Advice Needed: Lethargic, Head Pulled in, Tail Down, Runny Feces on Rear

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mountainorganic, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. mountainorganic

    mountainorganic Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2015
    Please help. I'm new to chickens and am having my first real health issue. I have a 6-month old Barred Rock hen that is lethargic and has been laying around all day. She doesn't seem to be eating or drinking. I even offered her a favorite treat of seeds and she was not interested at all. She spent the whole day laying in one spot outside and did not search for food. My chickens are free range and spend most of their days eating grass and looking for bugs.

    Symptoms:
    - lethargic (sleeping, closing eyes, blinking slowly)
    - head pulled in toward body
    - tail down
    - not eating or drinking
    - whining
    - pulsing rear
    - whitish feces near vent

    I thought it was possibly an impacted egg so I donned a glove, oiled my finger and gently inserted it in search of an egg. I did not feel one.

    My hens are new layers and I'm not sure if she's laying yet or not. I currently have her in a box inside of my house with a little bit of food, broken up calcium supplement and bowl of water.

    Please advise. I live out in the middle of nowhere without access to a vet.

    Thanks in advance for any tips or ideas.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    When was the last time she was wormed? You said you are in the middle nowhere but do you have a local feed store or farm supply where you could get a wormer if you need to?
     
  3. mountainorganic

    mountainorganic Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2015
    Thanks for the reply. She's never been wormed. Yes, I have a feed store that I can travel to. Should I deworm my whole flock? I have seven other hens and a rooster. They all share a coop with Guinea fowl. Do you think that I should treat them as well?
     
  4. mountainorganic

    mountainorganic Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2015
    Sorry if this is a repost. I tried to reply from my phone and I'm not sure if it worked.

    The whole flock has never been wormed. I have eight hens, one rooster and 13 guinea fowl that share the same coop. Should I worm them all? Any suggestions on which product to buy?

    I live a good distance away from a store that I can buy feed and medicine from. I can make it out today to buy some.

    Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it.
     
  5. mountainorganic

    mountainorganic Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2015
    Update: I'm happy to report that she made it through the night. She is, however, not looking too great. She is still in the box and hasn't gotten up all morning. She hasn't passed any stools and it doesn't look like she has eaten or had any water. I'm noticing a slight almost shivering every now and then. The pulsing of the rear is still there and she's still lethargic and sleepy looking.

    Is there anything else I can look for? I had one suggestion to worm her. I'll buy that today. Any other ideas? Could this be a crop issue? Also, it look like the chickens got into our compost and it had some avocado skin in there. Could this be poisoning?

    Please, any suggestions are welcome. I would be devastated if she dies. She's my pet and I love her.
     
  6. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    Do feel her crop and check if it feels empty, liquidy, squishy, or hard.

    If she is shivering she needs to be warmer. I don't know the temps you keep in your house but you could give her warm water to drink the help bring up her core temp. As warm as you can get the water and still feel comfortable against your wrist. You may have to tube her liquids if she won't drink anything. If she ate the avocado I think the worst thing will happen is diarrhea so I wouldn't worry about that. But who knows what else she may have found so...

    If you suspect a toxin or poison you can start a flush on her right away. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/700526/flushes-for-aiding-in-toxin-removal . Once that is complete then you can start the wormer. Look for a wormer containing Fenbendazole as it's primary ingredient and go ahead and treat all the flock.

    *Keep in mind I'm not an expert*. These symptoms can cover many different issues and the first steps in treating it to try and narrow it down when you don't know what is wrong. Starting with the most common and working through. Getting her warm and warm fluids is the first step. I'm hoping another member will be along with better insight.
     
  7. mountainorganic

    mountainorganic Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2015
    Thank you! I just felt her crop. It's my first time feeling, so I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing. I watched a video online. It feels empty/balloonish/squishy/liquidy? It was not firm like I expected from the other discriptions. I did feel her breast bone when I was feeling the rest of her body. I think she may be too thin. Maybe it is worms?

    She's very weak and can no longer stand. She's spread out flat and breathing seems somewhat labored when I disturbed her. She did have one bowel movement; it's clear mucus with a little white in it. It's small. Should I still give her the medicine once it gets here or not disturb her? I'm wondering if I should put her down to put her out of her misery. I can tell that she's not feeling well and doesn't want to be handled. What should I do?
     
  8. mountainorganic

    mountainorganic Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2015
    I realized that I forgot to reply to a few questions. Here are more details:

    - The house is currently 72 degrees. I have a heater in the bathroom with her and it's nice and warm.
    - Her comb is floppy, but still red
    - Breathing labored now
    - Unable to stand
    - Extremely sleepy - eyes closed
    - Not eating or drinking
    - One bowel movement, small, clear mucous with a little white

    Could she have eggs up in her abdomen where I couldn't reach? Could this still be a symptom of being egg-bound?
     
  9. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    To be honest I really don't have any idea what is wrong. There are so many possibilities. I've been trying to do some research to help you through until a more experienced forum member can come along and offer some ideas/possibilities.

    So far getting her in the warm environment (of which you have already done) is a start.

    Let me keep looking. You did mention that they are new layers and she hasn't been laying. So one thing that comes to my mind is possible Peritonitis. Please read through this link to see if this matches what you're seeing.

    http://beautyofbirds.com/eggyolkperitonitis.html
     
  10. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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