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diarrhea & my cochin hen; how to treat?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

How do you treat diarrhea in a chicken?

Seems a dumb question for someone that has had chickens for 20 years but after reading many of these threads, I'm amazed that my birds have lived as long and as well as they have!  There is so much I DIDN'T know! 

This two year old standard cochin hen has developed diarrhea.  I noticed her butt was dirty & matted the other day and that she wasn't walking around.  As a matter of fact, if I hadn't spent the day working in the garden beside the pen, I may not have noticed anything was wrong.  She seems alert and can walk normally but chooses to sit in one spot.  She is kept with 29 hens & 2 roosters in a chicken yard with a diet of hen scratch & layer pellets with oyster shell available; and all the garden & kitchen scraps available.  I did check the list to make sure I hadn't fed something toxic to birds and can rule that out.

I cleaned her, noticed that she is very thin of feathers back there, and then put her in a cage where I have been watching her for 3 days.  The diarrhea is worse but not bloody; just watery.  Her demeaner seems the same.   I keep her butt cleaned, keep her dusted for mites.  Her demeaner has not changed - she seems alert and can get up and move just fine when she needs to.  But she prefers to lay beside the waterer and drink non-stop - obviously she's dehydrated from the diarrhea.  She wasn't eating the scratch but I have put layer pellets & crumbles in with her.  She may be eating that (it was gone this morning but a mouse could have found my new set up, so not sure about that.)

Obviously, she's not producing eggs but she doesn't appear to be blocked.  I can't find any sign of tightness or bulging; she is under weight. 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

3 Aussies, 1 yellow lab/mix, 1 cat, 4 horses, more chickens than I really need, and an awesome husband.
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3 Aussies, 1 yellow lab/mix, 1 cat, 4 horses, more chickens than I really need, and an awesome husband.
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post #2 of 11

When was she last wormed?  Watery diarrhea can be a sign of worms, as well as coccidiosis. 

Any lice, or mites?

What color is the diarrhea?  JUst clear and watery?  She's not getting enough to eat.  Maybe offer her favorite treats, as well as her feed soaked in milk.  Make it like a crumble, and see if she eats that.  A hard boiled egg, or a scrambled egg will give her some protein. 

If she hasn't been wormed in awhile, I'd worm her, and offer the milk/feed crumble and see how she does.

5 horses, 5 cats, 3 dogs, a tank of tropical fish, a Red Eared Slider, a tank of gold fish, CHICKENS: 2 BA, 2 SLW, 2 LB, 2 BSL, 3 GSL, 3 DeKalb Amberlinks (as far as I know!), 5 NHR, 6 WPR, 6 EE! Wait a minute!  Who added that rabbit to the mix?  Another rabbit?  Gosh they multiply faster than I thought!
Yup, a farm full of animals and lots of mouths to feed!
Loving every minute of it!! 
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5 horses, 5 cats, 3 dogs, a tank of tropical fish, a Red Eared Slider, a tank of gold fish, CHICKENS: 2 BA, 2 SLW, 2 LB, 2 BSL, 3 GSL, 3 DeKalb Amberlinks (as far as I know!), 5 NHR, 6 WPR, 6 EE! Wait a minute!  Who added that rabbit to the mix?  Another rabbit?  Gosh they multiply faster than I thought!
Yup, a farm full of animals and lots of mouths to feed!
Loving every minute of it!! 
Reply
post #3 of 11

My one year old hen was sick about 2 weeks ago and died about 7 days after I noticed the dirty bottom. Same thing- no real symptoms- other than the diarrhea which soon became pure water. Stopped eating, even special treats. I made sure she had electrolytes in the water and tried some Baytril antibiotic that I had left over from an earlier vet visit. Nothing helped. I took her to the vet for a necropsy, and I am waiting for some lab results, but she had a grossly enlarged liver when they opened her up. So there was nothing I could have done, other than keep her comfortable.

Very mysterious! So now I am very paranoid when I see an unclean hen, and I am watching my white Cochin this morning and worrying. I hope the state Vet can give me a diagnosis soon!

I hope your hen fares better than mine~ I tend to have the worst of luck with my flock...

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

hmm  Worming is one of the new things I've learned about.  Since my hens are used for egg production, the only safe thing I can find is WormGard (All Natrual, most likely a food grade DE powder) which will arrive Monday or Tuesday.  Had to mail order as I cannot find it locally.

I will try the food suggestions.

The diarrhea is very watery and so I have to go by the hay she lays on in the cage.  Yesterday when I cleaned it, it was runny & brown.  This morning, there were only white stains on the hay.   But she still seems happy as long as her water bottle is in reach.

3 Aussies, 1 yellow lab/mix, 1 cat, 4 horses, more chickens than I really need, and an awesome husband.
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3 Aussies, 1 yellow lab/mix, 1 cat, 4 horses, more chickens than I really need, and an awesome husband.
Reply
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

RuffledFeathers:  Sorry to hear about your bird.  Hope all goes better with your white cochin.  That is what I have that is sick right now, a white cochin.   I LOVE MY COCHINS!

Please let me know how the autopsy turns out.  I've kept chickens for 20 years just feeding & watering them and letting them free range.  I never knew you had to worm, etc.  Never even heard of a mite problem before.  Only problem I ever had was from stray dogs or the ocassional hawk.  Now I seem to be in the same boat you are.  These past two years have been a nightmare.   I have even wondered if it wasn't a problem with the birds themselves from the hatchery I ordered them from.

