1st Sick Chicken--No clue what is wrong

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by amberVA, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. amberVA

    amberVA New Egg

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    Jan 29, 2015
    This past weekend, my daughter and I noticed that our oldest hen had her left leg pulled up and was standing in the yard very still. So, we put her in a cage and brought her inside. Figuring due to the cold winter she was malnourished we started feeding her a varied diet (grain, strawberries, grapes, yogurt, cooked eggs, and cheese) throughout this week. She was not very interested in food the first day and immediately sat down and stuck her head into her wing and proceeded to sleep for about a day. The next day she would fall asleep while standing up but was gaining an interest in food (grapes and grain) again. She was moving but not very much; she also drank a lot of water (which may actually be a normal amount; I just am not educated on how much each chicken should drink a day). The third day she started clucking and acting more like herself (eating even more) but was awake the majority of that night eating (I assumed this was due to all the sleeping she was doing the first few days). Because her health appeared to be improving, I asked that my Husband take her outside while supervised so that she could get some exercise and start strengthening herself for her return to the flock. However, she just kinda just sat and rolled a little onto her side. Now that she is back in the cage she is standing and looking fairly well. We have placed vitamins in her water and provided her with oyster shells. I have been searching online for suggestions or answers and nothing seems to really match what our hen is doing. Thoughts, ideas, concerns? I was thinking of trying wormer and/or antibiotics. Any suggestions would be helpful!

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  2. ChickonInc

    ChickonInc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Has she been pooping lately?
     
  3. amberVA

    amberVA New Egg

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    Yes. She has been pooping since the first day. I have attached a picture...easier than describing! This is fresh from today (we know because we put fresh hay down).

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  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Where is she in the pecking order? Do you think that she could have been kept from food and water by the others? Is she passing droppings, and what do they look like? Would you be able to take in a sample of her droppings to a vet to check for coccidia, worms, and bacteria? How old is she? I would probably start by worming her with Valbazen or SafeGuard liquid goat wormer. Then I would put vitamins and electrolytes in her water,pedialyte, or gatorade. Have you added any new chickens to the flock lately, where she might have been exposed to a new strain of coccidia? Is she laying eggs?I would primarily feed her layer feed, and give her some scrambled egg to tempt her to eat.
     
  5. jgoldy2

    jgoldy2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC!! She probably needs something to help take the weight off her legs.
     
  6. amberVA

    amberVA New Egg

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    I am not sure where she is in the pecking order. However, I do know she is the oldest (3 years old) and the only surviving chicken from our first "batch" of six chickens (an animal got the other five). The other four we have are more aggressive in nature and do not like us to handle them. Henny (our sick hen) always allowed us to handle her and loves little kids. I would assume that she is the outcast of the group. After seeing Henny when I got home from work, I am starting to think that they were keeping her from eating and drinking. Her breast bone is very pointed and I do not feel any meat around the bone. I do feel a small bulge just to the right and above the bone that is squishy so I assume it is her crop. She has no signs of cannibalism (no open wounds or sores). I am researching vets now and think I have found one but I will have to wait until they are open to see what they are willing to do. I also just returned from Tractor Supply where the only dewormer I could find (our chickens have never been dewormed) was Strike III Type B Medicated Feed (Hydromycin B). Just reading the directions on how to administer it makes me nervous. I did not realize that the SafeGuard and Valbazen recommend in other threads was actually goat wormer. I think I will take the Strike III back tomorrow and look for the goat wormer instead (since it comes so recommended). Henny's appetite has vastly improved since the 1st day and is currently eating whatever we give to her with gusto, neglecting the grain somewhat. We have already been giving her cooked eggs and putting vitamins and electrolytes in her water. There are no new chickens in the flock. Our other four we have have been around for 2 years. She is not laying eggs and I must confess that none were laying eggs for about a month but we figured it had to do with the lack of free range food available due to the Winter season. The other 4 chickens are now laying about 1-2 eggs a day. A few weeks ago we introduced the vitamins into their water and provided oyster shells in hopes of getting them to lay again (this was prior to Henny getting so sick). We have also been doing better with providing vegetable/fruit scraps. I really appreciate all the responses and questions! I would love to see her well again!
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    In hens her age, egg yolk peritonitis and internal laying can be common. That causes infection in the abdomen, weight loss, pain, not wanting to walk, or waddling, and other symptoms. She might not have that, but just wanted to mention it. At TSC, they usually carry the SafeGuard liquid Goat Wormer, and the dosage to get all chicken worms is 1 ml daily for 5 days, given orally. She sounds like my kind of chicken, real laid back and good around kids. I hope that you can get her back to feeling better.
     

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