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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30287
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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One of my chickens crowns and waddles. Turned purple and she

Customer Question

One of my chickens crowns and waddles. Turned purple and she is acting strange. What could be wrong?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

How old is your hen, please? You're seeing cyanosis in her comb and wattles. This indicates inadequate oxygenation of her tissue as seen with both respiratory infections such as avian influenza and fowl cholera and cardiac failure seen most often in older hens. This is a negative prognostic sign. She should be quarantined in a 85F environment with her food and water and have an avian vet (please see here: attend to her.

Your best course of action is to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or avian-oriented veterinarian 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. She might not able to be helped but once you find out which infectious agent is present you might be able to be proactive with your other birds. If you lose her, she should be necropsied at your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory which also should tell you how to proceed with your other birds.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of the her 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 respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin