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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24380
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Our hen, about 6 months old, is just sitting in her nesting

Customer Question

Our hen, about 6 months old, is just sitting in her nesting box all day and doesn't want to get up. She's only eating a bit of seed and greens and is drinking sparingly too. Her comb lost a bit of colour before she started this behaviour but has come back red again but doesn't look as healthy anymore. She was given worming solution last week when this behaviour started but she's not really improved much. if you pick her up and put her in the run she sits for about another minute before finally getting up and wandering around. She eats and drinks a very little, dust bathes the. Goes back to her nesting box. What could be wrong with her!?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't hav many avian vets on this site.

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, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. 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 Barbara's financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory 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 let me know if there are any changes in her eyes or indications of paresis (weakness) or paralysis.

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