Sick Brown Shaver

On of our ladies is looking very lethargic and sleepy. She is eating and drinking but only a little. She also has diarrhea or a very messy bum at least. We have been getting a lot of very fragile shelled eggs for a while too which we believe are hers and recently a soft shelled egg and now no eggs for the last couple of days. We are not sure if she is hot, not getting the right diet or perhaps has a stuck egg? Any ideas for treatment? She is feed mash, with pellets and oyster shell grit. She regulars gets to wander around the garden out of the run. We change the water daily mostly. Not sure of best treatment. Anyone got any advice or having similar issues since the weather changed? Their run is in the shade. Thanks

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  • What you are describing fits our dolly perfectly. Does her bum look like this?  2170550981?profile=RESIZE_1024x1024

    I used warm water to clean her feathers and waited. She came right in a couple of days and is now active and eating happily again, but no eggs yet.

    Like you, I'd like to know the problem, right now she is not very economical and i'm buying eggs.

    • Henny penny's bum is not quite as bad, but I did some more reading and think it is possibly a stuck egg. We had her in the sink with some warm water earlier trying to massage it out but nothing really happened, though she seemed to enjoy the experience, as she was perfectly behaved. She has been like this before and we suspected the same. She came right of her own accord, but hope it is the same this time! Fingers crossed.386374_10152289688085068_121536089_n.jpg

    • Hi,

      I'm not sure if I can help but here goes.

      She looks nice and healthy from the picture and her comb is a good colour so I would be suspecting parasites, either internal or external (perhaps red mites) as they are quite bad at this time of the year and we haven't had cold enough weather to kill the eggs. Internal parasites can give them a dirty bottom and you would need to treat her with a tiny dose of ivomec from your vet. If she has red mites you'll need to dust her with Pestene, red mites suck chickens blood and can make them quite aneamic. Egg binding is only a remote possibility as this usually happens with a first egg of the season not half way through, however it could be possible that she has a giant double-yolker that she's trying to pass, this usually occurs in older birds. The very hot weather can put them off the lay although I think it's a bit early for that yet unless she started laying out of season and has gone on for more than 10 months. Brown shavers lay the most in their first couple of seasons and after that the laying season will get shorter, is she over 3 years old?

      Have a good feel of her abdomen, does it feel squashy and hot? if it is then I think you had better get her to the vet. Brown shavers are prone to egg yolk peritonitis which basically means that an egg drops into the abdomen instead of her oviduct and she can't pass it, this means that she would have to be put kindly to sleep as there is no cure. However in your picture she seems to be quite interested in her surroundings and has her head up so I don't think it's that serious, but keep a close eye on her in case she starts to get worse. My last suggestion is that they sometimes get an sour crop, does her crop feel squashy? You can give her some yoghurt for that and it wont hurt for general well being if it isn't sour crop.

      I hope she's a lot better soon, <3 Ruth

    • Hi Ruth

      Thanks for such an in depth reply. Both our shavers are now not laying if that helps?! Been two days of not laying now, when usually they are both 1 a day each types. Yeah her comb seems fine, not droopy or anything. I did actually give them some yoghurt recently as one of them had been laying very soft shelled eggs - was hoping to get some more calcium in them in addition to the oyster shell. When is the usual laying season, as I do not actually know this detail? I don't know her exact age as she was a rescue chicken from a battery, though from what the animal sanctuary said they had only done one lay before they are got rid of - so we got her a year ago, so guess she is about 2? She is still pretty alert and was wandering around the garden with the other one today, so not too worried at the moment. Will check out her abdomen though thanks. So much guess work isn't there when they are sick or off the weather. Hey is there any kind of natural remedies for red mites? Would I be able to see them on their legs or something?

      Thanks Tash

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