Hello! I'm new to this forum and straight away I'm posting for help and advice!
I have a Rhode Island Red that is 3½ to 4 years old. She's one of four chickens that we acquired when they were all 16 weeks old (a Blue, a Golden Line and a Black Rock). She became very hunched and lethargic, so I took her to the vet who weighed her and said she was severely underweight (1.6kg), but couldn't offer a reason why. Her temperature was fine, she was otherwise in good condition, nothing wrong with her crop, no mites etc. I have examined her droppings and can't see any worms. The vet said there was probably no coming back, but said we could give her antibiotics to see if that helped. So I've had her on Synulox for four days and put her in a little hospital coop overnight, giving her lots of food, water, cucumber, small bits of cooked chicken, sugar paste, and a bowl of raw egg, egg shell and yogurt padded out with bits of soaked bread. She looked like she was improving a bit. She drinks the water, eats the yogurty concoction with some enthusiasm, loved the sugar paste, but wasn't interested in the rest and really hasn't touched the pellets (which were dusted with poultry spice, garlic and mint). However, today she seems worse than ever. When i gave her the antibiotic, the syringe stuck and when I put more pressure on it, I shot the liquid out really quickly, and I'm worried I may have got some down her trachea. She's not 'rattling' but I can hear a solitary 'click' when she breathes out. This morning I let her join the other chooks but she was very slow, not interested in the food and kept heading to the wall of the house. I wondered if she was cold, as the weather has turned, and she's got no meat on her bones, so brought her indoors, wrapped her in a towel and put food and water in front of her. If I stroke her, she seems to wake up and take some of the yogurt or water, but then her eyelids drop again. Her breathing seems to tire her out, and when she tries to stand, she sometimes seems unbalanced and topples over. I have let her out again, as it has warmed up a bit outside, and thought that being with her fellow chooks may encourage her to forage or compete for food, and so far she hasn't toppled over, but she's wandered off to sit down. I weighed her again and she's lost another 100grams since the vet weighed her four days ago. I'm worried she's hit a downward spiral and now doesn't have the energy to eat, so won't ever get better. Has this happened to anyone else, and if so do you have any tips on how I can bulk her up and give her some strength back, or at 4ish, is she just approaching her time? Thanks in advance.