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Very Sleepy and lethargic 3-month-old chicken

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am a new chicken owner.  I have a flock of 15 chickens (7 Barred Rocks and 8 Rhode Island Reds) who are just over 3 months old.  It has been rainy, cold, and windy where I am in Texas, and today I noticed that one my girls was acting very lethargic.  When I went to feed them this morning, she was just standing/sitting at one spot in the grass, with her eyes closed.  I've never seen a chicken sleep in the middle of the day!  The other chickens, as usual, were happy and excited to see me.  I'd pick the sick chicken up and set her down, and she'd stay where I put her.

I decided to bring her inside and put her in a box lined with shavings, with bowls of water and food.  I had to leave the house soon after that, but my mom has been keeping an eye on her.  Apparently, she has not moved from the spot that I put her 4 hours ago (she's sleeping with her beak under her wing) and has not eaten or drunk anything.  I'm very worried about her!!  She is the smallest of the flock, though I've never noticed her being picked on.  She is not sneezing or coughing, just sleeping all day. sad

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!  If I noticed any more symptoms when I get home tonight, I'll post an update.  Thanks so much!!  I've been really successful with my flock so far...all 15 arrived healthy and they all survived past little chick-hood.

post #2 of 13

It's good you brought her inside.  You'll be able to monitor her more closely.  I would try to get her to drink ASAP, and add vitamins/electrolytes to the water.  If you use a dropper and drop the water on her beak at the tip she should drink.  Try to keep track of how much she drinks.  There's a sticky at the beginning of this section, and I think there's a recipe you can make so that she gets as much nutrition as possible.
Good luck!

Mom of 1 amazing daughter, step-mom to 5 awesome young adult people, wife of very helpful and understanding husband, AND caretaker of 29 hens, 2 ducks, 2 geese, 6 dogs, 6 cats, 2 mustangs, 3 pygmy goats, 1 lionhead rabbit, 1 green-cheeked conure, 1 cockatiel, 1 parakeet, 1 rat, goldfish, and 1 box turtle.
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Mom of 1 amazing daughter, step-mom to 5 awesome young adult people, wife of very helpful and understanding husband, AND caretaker of 29 hens, 2 ducks, 2 geese, 6 dogs, 6 cats, 2 mustangs, 3 pygmy goats, 1 lionhead rabbit, 1 green-cheeked conure, 1 cockatiel, 1 parakeet, 1 rat, goldfish, and 1 box turtle.
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I found the "stickies" but I didn't see any recipes.  Do you have any you could recommend?

I called my mom from work and she said that the chicken changed sleeping positions, and it looks like she might have eaten a little bit.  So that's a good sign!

As far as vitamins and electrolytes go, are there special kinds for chickens or can you use liquid vitamins for human babies or children?

post #4 of 13

Being so young, and that it was wet outside, I suspect Cocci.

What do the droppings look like ?  bloody, Foamy yellow ?

I would seperate her and treat the water with Sulmet 12.5 %

2 tablespoons of medicine to 1 gallon of water for 2 days. Then 1 tablespoon per gallon for 4 more days. " IF"  cocci, without prompt  treatment, many die...

You may have to get her drinking with an eyedropper, with drops on the beak, Avoid the nostrills...  She should show improvment in 1 to 2 days... Be sure she has her normal food before her, and the medicated water should be her only source for the treatment time, also AVOID any extra protein and vitamins , during treatment or the medicine won't work, cocci thrives on protein !!


Edited by Zoey - 10/26/09 at 3:10pm
post #5 of 13

It seems to me that Speckled Hen had posted a good recipe, but I can't remember all the ingredients.  I know yogurt and chick start are involved, also a bit of molassis....

Mom of 1 amazing daughter, step-mom to 5 awesome young adult people, wife of very helpful and understanding husband, AND caretaker of 29 hens, 2 ducks, 2 geese, 6 dogs, 6 cats, 2 mustangs, 3 pygmy goats, 1 lionhead rabbit, 1 green-cheeked conure, 1 cockatiel, 1 parakeet, 1 rat, goldfish, and 1 box turtle.
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Mom of 1 amazing daughter, step-mom to 5 awesome young adult people, wife of very helpful and understanding husband, AND caretaker of 29 hens, 2 ducks, 2 geese, 6 dogs, 6 cats, 2 mustangs, 3 pygmy goats, 1 lionhead rabbit, 1 green-cheeked conure, 1 cockatiel, 1 parakeet, 1 rat, goldfish, and 1 box turtle.
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

I just e-mailed a friend who has chickens, and she said that it sounds like sour crop.  I've read a little bit about that, but I don't know what it feels like!  I'm pretty sure I'm feeling in the right place, on her chest, and it feels bumpy and grainy.  Is that normal?

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProLifeChick 

I just e-mailed a friend who has chickens, and she said that it sounds like sour crop.  I've read a little bit about that, but I don't know what it feels like!  I'm pretty sure I'm feeling in the right place, on her chest, and it feels bumpy and grainy.  Is that normal?


If she hasn't been eating, and you feel bumpy and grainy in her crop, then it is definitely a crop problem.

Here is a link to a thread i posted on earlier today.  I don't have personal experience with a sour or an impacted crop, but i compiled some good information from someone who does.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=3097930#p3097930

post #8 of 13

information about crop problems:

http://fowlfacts.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=afflictiondiseaseff&action=display&thread=1188


more info and crop tubing instructions:

http://happyhenhouse.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=natural&action=display&thread=5257

describe the droppings..color and consistency.


Edited by sammi - 10/26/09 at 9:57pm
Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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post #9 of 13

It sounds far more like coccidiosis than like a crop problem.

Sour crop has a sour, spoiled milk odor.  With impacted crop, the crop feels like a hard rock.  An empty crop often has a bit of a grainy feel to it.

Sleepy chick standing in the rain screams cocci.  DO NOT feed vitamins.  They counteract common anti-coccidial meds.  Get corrid or sulmet from the feedstore.  Mix to the proper dose and using a 1cc syringe placed W-A-Y down her throat syringe 3-4 CCs or the treated water into her.  Give her free access to medicated starter and the treated water. 

Depending on whether she begins eating and drinking on her own, you may need to continue syringe feeding her.  If she does not eat, get some baby bird handfeeding formula from the pet store and mix it to mashed potato consistency with the treated water.

Breeder & Exhibitor of fine silkies in recognized and project varieties.
adult and started pairs occasionally available;
   No eggs or chicks. 
Support your local poultry clubs, breed clubs, ABA & APA!

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Breeder & Exhibitor of fine silkies in recognized and project varieties.
adult and started pairs occasionally available;
   No eggs or chicks. 
Support your local poultry clubs, breed clubs, ABA & APA!

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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

The only thing she eats is carrot shavings.  She isn't pooping much, and what she has is white and black.

She is still acting just as lethargic today as yesterday.  In thinking that it's a crop problem, I've been making her drink water with apple cider vinegar in it (got that info from some other posts).  I've also been massaging her crop.  It still feels bulgy and soft with grainy things inside it.

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