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Sick chicken...not sure what's going on...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey all...I have a chicken that started with respiratory problems about two weeks ago.  She had foamy eyes and discharge from her nasal passages.  She was also walking funny and stumbling.  The respiratory symptoms have since cleared, but she's still staggering around, head down, seems aimless...like she's drunk.  Could this be a neurological problem or just the results from the respiratory illness?  She seems to be eating and drinking okay when the others let her.  She'll sometimes fall over and flap around trying to get back up.  I'm not sure what to do....

post #2 of 5

I have had my rooster do this. first assess the infection. did you give antibiotics? I would even if it looks like it has cleared, in case it has become more internal than external.

 

next I would amp up the vitamins/ electrolytes and protein intake of this chicken. feed them cooked eggs/ small amounts of greek yogurt for protein to keep them strong through this. they can die from malnutrition if they aren't able to eat enough.

 

this could be crookneck. my rooster would every few minutes or so literally put his head between his legs and look forward like a total 180 degree rotation AND upside down. walked sideways and backwards and couldn't balance, would fall all the time off his roost, and looked exactly as if he was drunk. any signs of a "not straight looking neck" i think crookneck. 

 

we bought children polyvisol which is a vitamin supplement for human babies, can be found in any store usually especially pharmacies in the infant section. we bought it in a dropper bottle.

crook neck can occur due to lack of vitamins, or a vitamin deficiency. i am sad to say i believe it happened because my silkie was a silkie of course, and the feed we were buying must not have been high enough quality for him, AND we did not have vitamins in the water, or give them daily green (greens are a treat), 

 

so what we did for a week or so was brought him in the house for a little while each day, gave him high protein foods to keep his strength, and gave him a full dropperful of the polyvisol. you have to dribble it in the crack of their beaks, or somehow pry it open (that never worked for us) but we dribbled it in his mouth and he eventually got a full droppers worth each day. we also did this with water to be sure he wasn't dehydrated in case this impacted eating/ drinking. slowly but surely he got better somehow

 

Nowadays we use animal vitamin supplements in powder form bought at our feed store, and he has never had an episode again, and the vitamins made our flock have very fluffy beautiful feathers

post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsto72 View Post
 

Hey all...I have a chicken that started with respiratory problems about two weeks ago.  She had foamy eyes and discharge from her nasal passages.  She was also walking funny and stumbling.  The respiratory symptoms have since cleared, but she's still staggering around, head down, seems aimless...like she's drunk.  Could this be a neurological problem or just the results from the respiratory illness?  She seems to be eating and drinking okay when the others let her.  She'll sometimes fall over and flap around trying to get back up.  I'm not sure what to do....

Welcome to BYC. Are you in the US or in another country? It sounds as though she is having some sort of neurological problem which can be common with Mareks disease, but also very common with dehydration or being kept from food. I would pen her inside her coop or run with her own food and water with electrolytes and vitamins added. Give her some chopped egg, tuna, or liver to tempt her to eat. A little buttermilk or plain yogurt cultures will boost her good gut bacteria. Do you know why her respiratory symptoms cleared? Was she medicated or was the weather changing? Foamy eyes with nasal drainage can be a sign of MG, a respiratory disease. Here is a good read about common chicken diseases and symptoms: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

We're in the US...Pennsylvania.  Lots of fluctuation in the temperatures here this year.  For example, it'll be in upper 60s/low 70s this weekend....mid-December.  I'm thinking that's probably why the respiratory symptoms cleared.  We didn't treat with any type of antibiotics at all.  I'm so new at this that I'm not even sure where to get antibiotics for her.  

 

I did pick up some Poly-Vi-Sol vitamins at CVS this morning.  My plan is to keep her separated in the coop with her own water and food.  I'll supplement her food with the extras that you both suggested, as well as trying to get these vitamins administered, either by hand or in her water...or both.  

 

I'll read up on Mareks and crookneck in the meantime.  I feel so bad for her. :(

 

I appreciate the help so far!

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsto72 View Post
 

We're in the US...Pennsylvania.  Lots of fluctuation in the temperatures here this year.  For example, it'll be in upper 60s/low 70s this weekend....mid-December.  I'm thinking that's probably why the respiratory symptoms cleared.  We didn't treat with any type of antibiotics at all.  I'm so new at this that I'm not even sure where to get antibiotics for her.  

 

I did pick up some Poly-Vi-Sol vitamins at CVS this morning.  My plan is to keep her separated in the coop with her own water and food.  I'll supplement her food with the extras that you both suggested, as well as trying to get these vitamins administered, either by hand or in her water...or both.  

 

I'll read up on Mareks and crookneck in the meantime.  I feel so bad for her. :(

 

I appreciate the help so far!


don't think mareks right away! we did think that with my rooster just because he seemed so sick, but he healed after keeping our hopes up and doing more research and rehab with the treatments.  but as I've learned a lot of people, myself included will jump to the conclusion of mareks, just because it has so many symptoms that other diseases can have too. i have tried to only think of mareks as a last case scenario, after I've done all i can do. the vitamins were magic, and i hope they help over the next few days! try to get a whole dropperful into her a day. if she takes in too much, they will just poop them out (so expect colorful poo if this is the case).

 

be sure to just give a little at a time, into the slit of their beaks, and they will drink it down a little at a time. be sure to only do a little thought at a time. if you force too much it could go down the wrong pipe, and cause them to choke! I was nursing one of my sickly hens last night giving vitamins, and she was doing a weird movement with her head after the swallowing motion stopped, and wasn't making sounds. i was like OMG is she choking? I grab her and flip her head towards the ground and shook her to force the fluid back out, and all was well! she went back to eating like nothing was wrong.

 

i have also found it easier to administer vitamins if you take them inside wrap in a towel, and put one hand close to one side of their head, and go with the vitamins dropper from the other side, the hand helps stabilize their heads if they don't want to be easy about it

 

i have found they don't like the taste of the polyvisol and its fastest to administer by dropped, from my experience then i also know they are getting the correct amount (a lot) each day, and not leaving it to hope and chance that they drink enough water containing extra vitamins.

 

good luck and keep us updated!


Edited by katesgardencare - 12/11/15 at 9:48am
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