Alternatives to tube feeding?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Honeybadger68, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Honeybadger68

    Honeybadger68 New Egg

    Jun 13, 2011
    Hi all, I have a sick buff orpington who's been to the vet, and several hundred dollars later (!!) she's on 2x/day antibiotics (Flagyl) and 3x/day injections of Reglan. The vet suspected enteritis and crop stasis; her crop was full and mushy and she wasn't expelling waste. After two days of treatment the crop is down to almost normal, and her GI tract seems to be moving as she's excreting again. The problem is, she's not eating. The vet wanted me to bring her in yesterday (Saturday) to teach me how to tube feed, but she was eating some, just not voraciously, so I decided to see how the rest of the weekend went.

    Now it's SUnday morning, the vet is closed and my chicken isn't eating at all. The vet had recommended lay crumbles because it's easiest to digest, and steered me away from larger pellets, seeds, mealworms, etc. for the time being. I've even tried soaking some crumbles in vegetable broth and a little olive oil to see if that would be more appealing, but it doesn't seem to be.

    I've read instructions on how to tube feed, and can probably figure that out later today if need be, but I know it comes with risks (not to mention some trauma for the chicken). Does anyone else have alternative recommendations I can try? Perhaps easily digestible foods that might be more appealing? Any guidance is appreciated. Thanks!
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Is your hen at least drinking water? You could add yogurt, low salt broth or sprinkle a little crumble on top of the water to encourage her to take in some nutrients. If she is not drinking then you also have the option of dripping a liquid with some nutrients down the side of her beak with a dropper. Does she like any soft treats like bread or scrambled eggs? It would be tough to encourage her to try anything new when she is not feeling well, but my chickens love little bits of bread and when one was sick I "wrapped" crumble or scrambled eggs inside the soft bread to encourage eating.

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