I have a Sussex chicken that (based on information I've read from a variety of sources and from a thread my mom made a while back regarding this hen) has gout. She's had it for almost a year now. We first noticed it last winter, where she wasn't coping well with the cold. When the summer came around, she became more active and her swollen feet didn't seem to bother her so much anymore. We also changed her diet to a layer and starter feed mix, and fed her cherries and kiwis, after reading that that should help a little.
Here are some pictures of her feet:
Anyway, now it's mid-November in Canada and it's starting to get colder, and she doesn't seem to be handling it well. I'm worried about her because it hasn't even started to snow yet. Over the past couple of days she's gotten thinner, and I think she's sick. Her eyes are usually half-closed. She sleeps a lot. And she's not as quirky and curious as she used to be. She's a lot less active.
She stayed in our house last night, so she could be warm, but now we don't know what to do! She can't stay inside forever. We are currently building a new chicken coop that should be a lot warmer for all the hens, because it's going to be smaller and better insulated, but will it be enough for this hen? Even when winter comes around? We could put her in a separate coop in the garage, but then she would be separated from our other three chickens. What's the best thing to do right now?
She seems to be drinking a lot too. Has the gout completely ruined her kidneys? There is no vet nearby that we can take her to.
Please help! We're worried she might not pull through this.... Any replies are very much appreciated.