Acts broody, had impacted crop, pecks, twitches head at times, & more.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mommajoschickens, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. mommajoschickens

    mommajoschickens Hatching

    Feb 2, 2009
    Hi, I'm new to the chicken world. We currently have 4 bantam/bantam mix hens (if that's possible)... three of which started to lay for us in December. (Here's a little history: We got some chickens from a friend who had hatched several as a home school project in late spring '08. We took the roosters back to the original farm since we're not really in "the country" & didn't want trouble with neighbors. We ended up with 5 bantam hens, but, lost our first layer with her first egg. It was large for her & she died within hours after giving "birth" to it (so sad!). Since then, our little Splash Cochin, "Chicken Little"/"Fluffy Butt", got sick... still don't know what it was even after looking everything up on the web & in the Backyard Chicken book, but, I was able to nurse her back to normal by taking her inside and keeping her away from the others who had started pecking all her "bummy" feathers off when she got sick. Thought she may be having trouble coming into "puberty" (the only thing I can think of calling it when they first start to lay) & we were kinda paranoid about an egg being/getting stuck since she's so small. She recovered in a few days but I may wait 'til spring to introduce her back into the flock... she's currently secluded in her own section of coop & still hasn't laid any eggs.)

    Which brings us to our latest delema...
    About 2 weeks ago, I noticed our girl, Snow White, was staying in her nest a lot. She had always been "pecky" when she was about to lay an egg and would sit there for a long time before laying her egg and then getting out. She was still laying eggs, but, then, one day, she laid one, even smaller than normal, outside the nest & then had returned to sit in her nest. She had started puffing herself up (feathers) whenever anyone got near & pecking at them. I thought she may be going broody, so, I just left her for a day or two. Then, it seemed like she might not be eating or drinking & we started bringing food and water to her and she would eat a little but not drink unless we put it right up to her beak. The other hens started pecking at her and I moved her into a box in our house (pine shavings in bottom). She has a nest and her food and water are within inches of her, but, she will not eat or drink unless we hold it up to her (um... have we created a chicken primadonna?[​IMG]). After bringing her in, I noticed her crop was large and hard, about the size of a rubber raquet ball?,... looked up that on the web... "crop impaction" it said, & I started recommended treatments of bread mixed with olive oil and massage to the crop. The crop impaction seems to be gone completely (the poor thing had a couple enormous poops!), but she is still very mean to everyone, fluffs her feathers, won't drink unless we put it up to her beak, doesn't even hardly eat unless we hold it up to her beak (we're feeding her: scratch, layer pellets, corn bread & ww bread crumbs with olive oil, sometimes yogurt, and her water has a tsp. of apple cider vinegar in it... she likes the yogurt and bread crumbs best... she won't eat "greens" anymore.). Her poops turned runny & dk. greenish after only the bread crumb mixture, but is a little firmer now that she's eating some scratch & a little layer pellets... still greenish and really stinky, but, then ANY chicken poop is stinky in a small bathroom indoors! OH, I forgot to mention, she's stopped laying, her "tail" is down usually, and she only poops one time a day when I "roost" her on the edge of the box for a few minutes to give her a little excersize, she is much thinner than before, and I have noticed her head twitching at times, but, not all the time.

    Can someone help us with figuring out if she's really sick or just broody? My husband's been out of work for a long time now and we just don't have money to spend on chicken vet bills, so, it HAS to be inexpensive. I've spent hours researching things on the internet, but, everyone else's symptoms are just a little different than hers and I can't seem to figure this out.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  2. allaboutdemchicks

    allaboutdemchicks Chapel Farms

    Sep 13, 2008
    Jemison, AL
    Welcome! It sounds like you are experiencing a broody chicken primadonna!!!! Did you leave any eggs under her? If will have a surprise in about a week! If not, time to break her from being broody or give in to her dream of motherhood and give her some chicks. The world of chickens is never boring... and there is always more to learn. Your doing a great job, after a unexplained death like you have experienced it just leaves you more worried the next time anything unusual comes around. You really have come to the right place to find people more than willing to help out newbies! Ahh, we just like to help out regardless to how long you've had chickens!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. mommajoschickens

