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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25615
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a black astralourp hen who has become ill. She is not

Customer Question

I have a black astralourp hen who has become ill. She is not interested in food, water and either lays down under a bush in the pen or sits alone. At night she gets into a nesting box in the coop instead of roosting on the perch. Her stool looks like yellow tinged mucus. She was collecting a lot on her butt feathers. I washed it off. She sounds a little raspy when she breathes. She is listless. Any ideas what may be wrong with her? Becky
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Becky, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Unfortunately, the symptoms you've mentioned can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of a condition, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests and physical exams to differentiate. With this in mind, your best course of action is to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or avian-oriented veterinarian (please see here: www.aav.org) for help in differentiating the various causes of what you're seeing. Veterinarians can perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests, including X-rays, to distinguish between the various etiologies.
It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of the bird's financial value to your operation. Although some services might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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