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Orpington trouble

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have an Orpington that I'm not to sure on her age, I got her at 5 weeks and haven't really been keeping track.  She disappeared for a day and I found her stuck behind some firewood. I think she was dehydrated and hungry because she couldn't walk, just sort of rolled head first. I brought her in the house and gave her water and food.  She rested overnight and only drank some water.  This morning she was up and moving around very slowly but not totally tumbling around like yesterday.  Her balance is awful and she falls back or forward but tried to correct with her wings, she's been eating like it's going out of style today.  I figured she just needs to build up her strength but when I was looking her over I noticed her "butt" doesn't have big feathers just the downy ones so I took this picture.

 Because she's a teenager I was thinking that her adult feathers are just coming in? She's also been scratching at it but then I saw a bug that I would say looks most like a flea.  From things I've read I think it's too big to be either lice or mites, it's very easy to see. So my question is could all of this be related or just a case of this chicken having a bunch of problems?  Do you think a DE bath would handle whatever the bug is or do I need to actually wet bathe her, because I would rather not with her feeling crappy and all.


The rest of my flock are adult layers and they don't interact with this one who I have in her own "teenager coop", but none of them are showing any similar signs.  I also have 5 dogs none of which have fleas.


Thank you!

post #2 of 7
She might have lice or mites. Permethrin dust or 10 percent spray can be used on her skin, then repeat in 7 days. I would continue to make sure that she is drinking well, and you can give her some chopped egg and tuna for some extra protein. Lice are tiny reddish tan bugs, and their eggs are in white balls or clumps at the base of feathers. They move very fast, while mites move slowly.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I got a spray and de powder to use on her but today she seems worse. She can't stand at all, just falls right over. She's freaking out now when I go to touch her when she didn't mind being touched before. Now she is also opening her beak with every breath. I put electrolytes I her water but she doesn't seem to want any, I'm not sure if I should force her with a syringe or let her decide. She's been eating but has been clicking her beak a lot. I'm starting to worry that it's something more serious.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 


This is what she's doing :/

post #5 of 7

She looks like she is gasping for air. I would try to get fluids into her with a dropper, and maybe think about getting a feeding tube tomorrow to tube some fluids. There is a good thread to read called "go team tube feeding" with videos and instructions on crop feeding. Was she vaccinated for Mareks disease? Her dehydration could also be a cause of her lameness and loss of balance, but Mareks can as well. Her being stuck could have caused internal damage, but also going without water for a whole day can be serious. If a vet is possible, I would consider it. Some vets will see chickens, while others don't feel comfortable.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you for answering! I will try all of these.  I don't know if she was vaccinated but I got her from a breeder who I will contact tomorrow to find out.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well talked to the breeder, vet and my mom (who also has chickens). Vet and breeder think just electrolytes and antibiotics for a week. My mom thinks I'm freaking the chicken out by hovering over her all the time and told me to leave her alone. I left her alone and now she's standing without falling over. I guess I'll ignore her tommorow and my husband hopes she flies herself out of the tub so he can take a shower. big_smile.png
Edited by gennafer - 4/7/16 at 12:13am
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