    mommajoschickens Hatching

    Feb 2, 2009
    Thanks so much for the encouragement! I am, unfortunately, facing another problem now with my splash cochin, whom I had separated due to the other chickens pecking her tail feathers off. I reintroduced her today when I took the broody "primadonna", Snow White, back out to the coop to see how they'd do with them both & they seemed a little pecky, but, not bad. I went to a meeting tonight, and when I got home, the cochin ("Chicken Little") was in a corner with her tail all pecked and bloody. It looks kinda deep and I separated her, but, don't know how to care for the wound or if there's any hope for her survival. I'll check around here for some other posts on chickens being pecked, but, if you, allaboutdemchicks, or anyone sees this soon, please advise me. Thanks so much!!
  4. Renee

    Renee Songster

    May 7, 2008
    Hi mommajo,
    She will most likely survive, chickens are tougher than they appear to be.
    You should clean and disinfect the wound as you would on a person, and dress it if necessary.
    It may not be as deep as you think, and if it is not too bad, you can put neosporin on it.
    You can give aspirin to chickens for pain. I can't remember the dose, so please do a search (one 325 mg tab per gallon?).
    If it is really cold where you live, you may want to bring her indoors for a few days. If she continues to eat and drink well, she will probably be okay.

    Keep her separated from the other chickens so they don't cannibalize her.
    Good luck with your little cochin.
  5. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    Snow White is broody..
    and please don't feed her any more bread, scratch, etc..

    is she sitting on eggs?
    if not..remove her from the nest..carry her away from it, and bar the door so she will have to walk...
    the green runny droppings is most likely from what she's been eating and NOT eating..undiluted bile from not eating enough will cause the green...
    but it would be a good idea to keep check on the crop, and also for odor from the crop..

    even if she is sitting on eggs..she needs to exercise her legs, "go", eat and drink..
    be careful when lifting her if she has eggs...since they could get broken..

    it's not a good idea to take the food to her in the nest.
    all the extras. such as bread, scratch, etc..can cause havoc with the digestive system and crop as she sits for long periods.

    expect her to take a fit when she is removed..
    expect her to scream and carry on..
    ignore it, she needs to exercise and eat and drink..

    get this girl some vitamins..poultry vitamins if possible..if you can't find can use Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins, Enfamil brand if possible, no iron..give 2 drops on beak once a day for a week..then taper off for another week.
    in the meantime, try and get poultry vitamins.

    you can make up this mix..
    a little water cooked oatmeal, plain yogurt (active culture), cooked egg, and layer feed..make crumbly not soupy..
    you only need to make a small amount..
    she will also get her regular layer feed as usual.

    if she is sitting on eggs..
    are you ready for chicks?(chick/starter feed, chick vitamins, feeders chick waterers,etc)
    she will need to be separated into a brooder pen with nest box in a warm protected place.
    if she is not sitting on eggs..she should be in a broody box/pen anyway..since she's being pecked.
  6. mommajoschickens

    mommajoschickens Hatching

    Feb 2, 2009
    - Snow White is NOT sitting on eggs & we have no roosters, so, all our eggs are infertile.

    - She's wobbly on her legs. I have been getting her up a few times a day, but, she keeps returning to the nest or just laying down in on the floor and scooping up pine shavings around her.

    - If I take away the nest, where will the other 2 hens lay their eggs? They all love to use this one nest and, in fact, are laying their eggs on TOP of Snow White because she won't get out! lol! I have a smaller nest... *ahem!* er, shoebox, that I could try. She doesn't like that one, but, I have found eggs in there on ocassion so maybe the others will use it if that's all there is.

    - She isn't getting anymore bread, but, for feed, I give them all a mixture of layer pellets with some scratch that has left over crumbles in it. (As instructed by people & several places I've read online or in books that it's good to give them a mixture of feeds... if this is wrong, I need to know.) Should I just give layer pellets for a while? Permanently?

    - I don't think she's getting pecked anymore, except a little when they want to lay in "the sacred nest"... she's a pretty tough bird & stands up for herself just fine! (It's my cochin that was getting her tail pecked off & she is separated and very happy even though her tail looks horrible.)

    - Oh, and I have checked for odor in the crop and there never has been any, so that's good.

    Thanks for all the info, sammi. I'll do that!

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