I am desperate for ideas, can anyone help? I have a flock of two, a black rock hen aged about a year and a half, and a light sussex aged about 6 months (who came to us back in the summer when we lost our previous one to a fox).
The Black Rock, Beyonce, has been poorly for a little while - today is the tenth day. She has always been in rude health, she lays fabulous eggs daily (up until 11 days ago), she's bossy and noisy and eats for England. Normal food is layers pellets; they generally stay in a generously sized run on soil, and get treats of mealworms, grain, scraps like tomatoes, cucumber, greens, hand pulled grass, blueberries, grapes etc. Occasionally we give the some free range time in the garden where they feast on grass and have a good scratch about. Oddly, though, Bee has always been on the thin side and has very little "meat" over her keel - she's very reedy. She went off her food 10 days ago - not a lot, just much less enthusiastic than usual. She is exhibiting the following;
Mooching rather slowly around the run and having a little scratch around, but generally off food, even mealworms
Comb slightly darkened
Raised feathers on the back of her neck (don't know the proper word for that sorry), giving her that strange flattened head appearance - then started to take on the hunched position with lowered tail and unkempt feathers in about the last 4-5 days
Watery droppings - sometimes white sometimes just a muddy colour, once frothy yellow - but no blood, and the feathers around her vent are marked with white crystals/powdery residue.
8 days ago I gave her electrolytes and took her to an expert poultry keeper in the area, who gave her a dose of liquid Vermex (persuaded her to take a few morsels of bread soaked in Vermex and natural yoghurt) and gave her a 4 day acting antibiotic injection. She commented that she was unusually thin for a bird top of the pecking order and usually greedy as a pig, so she wondered about coccidiosis. We agreed that if Bee didn't turn a corner, we would treat for that.
She didn't improve during last week, so I medicated the drinker (for both girls) with Coxaid, a treatment for coccidiosis, from yesterday lunchtime. She didn't seem to be drinking yesterday, so I wrapped her in a towel and syringed drops of medicated water over her beak for her to swallow yesterday afternoon (I wouldn't dare try and syringe it straight down in case of aspiration) - I got about 5 beakfuls down her, when she suddenly just regurgitated the whole lot over me.
Today she is staying in one spot, not eating or drinking at all, and has started head shaking. She is clean as a whistle, no mites on her, and her lungs are clear. Crop is empty save a bit of grit, no trapped egg. Babs, Bee's coop-mate, is fit and well, eating and laying and exhibiting no symptoms, although she did have a respiratory infection when we first got her which she fully recovered from.
I don't want to lose her but she seems to be deteriorating fast. Any thoughts?
Thank you all