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Help! New and already have a sick chicken!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I purchased 2 LF Orpington Pullets from a breeder a week ago today.  They are gorgeous..about 3 mo old.  Anyways I put them in my run, and they were fine....I mentioned to the breeder that they were loving my azalea bushes...but that night I got an urgent message letting me know they were poisonous..then two days ago the problems started.. Lacey started walking funny like she was drunk and kept lying down every chance she could...even to eat she would sit down and eat.  I thought she was being lazy but didnt know what the stumbling was about.  Then yesterday I wake up and she is even worse.  Her head lolls to the side and she was closing her eyes.  Even worse at walking and not doing much of it.  I immediately started her on some wet cat food for protein and added some polyvysol...well I really tried to give her the vitamins straight...but I am not use to having to administer stuff like that to a chicken...they dont open up for you like dogs do.  She seemed to perk up a little.  I went out and got her some fruit and mashed that up.  She has electrolytes in her water and probiotics.  She didnt want to get in her house yesterday when it started a down pour...or maybe she couldnt get up the ramp, so I put her in the house.  Came back out a little later, and there she was on the ground in the rain again...ughhh....so I made sure got in her house at night time.

Went out this am around 8 and I thought she was deceased....she was laying on her side with her head rolled in a weird position.  I crawled in (yes my run has a short roof) and when I got to her and started to pet her she came to a bit and tried to sit up.  I gave her more cat food with vitamins and because it was raining and she wont come out from under the house, I put her other crumbles and water under there too.  I dont know what to do....the breeder said it could be Merricks, but the other hen is fine and they are sisters and have been together the whole time.  Both are vaccinated (which I now know is not 100%)  All I know is they both ate the azaleas, but I dont know if that is what is causing the problem

I would bring Lacey in, but my friend said that it would stress both the girls out being separated and cause her more harm...but its raining and damp outside.

My heart is breaking because I dont know what to do for her, or what is wrong with her.  Please help!

post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamWerner View Post
 

I purchased 2 LF Orpington Pullets from a breeder a week ago today.  They are gorgeous..about 3 mo old.  Anyways I put them in my run, and they were fine....I mentioned to the breeder that they were loving my azalea bushes...but that night I got an urgent message letting me know they were poisonous..then two days ago the problems started.. Lacey started walking funny like she was drunk and kept lying down every chance she could...even to eat she would sit down and eat.  I thought she was being lazy but didnt know what the stumbling was about.  Then yesterday I wake up and she is even worse.  Her head lolls to the side and she was closing her eyes.  Even worse at walking and not doing much of it.  I immediately started her on some wet cat food for protein and added some polyvysol...well I really tried to give her the vitamins straight...but I am not use to having to administer stuff like that to a chicken...they dont open up for you like dogs do.  She seemed to perk up a little.  I went out and got her some fruit and mashed that up.  She has electrolytes in her water and probiotics.  She didnt want to get in her house yesterday when it started a down pour...or maybe she couldnt get up the ramp, so I put her in the house.  Came back out a little later, and there she was on the ground in the rain again...ughhh....so I made sure got in her house at night time.

Went out this am around 8 and I thought she was deceased....she was laying on her side with her head rolled in a weird position.  I crawled in (yes my run has a short roof) and when I got to her and started to pet her she came to a bit and tried to sit up.  I gave her more cat food with vitamins and because it was raining and she wont come out from under the house, I put her other crumbles and water under there too.  I dont know what to do....the breeder said it could be Merricks, but the other hen is fine and they are sisters and have been together the whole time.  Both are vaccinated (which I now know is not 100%)  All I know is they both ate the azaleas, but I dont know if that is what is causing the problem

I would bring Lacey in, but my friend said that it would stress both the girls out being separated and cause her more harm...but its raining and damp outside.

My heart is breaking because I dont know what to do for her, or what is wrong with her.  Please help!


give her plenty of clean water with vitamins with a syringe. if it is poisoning she will get better within 48 hours. don't force feed her, she will be fine with water for a day or two. offer her chicken feed only at the moment and when she gets better you can give her whatever you want to.

post #3 of 5
Welcome to BYC. It does sound like possible Mareks disease, but the chicken would need to have been exposed to Mareks within the past 3 weeks or more, unless the breeder had it in their environment. Hopefully, it is the azalia plants, and they hopefully will be fine once it is out of their systems. In the meantime give poultry vitamins containing vitamin E and selenium, which is found in raw or cooked egg, ground tuna, and many nuts and seeds. Poultry Nutri-drench and Poultry Cell vitamins contain both of those. Dosage is 2 ml orally every day, and you can open the beak and just give a drop or two at a time with a needleless syringe. Wry neck or torticolis is a common neuroligical symptom of Mareks, dehydration, and many other problems.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Im having a hard time getting her mouth open to syringe her water.  Is there a trick to it?  My husband was putting it in the palm of my hand and I would have to dip her beak into it and she would "smack" a little like she was cleaning her beak but wasnt throwing her head back like she was swallowing.  She is pretty lifeless.  I brought her is because I couldnt stand the thought of her laying on the ground (she wont go into the hen house or cant).  She is just laying in a box with bedding and her food and water.  I feel bad for her sister who is outside by herself.  They truly did have a good relationship and her sister worried over her, now I know she is wondering what is happening.  

 

Anyways...how do you open their beak is what I need to know.  I am going to try and syringe her some more water again.  Thank you for you help.

post #5 of 5
I am right handed, so I will take a chicken under my left arm, and open the beak with my left thumb and forefinger forcing it open, while putting a dropper or needle less syringe into the beak. Give a drop or two at a time. You may need to pull down on the wattles with your right hand to open the mouth. With each drop or two, release the wattles and let her swallow.
I would let her buddy in with her to visit or stay unless she pecks at her. Chickens need other chickens.
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