6 1/2 month old lethargic hen - suggestions??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Citychickengal, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. Citychickengal

    Citychickengal Songster

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    May 23, 2018
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    Hi all,
    I have a 6 1/2 month old hen (my favorite, incidentally) that is acting very lethargic. She’s in a flock of 11 and all the others are acting normally. I’ve been out of town for a week and have only been back for two days, so I don’t know how long this has been going on.

    Last night I noticed her sitting on my porch sleeping in the evening while the others were foraging. Thought it was a little weird, but not all that odd. She hasn’t started laying yet so she does forage slightly less than my other laying hens. However today I went out around 10:30am to check on everyone and the hen in question was still in the coop on her roost - extremely odd, no one ever stays roosted during the day. I wasn’t able to get back out until about noon, and she was still on her roost. So I got her down and checked her crop, it felt completely empty. I mixed up some sugar/salt/baking soda for electrolytes and mixed it with some of her feed (all flock from purina, they have free choice oyster shell) and hand fed that to her. I think she probably ate a couple teaspoons. I had to go back inside at that point, and she walked off to join the rest of the flock in the woods. Watching her move her balance seems totally fine. Her comb looked normal, not crazy pale, her eyes looked normal as well. Her poop was very watery and white, nothing solid, presumably because she hasn’t been eating.

    Any ideas as to what could be ailing her? I’ve had chickens for about a year and haven’t ever actually had any sickness, so I’m not sure the best way to proceed. I figured I’d check on her in a couple hours and see if she would eat some more feed/electrolyte mash. Any other suggestions or things I should be doing?? I love this hen, she’s the only one I’ve raised from a little chick, but a vet is out of the question, we just can’t afford it. If there’s anything else I should be doing though I’m all ears!!
     
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  2. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    There are so many diseases chickens can come down with, trying to decide which one is affecting your hen would be a futile exercise. None of us can look at a sick hen and diagnose her without a lot of investigating where she's been hanging out and what she's been eating or has been exposed to.

    A vet can run a lot of tests that will also cost a lot, but there is one test that can go a long way toward helping to figure out what may be wrong with your hen. It's a fecal float test. By taking a sample of this hen's poop to a vet and asking for this test may help determine if your hen has an overload of coccidia or an infestation of intestinal worms, both of which can cause the symptoms you are seeing.

    If this turns out to be impossible, I recommend you give your hen a round of Corid in case she's suffering from coccidiosis. It just takes five days and it may cause her to improve. You may try a wormer such as Safeguard following the Corid if she hasn't shown improvement, and finally, try an oral antibiotic such as amoxicillin if the treatments for parasites fails. The Corid and Safeguard can be found at most feed stores. Amoxicillin can be found online where they sell meds for aquarium fish.
     
  3. Helloworld

    Helloworld Songster

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    Not my intention to hijack thread but I keep meaning to ask this when I see people discussing time length between picking up Coccidiosis and dying. It might help here so if anyone knows for sure what it starts out like, I would like to know too..

    I have had two bouts of Coccidiosis... mine show signs and within 2 hrs dead, one by one. Started with bloody diarhea.

    Did I mistake the illness?

    Also... how much Corid dose do you give azygous per gallon? I do not give this because I once had a water hog hen and she died from overdose of Corid I believe. I just worry about that happening again.
     
  4. Citychickengal

    Citychickengal Songster

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    I had heard of Corrid, I’ll try and get to the store to pick some up tonight. Are there any adverse side effects if it turns out that’s not what she has? Also should I be treating my entire flock, or just the one hen? Thanks for the advice!
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Corid is very simply a thiamine blocker that interferes with the carbohydrate synthesis the coccidia parsites require for their life cycle inside a chicken. For this reason, you want to withhold vitamins during treatment. No side effects, no special precautions necessary other than that. All the flock should be treated because if one has coccidia, they all do.

    It will say it's for cattle, but it works for all animals even though the coccidia species differ according to each class of animals. Chickens have up to nine different species of coccidia that can takes up residence and cause sickness and death.
     
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  6. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Coccidiosis has an eight day incubation period during which there may be no symptoms, and some chickens present with symptoms very quickly and others much more slowly, only showing signs of extreme illness right before they die.

    It does no harm to treat with Corid the minute you see a chicken acting a bit "off". Once you notice a chicken having bloody stools, the parasites are well on their way to destroying the intestinal lining and you may give the chicken Corid "drench" which is about a quarter ml of undiluted Corid liquid.

    Using Corid liquid to treat coccidiosis you add two teaspoons Corid to one gallon water, mixing fresh each day for five days. Wait one week, and do another five days of treatment. You may give the drench right along with the Corid in the drinking water.

    Using powdered Corid, the ratio is one and a half teaspoons in a gallon of water.
     
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  7. Helloworld

    Helloworld Songster

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    Thank you, I appreciate you! I had a batch in 2016, Lavendar Wyondottes, that showed zero signs and one by one, they fell left and right fast. I did not get a necropsy done.
     
  8. Citychickengal

    Citychickengal Songster

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    Thank you for all the info! My hen seems much better today, she’s eating and drinking. I did find blood in her poop yesterday, so I think I will continue with the full course of corid just to be safe.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    It's wonderful news she's improving! The blood in the poop points to coccidiosis, so be sure you do the treatment for the full five days. Wait a week for any eggs to hatch, and then do another five days to get those coccidia before they begin their life cycle in the hen's intestines.
     
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  10. Citychickengal

    Citychickengal Songster

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    Well my hen took a turn for the worse today. She slept all day and when I got her up she was walking more unsteadily than normal. She wouldn’t eat or drink on her own, so I used a syringe to give her a drench dose of the corid. I also gave her some electrolytes mixed in ground up oats and water just in an attempt to get her some kind of food. I really hope she’ll pull through, but it’s not looking good.
     

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