Firstly, I was over run with roosters and now most of my hens are missing feathers down their backs.  Got the roosters caged. 
Secondly, a hawk ate my favorite Bantham rooster.  I rescued him from next door, had him for years & dealy loved to see him teach a young rooster how to be a gentlman around my hens.

Now the I've got one hen in a cage with diarrhea and another one in a cage because most of her body feathers are gone.  I dust regularly for mites and spray and clean the hen houses with  products that one of the top hatcheries recommends; following directions to a tee.  But my hens are all under weight (I still blame the roosters for that) and still trying to get their feathers back in.  I didn't start all of these practices until after I started having troubles -2 yrs ago.  But I think DE is the way to go and can't wait til I don't have to use all the chemicals for control.

Strangely enough, ALL of my roosters are all big & beautiful & heavy; both before I caged them and after. 

I just don't get it!

3 Aussies, 1 yellow lab/mix, 1 cat, 4 horses, more chickens than I really need, and an awesome husband.
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3 Aussies, 1 yellow lab/mix, 1 cat, 4 horses, more chickens than I really need, and an awesome husband.
Reply
post #6 of 11

Hi

I will post the results when I get them; I assume it will take at least a couple of weeks. I am worried it is a viral thing like Avian leukosis or something that is just "in my flock". I have a whole batch of babies that is exposed to what ever it is, but they seem fine. We will see. The vet suspected some sort of Salmonella, but I couldn't find a lot of info on something like that in an older hen. And I scoured the internet to find SOMETHING that described her symptoms (or really, lack of) as it was happening.
My friends think I am turning into a Chicken Whisperer because I am learning everything I can about health and behavior, but I sort of have to because bird vets are few, far between, and expensive. (I will not even utter the amount of money I spent on a hen with extreme prolapse last year!)
I hope if I can post some start to finish info it may help someone else doing a search for their sick bird!

post #7 of 11

The vet just called. It is Marek's.
The hen had developed cancer from it but had very little symptoms. Lethargic, standing still, occasional open mouth breathing, decline in eating, developed diarrhea, but drank a lot. Stopped laying about 3 days before she died and really only showed signs of illness for a week.

Now I have to deal with it in my flock, but this explains the first pullet I lost at 8-9 weeks, to equally vague symptoms, as well as the hen that developed a severe prolapse at the onset of laying (Marek's can cause tumors in the oviduct). So I guess in that respect I have been dealing with it for a while and did not know it.

I can expect to lose hens to it, but there is no way to know how many or how often. I have new chicks that were not vaccinated so they are already exposed. This flock was all feedstore day-olds, from a hatchery (dont know which one). I wish I had had the option of purchasing vaccinated chicks at the feed store but no one offers those? I think I could have scraped another $1 together for that!

The necropsy was expensive but I am glad to have done it; now I will not raise any chicks for friends or "re-home" my roosters.

I hope your hen has something else, good luck

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ruffled Feathers:  I am so sorry!  I really, really appreciate your updates.  I wish you well with your flock.

3 Aussies, 1 yellow lab/mix, 1 cat, 4 horses, more chickens than I really need, and an awesome husband.
Reply
3 Aussies, 1 yellow lab/mix, 1 cat, 4 horses, more chickens than I really need, and an awesome husband.
Reply
post #9 of 11

I had one of my grown hens with diarrhea not long ago - almost died - lost the head and neck feathers - sate on her nest and would not eat - no energy - her comb turned white.  First try feeding the chick plain yogart (no flavor or sugar) - just plain yogart.  You can add scrambled eggs to the yogart also.   If this doesn't work, you may have to get an antibiotic to add to the water.  I fed the yogart to the hen once a day - about a cup full - until the yogart is gone.   Hope this helps.
Willa T.                                                                                                                                                                                             

Quote:
Originally Posted by siroiszoo 

How do you treat diarrhea in a chicken?

Seems a dumb question for someone that has had chickens for 20 years but after reading many of these threads, I'm amazed that my birds have lived as long and as well as they have!  There is so much I DIDN'T know! 

This two year old standard cochin hen has developed diarrhea.  I noticed her butt was dirty & matted the other day and that she wasn't walking around.  As a matter of fact, if I hadn't spent the day working in the garden beside the pen, I may not have noticed anything was wrong.  She seems alert and can walk normally but chooses to sit in one spot.  She is kept with 29 hens & 2 roosters in a chicken yard with a diet of hen scratch & layer pellets with oyster shell available; and all the garden & kitchen scraps available.  I did check the list to make sure I hadn't fed something toxic to birds and can rule that out.

I cleaned her, noticed that she is very thin of feathers back there, and then put her in a cage where I have been watching her for 3 days.  The diarrhea is worse but not bloody; just watery.  Her demeaner seems the same.   I keep her butt cleaned, keep her dusted for mites.  Her demeaner has not changed - she seems alert and can get up and move just fine when she needs to.  But she prefers to lay beside the waterer and drink non-stop - obviously she's dehydrated from the diarrhea.  She wasn't eating the scratch but I have put layer pellets & crumbles in with her.  She may be eating that (it was gone this morning but a mouse could have found my new set up, so not sure about that.)

Obviously, she's not producing eggs but she doesn't appear to be blocked.  I can't find any sign of tightness or bulging; she is under weight. 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

post #10 of 11

Ruffled feathers

 

Please let me kow how the necropsy turns out. I have lost five hens in similar situation. My other nine seem healthy. I cant afford the $200+ for a necropsy on mine but perhaps the results of yours might steer me in the right direction.

All the ones I lost were gotten from the same source but the remaining three seem healthy.

 

Peg

igep21@gmail.com
 

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