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Chicken lethargic, droopy, and having hard time breathing....

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hi.

I have a Black Australop hen, just over a year. Yesterday when I let the chickens out into the yard, I noticed she seemed a bit off. She walked out into the yard, but just stood there while the others went hunting for bugs and such. She seemed to be feeling poorly, and I noticed a glob of poo out her backside. I lifted her up and checked her vent, but it looked normal. When I set her back down, she had a hard time gaining her balance, with her tail flopping all over the place.

I came and and read the forums thinking that maybe she was egg bound. I gave her a warm bath and lubricated her vent with mineral oil. I also massaged her belly and kept her warm and inside the house.

Nothing changed.

Later in the evening, she kept her beak open, like she couldn't breathe well, and when she talked to me, her voice sounded horse. I thought maybe she was too hot, so I moved her to a cooler place.

Her crop is pretty empty. She will eat bits of grain if I hand feed her. She's not eating and drinking on her own. For hours yesterday, she just stood in one place in her crate. She'd look around and if I came and talked to her, she'd respond, but she's pretty lethargic.

This morning, she sounds weezy. But she doesn't seem to have a cold, no snotty nostrils, etc.

Anybody have any good ideas? Oh, I did put electrolytes in her water, but she's not drinking. And I gave her oatmeal and yogert. She's not eating it, unless I dip her beak in it. That's all I can think of to tell you. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

post #2 of 2

Aloha. Sometimes a chicken, like all birds, succumbs to a virus or bacterial infection and little can be done. I've had chickens 30 years. This is what I would do. Isolate her immediately in a small pen out of the sun and away from drafts. Make her a soft bed of straw or whatever. Make fresh water available. Give her a few nice greens, very fresh. Hang them on the side of the pen or hanging down from the top, so she can peck at them. Do not spread them on the bottom. Make a small amount of fresh scratch, oatmeal, bread, or other grain available. Give her antibiotics. 1. You can get a small bag of dry tetracycline hydrochloride at your local feed store. It takes a minute amount in a large amount of water and it must be made fresh every 24 hours. A knowledgeable person should be able to help you. The directions are very clear. Read them carefully.  OR 2. You can get a small bottle of natural antibiotic ( what i have used for years) called bio-active silver hydrosol available at a health food store. Give her a dropperful at least twice a day.

It sounds like a respiratory infection and she could've gotten it from a wild bird or ?? It happens. You may lose her. You absolutely did the right thing checking to make sure she was not egg bound. At this point, once she has all of the above, it is up to her. I actually keep one small, enclosed garden with a few tomatoes, greens, and herbs and a bowl of fresh water. When i have a sick one past death stage, I put her in there alone. She can sleep, graze, drink, scratch for bugs, rest in the shade, without competition or pressure. Really great as a recovery facility. Best of luck. jeannie mccabe

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