Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Lethargic Bantam

Discussion in 'Poultry Health and Nutrition' started by Philippa Goodwin, Jan 23, 2012.


  1. Philippa Goodwin

    Philippa Goodwin PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Our hens have all stopped laying ( 3 are only 8mths) which I assumed was the cold weather. Now our oldest maran hen (about 7 I think) is lethargic and when I picked her up today is very light in weight. The others seem ok. Do you think age is taking its toll?
     
  2. AlexArt

    AlexArt PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    995
    Likes Received:
    77
    Sounds like she's at the end, I've had oldies go like this - they go very light weight and loose all their muscle, their keel bone is very prominant and at the end of the day when they go to roost their crop is empty or nearly as they loose their apetite - they pootle along looking OK until they just physically can't or the weather takes a turn then they appear to go down hill fairly quickly. It's because of their age and the extra demands of keeping warm and moulting just before winter which takes its toll, they just slow down and look very sleepy as their body is shutting down, it's probably time to call it a day and the kindest thing - 7 is a pretty good age for a chook!!

    As for the others stopping laying - mine are just starting to come back into lay now - my battery chooks are laying most days and one or 2 of the others pop the occasional one out - perfectly normal for this time of year, it's the day length that triggers them to start and stop not the cold but the overcast months we've been having recently, or here in Cumbria at least, hasn't helped!! You can get lights on timers to put into chicken houses which keeps them laying all winter - they have to be on layers pellets though to keep up with the extra demands!!
     
  3. Philippa Goodwin

    Philippa Goodwin PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for that, I have come home from work and we have brought her inside in the warm. She is not eating or moving do we just leave her to go gently on her own?
     
  4. AlexArt

    AlexArt PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    995
    Likes Received:
    77
    If you can bump her off then it's the kindest thing rather than hoping she wastes away which could take a few days and is not fair on her.
     
  5. Philippa Goodwin

    Philippa Goodwin PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wasn't sure how one bumps them off? But there was no need she died very peacefully that evening. Thank you for your guidance
     
  6. AlexArt

    AlexArt PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    995
    Likes Received:
    77
    Awww!:( 7 is very good though!!
    For future ref, don't read if you're squeamish!, wherever you have livestock you have dead stock too unfortunatly, you can either bump them off with neck dislocation ie. break their neck - either by hand, but you do need to be sure what you are doing, or a broom handle is an age old method which is very quick. You place the chickens head with its neck under the handle facing away from you so keel bone on the ground, you place your feet either side of the chickens head on the pole without applying pressure so the pole is just resting over the neck, hold onto the chickens feet, then in a quick action put your weight onto the broom handle and sharply pull the chickens legs up towards you all in one motion - it breaks its neck straight away and the chook is dead instantly.

    Some people use an axe but to be honest the chances of missing are pretty high unless you are very skilled so I wouldn't reccomend that option!!!!

    Or I often use a high powered air rifle point blank at the back of the chooks head at the base of the skull - again only do it if you know what you are doing to prevent further suffering and with something that has the right fire power or you'll just stun it!, you also need someone to hold the chook facing away from the shooter and themselves obviously so you don't shoot the holder too!!
    They will flap about sometimes quite violently with either method - it is just reflexes as the brain shuts down and triggers all the muscles to contract, not a very pleasent job at all, but necessary if a chook is suffering!
    If in doubt your vet can put them to sleep which is the better option if you are unsure of doing it yourself, or get a farmer/gamekeeper to show you how to do it humanely with as little fuss and stress to the bird as possible which is the most important thing.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice