultry Improvement Plan monitors for MS.

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Last edited by ChickenBoots on Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:17 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Hi ChickenBoots, Lot of information there, well done on being so thorough..

From what you have described, she does not appear to be sick, she is eating well, red combs and wattles and you did worm her 4 months ago.

The lame leg could just be from sitting too long. I kick my broodies out of the nest every day and they are pretty slow sometimes to get the circulation going in their legs..

She is sounding and acting typically broody to me, especially the puffing up and getting narky.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:33 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 113
Location: Melbourne
Thanks Guineafowl.
What about the stopping laying at end of winter with no moult? Is this okay? I thought spring would be a time when all would be laying unless they are moulting?
And the scab on the abdomen? Not to worry? Betadine? I'm worried about her dust bathing and getting dirt into an open wound. (now that the scab has pulled up.)
Am I just a worry wort?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:44 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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My girls are all over the place ChickenBoots, some are laying some arnt, some are broody and others have never gone broody. Mine have not molted for some months now.

I think the weather we are having is not helping them. One day it is so hot I have got the sprinklers on for them, then the next day we get 20mls of rain and it is freezing.

If she does not appear to be sick I wouldnt worry too much, just keep an eye on her and on the lameness in the leg...

Can you post of photo of her and the scab so we can have a better look at it. Betadine is good but sometimes it is also good to just leave it and let the air dry it out. Sometimes when there is a scab, the scab actually prevents it from healing.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:10 pm 
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Golden Robin
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I do agree that she doesn't appear to be ill.

Mike

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:40 pm 
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You know her best ChickenBoots, we only know what you have told us so keep a close eye on her and report back if there is any change..

Good luck with her.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:46 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

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Location: Melbourne
Thanks Guineafowl and Mike. She's definitely gone broody. It was the lameness and scab that alarmed me, and I think I'm a bit jumpy after introducing new chickens (bought at auction) and 2 of them having been sick. She's probably fine. :-)

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:59 am 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Melbourne
She's very lame this morning. Favouring the left leg. I couldn't see anything visibly wrong with her legs or feet yesterday, or feel any abnormalities.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:14 am 
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Can you describe the lameness/favouring better ??

Is she avoiding putting weight on the leg ? Is she dragging the leg ? Is the leg collapsing under her weight ?? Does it get better with movement ? Does the leg move freely when you handle here and manually extend or retract the leg ??

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:53 am 
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I personally would like to see a photo of the scab this may be a reason for leg problems.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:07 am 
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Golden Robin
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I thought the scab was on the breast and come off anyway ????

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:14 am 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Melbourne
Thanks people. She's in the broody cage so I'll need to let her out and watch her walk to see if it abates after walking about. She was avoiding putting weight on the left leg. It wasn't giving way underneath her, or being dragged. Wings look normal, not dragging. Yesterday I was able to move the legs freely, but will check again today.

I have a photo of the scab and will try to upload it when I've got a chance to revise the instructions :-) Just have to do a bit of urgent work first. I thought maybe the scab was merely a place that rubbed on the perch at night as she is a heavy bird. We bought new wood to put in new, smoother perches yesterday.

Yes, Chookyinoz, the scab flicked off fairly easily. It was thin and dry. It opened up a wet wound that didn't look really inflamed or anything, but wet like an open blister.

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Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a tripawd Beagle mix, 2 Pekins, a Bantam Light Sussex, a Bantam Salmon Faverolles, a Bantam Australian Langshan, a hive of bees and a family of boys. And at the moment, 4 chicks... what sex will they be??¿¿¿¿


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:32 am 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Melbourne
Image

Image

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:42 am 
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If this chook was in my yard I would say it had Lymphoid Leucosis and the fast growing tumor had infiltrated or putting pressure on the sciatic nerve hence the walking issues.
We will see what others think.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:16 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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I don't know enough about Lymphoid Leucosis to make a valued comment.

I do know that the signs present very similar to Mareks and the only way of real diagnosis is necropsy and given that this girl appears to be pretty happy and healthy looking, still eating and drinking, then the only concerns at present are the leg and the scab..

chookyinoz wrote:
Can you describe the lameness/favouring better ?

Is she avoiding putting weight on the leg ? Is she dragging the leg ? Is the leg collapsing under her weight ? Does it get better with movement ? Does the leg move freely when you handle here and manually extend or retract the leg ?


If it is Lymphoid Leucosis there is unfortunately nothing that can be done for her, so at this point focus on the lame leg and see if Mike may be able to help you with this..

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