Thanks everyone for all your suggestions and help - it is great to have this resource!
Betsy is feeling better. I have been giving her yogurt with olive oil, ground pumpkin seeds, AC vinegar and a little DE and she's bounced back. I've ordered the medicine for worms and mites and will give that to the whole flock too when it arrives. I'm still not sure what it was/is - not a crop issue as I felt it and not coccidosis so who knows? I tried to cover it all with my concoction.
It occured to us that we used to let them free range (4 chicks) but with our garden in danger of being snacked on, we built a large 12x10 run with the coop inside and now they are in there full time until fall. Even though w clean thoroughly once a week, we figured we need to scoop the coop more than weekly and do fresh bedding daily in the run since they spend all their time in there. Also, I've ordered a hanging feeder (rather than one that sits on a cinder block) and a self contained gravity waterer with chicken nipples to avoid contamination.
Betsy is back up being bossy and is eating again - she loved the yogurt when she refused other food!
And thanks for the coffee chaffe sources - we are calling today!
On Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 8:42 AM, Martha <[address removed]>
I hope your hen is doing better. Has she layed yet? I had a hen who had issues with being egg-bound. If you look at her vent, you can see it pulsing (for lack of a better term), which is her trying to pass it. You can also feel the egg through the skin below the vent.
If you want to go the vet route, St. Mark's Vet has avian vets. They definitely fall to the parrot end of the bird spectrum in terms of care, so I think the advice someone gave earlier about asking about tests and talking about how heroic you want to be is very good. The hen I took there was very special to us. The bill came to $300, just so you know.
I think it is fairly uncommon for hens to be egg-bound though.
Best wishes. I hope she feels better.
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