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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7938
Experience:  35 years in general practice, including avian.
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One of my older laying hens, her comb is pale pink instead

Customer Question

One of my older laying hens, her comb is pale pink instead of red, and thickening up, like it's irritated, and extending back around her eyes. She seems all right otherwise. Can you explain what's going on?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Bob. I'm sorry for the amount of time this reply has taken to get back to you. I've been offline while running errands today and just returned to find your question. The symptoms you've described fit several different conditions, so I must ask you a few questions to try to shorten the list and hopefully arrive at a likely diagnosis. Is she still laying eggs as regularly as in the past?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, her egg production is down.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Okay, thank you. Sorry again for the delay, I was offline for supper. There are two conditions that fit her symptoms, Fatty liver syndrome and campylobactriosis. There are no effective treatments for campylobacteriosis, but you may be able to pull her through, if this is fatty liver syndrome, restricting her feed, substituting bran for part of the usual ration of corn (1/4 to 1/2), feed brewer's yeast (one quarter teaspoon daily), dried molasses(1/2 teaspoon daily), feeding alfalfa and other dark green leafy plants (Swiss chard, spinach, cilantro, carrot or beet tops, etc), and using a supplement containing biotin may help. Diseases that consume biotin may underlie this condition in which case, she may still pull through, but the responsible condition must usually be found and treated to prevent relapses. The two diseases can often be differentiated only on post-mortem examination. If the cause is campylobacteriosis, star-shaped lesion may be observed on the liver, the liver may be greenish, swollen as may be the kidneys and spleen. Blindness, swollen joints and watery or foamy yellow or clear diarrhea can also be present. In the case of fatty liver, the prognosis is guarded, if it's coampuylobacteriosis, the prognosis is quite poor. Hopefully you can pull her through with dietary changes and additions, and if you should have any further questions, please let me know.

Kind regards, *****