BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › Weak, not eating/drinking, throwing head around.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Weak, not eating/drinking, throwing head around.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi there,
I have a roughly four year old Rhode Island Red who I have raised from a chick. She is a pet, who has spent her life free roaming the garden (and the house at times), and eating all kinds of fancy foods. She once lived with her sister who unfortunately died last year.
We recently found her just sitting in her pen. When called, she would try to come to us, but it seemed as though her legs were not working. Since then, we've taken her to be seen too, and have been given antibiotics, but we are no closer to fixing her.
Currently she is just flat on her stomach, only really moving to throw her head around. We have been syringe feeding her fluids, mushed up food, and antibiotics. Today we also wormed her. She has diarrhea, and out of fear of fly strike, she was given a butt bath today. We have her inside, on my lap right now, but we've seen no improvement. At times she will fight us when we try to syringe water in her mouth, but otherwise she relinquishes control of her body to us.
She is thin, as she's not been eating, but we worry that isn't the only contributing factor to her weakness. Our top priority is to have her well; we don't want to be prolonging any pain she might be in.
I've researched diseases and so far think it could be worms or Marik's. Her eyes are still the vibrant red they've always been. Her crown is flopped over, though still red.
If anyone has any ideas as to what is wrong with our chickie, and how we can make her better, we would very much appreciate it. As stated we've raised her from a baby, and have come to adore her unique personality.
Thankyou very much.
post #2 of 7

There's no way to tell what's wrong out of the many things it could be without some lab work.

Her thinness may be due to worms but since you've wormed her, more likely to loss of appetite. Did they do a fecal float test when you had her seen?

Wormers and antibiotics together may be hard on her and if you don't know what bacterial problem she has, if any, the antibiotics aren't really indicated.

I assume she's laid eggs during her life. When did she lay last?

You said she has all kinds of fancy food but that doesn't really tell me anything about her nutrition. What kind of chicken feed (starter/grower/layer/all flock etc.) has she been on throughout her life and what percent of her diet did that complete feed make up?

I doubt it's Marek's.

I had another idea.

Lameness and head tremors can be caused by streptococcosis. Other symptoms are weight loss, depression, yellow diarrhea and fever. (42-43C)

Most strains are resistant to most antibiotics but if started early enough and the appropriate antibiotic is determined through lab testing.


Edited by ChickenCanoe - 10/28/15 at 5:58am

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
No faecal float test was done.
By fancy food, I mean she has layer pellets mixed with scratch mix, as well scraps such as vegetables. She has grass freely, digs around in the dirt for worms, and sometimes she'll find snails. As silly of me as this sounds, I couldn't tell you percentages. Her tray is filled with the pellet mix every morning, and it usually lasts until the next day. Throughout the day, she'll eat from the garden and get veggie scraps given to her.
It has been a long while since she last laid, over a year, I'd estimate.
Was not aware of the antibiotic/ wormer combination doing her harm. We're no chicken experts, but we're trying to do the best by her.
I have checked her faecal matter and found no evidence of worms, though I'm not reliant on that as an answers.

Around here, vets don't really specialise in chickens; it's mostly the usual dogs, cats, and and if you're lucky, a rabbit. Though the streptococcus possibility has me worried, so I'll look around for a more chicken knowledgeable vet.

Thankyou very much for your answer.
post #4 of 7

When you feel her chest, how does it feel?  Can you feel any meat on her, or do you feel a knife blade of her keel bone?  Any body weight to her at all?  It sounds like she quit eating, she has lost too much weight and is now too weak to stand.  They will quit eating when they are dying.   I'm very sorry.

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.



Join us for the 7th Annual Easter Hatchalong!
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1074649/the-7th-annual-byc-easter-hatch-a-long/0_50

Reply

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.



Join us for the 7th Annual Easter Hatchalong!
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1074649/the-7th-annual-byc-easter-hatch-a-long/0_50

Reply
post #5 of 7

There are very few good avian vets anywhere and finding one with poultry experience is as rare as hen's teeth. That said, any vet should be able to do a fecal test for worms.

Most worms and their eggs are microscopic so you're unlikely to see them in the stool. The fecal test counts the eggs. Not all wormers work for all worms so that's why a test is helpful. If I don't know there are worms, I don't treat for them.

The strep suggestion does sound like some of her symptoms.

I also see a possible nutritional issue. Layer feed is 4% calcium and is too much for a bird that hasn't laid an egg in over a year. Birds not laying do well on 1% calcium. Excess calcium damages the kidneys and leads to visceral gout. Symptoms are depression, weight loss, white pasty diarrhea and attempting to hide.

If that's the case it's probably too late. But flushing the kidneys may be something to try. They can do fine with 2 of their 6 kidney segments still functioning but once damage has gone beyond that, there's no repairing them.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, moderator, her breastbone is rather blade like, and there's very little meat to her. Thankyou for your comment; we will make her comfortable and ensure she is no pain. I dread to tell that to my mother, who has been so adamant about getting her well.

Thankyou, 'ChickenCanoe', I was not aware of the food issue, and feel rather terrible that we've been feeding her too much of the one nutrient, and I'm rather annoyed that I didn't pick up on that.
I will discuss these comments with the rest of the family, and we will decide what is the best option for our chickie.
Thankyou again, very much.
post #7 of 7

Welcome to BYC! Sorry you're going through this. If you can get a tube I can teach you how to tube feed her if you want to learn. Best to keep her in a room or cage that's 80-85 degrees.

 

-Kathy

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › Weak, not eating/drinking, throwing head around.