Have you successfully treated a chicken for mysterious diarrhea then had her go back to being an awesome layer? How long did it take for her to get better?
Background: I've got an almost two-year-old hatchery barred rock. She's been a good layer. In October she started molting and stopped laying. Her feathers finally started growing back in. Last Wednesday, I noticed she had diarrhea and wasn't really eating (she'd eat meal worms, but not scratch or her feed), so I separated her from the flock and put her in a kennel in my garage. She got weaker and weaker.
I took her to the vet on Friday because I was worried she had something contagious that the rest of my flock might have. At the vet, her eyes were closing, I was pretty sure she was going die the next day. The vet said it wasn't cocci and her bacteria count was pretty much normal, He didn't think it was something that the rest of the flock would have. He suggested trying amoxicillin since it was inexpensive and couldn't hurt. She's on day 3 of the antibiotic. She is doing slightly better, more active and eating slightly more. I've been feeding her mashed hard boiled egg and yogurt, which she eats. She has access to her usual food, which she doesn't eat. She still has diarrhea.
My current plan is to finish up the antibiotic, then take her off the yogurt (I've suspected this chicken is lactose intolerant) and see how she is.
Problem is, I'm not sure where the point of diminishing returns is. Before she got sick, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with her next fall. She is a good, curious chicken, but she is almost two and since she molted the entire winter, I've been feeding a rather large chicken for no eggs. She is half way between a pet and livestock, so it makes the call hard. I want to give her a fair chance. How do you make the call about saving vs culling?