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Sudden behavior & appetite change in 16mo Orpington; Egg issue?? - Page 2

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

I got up my courage & tube-fed Cuddles some water  w/ electrolytes & 1 drop of baby vit (w/o iron).  1st time I did 10ml.  About 1 hr later I gave another 20ml.

 

She certainly fought me getting the beak open, but once tube was in place, she calmed. Thank you so much for the helpful links.  I decided to wait for a fecal float test before medicating.  While I'm out tomorrow I can pick up some baby bird mix to feed her tomorrow.  (Unless there's a way to finely mash up & liquefy her feed.  ??)

 

Cuddles was preening herself a little this afternoon (before I gave liquids), but she's just not eating or acting like herself.  She's very slow walking - when she actually walks.  Her face & comb are still red.

Faraday40

Mom, wife, science teacher, artist, & animal lover

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Faraday40

Mom, wife, science teacher, artist, & animal lover

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post #12 of 18

I think most people use the KayTee baby bird feed, but some other people may know better. Chicken feed just tends to swell and swell.

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yes.  I went to the closest pet store & bought some.  I gave 20cc late morning & another 20cc in the afternoon.  I wanted to make sure that I keep the meals small & that everything moves through.  My hope is that she will eat on her own soon.  She looks very close to normal, but not eating.  

Faraday40

Mom, wife, science teacher, artist, & animal lover

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Faraday40

Mom, wife, science teacher, artist, & animal lover

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post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Because I dislike reading a link & not knowing how it turned out, here's the outcome:

 

Cuddles had a very tough week.  When she stopped eating & drinking I had to act.  I researched how to tube feed & made my own simple device.  I purchased Kaytee's Exact - for feeding baby birds & it was successful.  I hated it.  Cuddles hated it.  I had to get DH to restrain her.  He hated it.  Thankfully, it was what she needed.   For the 1st 2 days of tube feeding, that was all she got.  Her personality started to return.  She fought the tube but as she started getting stronger, she eventually started eating treats.  She didn't like soft foods like oatmeal, yogurt, scrambled egg, wet crumbles, etc.  However, she did eat mealworms & bread, so I was able to reduce her tube feedings to only 1 per day. Because of the tube feeding, I was able to get 3 days of Corid into her followed by 5 days of de- worming meds.  (She had Cord in her water for 5 days before tube feeding, but I wasn't sure how many of those days she was drinking.  I did an extra 3 days just in case.)  

 

While I was treating Cuddles, I de-wormed the whole flock. (Made a mistake by doing them all at once, so no edible eggs for a month.  Just when the eggs were safe, they started to molt.:barnieNext time, I'll plan better and only treat 1/2, then the other 1/2 the following month.)  When Cuddles was walking around inside, she kept going to the back door.  I knew she was missing her flock.  Once I started bringing her outside, she perked up with the sounds of the others.  I probably moved her back to the coop too soon, but she made a rapid recovery once I did.  I brought her inside each night for a feeding with meds.  Once the days of meds were done, I continued to help her fill the crop by offering whatever treats she would eat.  at some point when I checked on her on the roost, i felt a full-ish crop & stopped bringing her inside.  After all of this, she began to molt.  I at least knew that was normal.

 

It's been over 2.5 months since the start of her illness. Cuddles has moved back up the pecking order as far as treats are concerned.  She will outrun the others & gobble up the food.  In order to get her to eat, i did some additional training.  She learned a new card trick. Her weight is back up & her  feathers are looking good.  I still see some shafts growing in & her comb is more pink than red.  Her last egg was Sept 1.  I'm not sure when / if she'll lay again.  It's winter, & with the reduced hours of sunlight, I'm not expecting any eggs from her until 2016.    

 

mid October

early Nov

today 11-23-15

Faraday40

Mom, wife, science teacher, artist, & animal lover

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Faraday40

Mom, wife, science teacher, artist, & animal lover

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post #15 of 18

Great news about Cuddles. I had to enlarge your last picture, because the red thing on her hen saddle looked like the disposable meat thermometer on turkeys at Thanksgiving, LOL. 

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

:lau Thanks for the laugh.

 

It's a hen saddle with big, iron-on eye patches.  My hope is that is scares at least the dumb hawks away.

 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Faraday40

Mom, wife, science teacher, artist, & animal lover

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Faraday40

Mom, wife, science teacher, artist, & animal lover

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post #17 of 18
Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

Cuddles.  The BEST chicken in the world to me.

April 23, 2014 - May 14, 2016

LL

LL

 

 

 

To those of you who remember Cuddles, she was a special girl.  I had wanted a lav orp for a long time & finally could afford 4 eggs.  From those 4 shipped eggs, we hatched 2 chicks: Cuddles & Tank.  Cuddles loved to sit on my lap & watch TV.  She was always spoiled, but also gave back to me in many ways.  I worked with her so she came running & responded to her name (not just the :Ch Ch Chicken call)  She followed basic commands like "Go coop"  ;"Go run", "Go crate" (travel cage), "up" = jump in my lap.  The fun part was when I trained her to peck at targets.  I would write words on cards & she would select the card with a tiny red dot.  I could ask her the most complicated questions & she always got the answer correct! (to the amazement of many middle school students! LOL)  We then went one step further & I taught her to peck at only the Queen of Hearts.  As long as I did my part correctly & forced the volunteer to select Q-hearts, Cuddles (my physic chicken) could read their minds & peck at the card they randomly chose.  It was so precious to see Cuddles think.  She would look back & forth between cards often tilting her head to view at different angles before making her selection.  My DD then decided to work with Cuddles.  She tried agility training & got Cuddles to walk through a hoop.  That was about it.  Let's face it, Orps are not made for agility, but dear Cuddles tried her best to please us.

 

Cuddles loved the attention.  She was fearless of visitors & would let anyone pet & hold her - in hopes that some sort of treat would be given.  She loved her treats!  Even without food, she jumped up into my lap for attention or simply followed me around the yard - "chatting the entire time.".  Our backyard seems so empty & quiet now.  I miss my Cuddles.

:hit

 

Back in early Sept, she had some type of severe illness & stopped eating.  I dewormed, gave Corid, and even learned how to tube feed so Cuddles would not starve to death.  She lived!  I followed up with yogurt & ACV.  Never sure exactly what it was, but she molted & life went back to normal for a while.  In March, Cuddles had a mild relapse.  Her abdomen felt swollen & hard.  I knew she had something serious.  It seemed like her poop was being blocked & her crop was slow.  The digestive & poop issues cleared, but the firm abdomen remained.  My guess is that she was internally laying or had tumors.  We decided that chicken hospice was our plan.  It continued to grow, but even when ill, Cuddles was the 1st to greet me every morning.  DD & I were away on Sat.  When we returned to lock up the flock, Cuddles looked weak.  I planned to bring her inside for the night due to the cold.  I sat on the sofa with Cuddles in my lap.  She briefly seized, then placed her head in the palm of my hand.  She looked up at me a drew her last few breaths.  It seems that she waited for me to hold her one last time before letting go.

 

I have other chickens, even other lav orps, but sometimes the brightest stars burn out the fastest.  Cuddles was MY chicken, my favorite, my companion, my comforter, & my friend.  She was so much more than "a chicken".  I guess I'm writing all this because only those who have fallen in love with a chicken can understand how sad I feel right now.  RIP my dear, sweet Cuddles.

Faraday40

Mom, wife, science teacher, artist, & animal lover

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Faraday40

Mom, wife, science teacher, artist, & animal lover

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