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Lethargic weak dizzy chicken, not eating, no poop last 24 hours

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

This is my first attempt at raising chickens.  I'm doing it because I think it's good for my kids to understand the "circle of life" and to learn responsibility. 
I've got 10 hens (5 white leghorns, 3 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Black Stars), 14 months old, good layers, good, happy girls.  I feed them layer feed from a local feed store and occasionally vegetables and fruits.  We also have a home garden so I would say our hens eat as good as our family. 

About 36 hours ago I noticed one of the Black Stars was walking very wobbly almost like she was dizzy.  Then 24 hours ago she was in the corner of the coop with head down in the dirt almost like she was hiding.  I separated her from the others and immediately started on ACV with water.  She was so weak that she couldn't even raise her head.  I imagined it was because she was so dehydrated so I dripped the water into her mouth with a dropper and she drank.  That night there was minimal improvement, she was sitting normal but not moving and still not eating or drinking.  So I fed her more water and she drank. 

No poop as far as I can see yet.  She has not eaten since she was separated (24 hours) and for probably longer.  I bought some Wazine 17 after a suggestion from a friend who has raised chickens before but the label says it's not for egg layers so I'm hesitant to use it.  Besides, I'm not for sure she has worms. 

As I was feeding her I noticed a small (pea size) scab on the back of her neck.  It made me wonder if she had been bitten by something.  Even now she's very weak without even being able to stand or hold up her head.  She just lays on her side. 

She's not breathing hard.  And I checked for an egg and don't think she's egg bound. 

No other visible signs of anything wrong.  However, I must admit I don't know if I would be able to notice anything small or minor (I'm a man. I'm sure my wife's had hair cuts in our 6 years of marriage but I've never noticed.)  The hen seems like she could pass at any moment but seems to be hanging on.  I live in Florida and it's been very hot which make my friend think it might be worms. 

Anyways, I hope that's enough.  We want to try and help her ourselves without a vet since money is tight and I believe death is part of that "circle of life" I mentioned earlier. 

Any advice would be helpful.

post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
NOAH

post #3 of 8

There are so many different things that could have happened, she could have gotten in to something poisonous, been bitten by something. I don't think its heat related because you would see more physical distress.

I would try different things to try and get her to eat and drink. I would put vitamins in her water, polyvisol works well, add unsweetened Kool Aid to flavor it to encourage drinking.

Make her feed in to a wet mash and offer it. Cook oatmeal and try that. You will have to be patient and physically offer it to her. Sometimes it takes a while for them to give it a try.

Is her comb a normal color, are her eyes clear?

Robin
Summertown, TN
TN State Rep for the American Silkie Bantam Club
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Robin
Summertown, TN
TN State Rep for the American Silkie Bantam Club
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post #4 of 8

Most important thing is to keep her hydrated .. make sure she is taking fluids even if you have to use an eye dropper Robin416 covered what to do to keep her comfortable. If you can put her inside the house where it is cool...You could put her in a large box with her own water and some clean shavings, keeping her cool will help. Best of luck !!

Experience.... is what we have left over after we have lost everything !
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Experience.... is what we have left over after we have lost everything !
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post #5 of 8

Worms are certainly a possible cause of her symptoms, and chickens that age are going to have some worms, it's unavoidable; it is a matter of how heavy the load is, and how well they are able to withstand it.  Worms steal nutrition from the bird.  Yes you can give Wazine and still eat the eggs, but you will want to discard them for a while; in fact, Wazine is the best wormer to give first.  You will want to give it to all of them.  I'll link a good thread about worming for you:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=2525157#p2525157

Since she is separated, the next question is, is she laying?  If she is not, and she is not molting, she might have an egg production problem.  You could read up on eggbound or egg peritonitis or internal layer; they can also get tumors and other problems.  Hot weather will also cause them to stop laying or lay less, especially if they are ill with another problem.

You may or may not be able to figure out the cause/causes in the end, but we will try to help you if we can.

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Reply
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you all very much.  I think I'll take her inside and continue water with ACV and then try some worm meds.  What do you think about some terramiosin?  I keep getting the feeling like she's been bit by something.  They all sleep, eat, poop, peck, and scratch in the same pen, I would think they'd all be sick. 
I'll keep you all updated.  Thank you very much for your help.  My family truely appreciates it.

post #7 of 8

Personally, I would not give an antibiotic unless I knew it was indicated for a particular germ, or as an absolute last resort (and maybe not then.) 

A bite is also a possibility; your intuition might be right on.  There have been some threads on here recently about scorpion stings, everyone has spiders, etc.  You could give her a little Benadryl in case this is the problem; it is a pretty innocuous drug.  Here is a thread about Benadryl for scorpion sting, which says the dose is 5 mg/kg:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=185520&p=1

The chicken survived.

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Reply

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Reply
post #8 of 8

I'm interested to see how this goes, I hope your chicken recovers!!!

Just last night my DH found a girl who didn't go up to roost.. she was just sleeping by the door of the coop.  He wasn't worried, but mentioned it to me.  I put her in a separate coop with water.  She was too week to stand, drink the water that I offered, or stay awake, but it was the middle of the night.. I thought she just might need to sleep it off.  The next morning she was still just sitting there and moving a little, so my DH wasn't worried, and didn't say anything to me.  I found her a couple of hours later.  I wish I'd been able to help her!
sad

My other 4 hens are just fine, acting totally normal and healthy.  (Thank goodness!!!)

Kathryn
Mesa, AZ

Our first introduction to chicks...  http://www.cardsyourway.us/blog/archives/90
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Kathryn
Mesa, AZ

Our first introduction to chicks...  http://www.cardsyourway.us/blog/archives/90
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