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Ammonia Poisoning in 3 week old hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mamachaffee, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. mamachaffee

    mamachaffee New Egg

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    Oct 27, 2014
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    We bought three three week old Ancona girls yesterday from a local breeder. We noticed one of the girls "Lucy" had one eye shut. We asked about it and he said she probably just had a lazy eye. Well today she had both eyes shut and has been listless and can't find her food or water. Come to find out he had a water leak in her coop and she got ammonia poisoning. I've been giving her water with a little sugar, vitamins and probiotics by syringe all day and have tried unsuccessfully to get her to eat. Is there anything else I can do for her? I haven't been able to find a whole lot of information on how to nurse a chick back to health that has had ammonia poisoning. Is it even possible? Any help would be much appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Lisa
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Ammonia poisoning from a water leak in the coop? Where was the ammonia? In the droppings? Sounds a little fishy. A 3 week old with swollen eyes could have mycoplasma (MG) or coryza, which are respiratory diseases. Are there other symptoms such as sneezing, watery or foamy eyes, or gurgling? Are these your only chickens? If not, I would take these chickens back or cull them. If you have no others, you could medicate them with oxytetracycline or Tylan Soluble Powder in the water, but if it is a respiratory disease, they will be carriers for life. Make sure they have good overhead ventilation, temperatures are not too warm, and keep their bedding dry, clean, and free of odors. Here is some reading about respiratory diseases: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    2 1/2 tablespoonsful per gallon of water for 7days One teaspoonful per gallon of water for 5 days
     
  3. mamachaffee

    mamachaffee New Egg

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    Oct 27, 2014
    San Diego
    Honestly I have no idea where the ammonia came from, that was all the information he gaves us today. It seemed probable as she looks exactly like the pictures I've seen of ammonia poisoning. We do have others but moved Lucy to a brooder box by herself in case what she has is contagious. She has no other symptoms except the closed eyes and listlessness. He said he would take her back and nurse her and give us a different chick if we wanted. I figured I may as well just do that myself. Thank you for the information!
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    To be honest, I would take them all back to him because I think he is fibbing to you. If they have a respiratory disease such as mycoplasma (MG) or coryza, it will be with your flock from now on. You just don't want to start out with sick birds. There are healthy chicks out there. Cleaning and disinfection of your coop, and waiting a couple of weeks, you can start over with new birds. If you need more advice on treating this chicks, please continue to post, but I just wanted to give you my advice.
     
  5. StephensonC

    StephensonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree! Take them back. Sorry
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I agree, the whole ammonia poisoning from a water leak story just sounds pretty off to me, never heard of such a thing unless the place was filthy? Don't care for the "lazy eye" story either lol!

    I don't know what's going on with your chick, could be a respiratory problem, maybe even coccidiosis I guess. That would cause lethargy and sitting around with closed eyes. Guess it wouldn't hurt to run a course of Corid if you wanted to give it a try but I think I'm with Eggcessive on taking them back since this could very easily be something else. Just not a good way to start out. The other thing is that even though you've separated this one she's already been in contact with the others, so if this is anything communicable they've already been exposed. Also, if you treat with antibiotic's and this bird recovers, you still don't know for sure what she had/has. If it's some kind of respiratory disease she can remain a carrier with the ability to pass it on.
     
  7. mamachaffee

    mamachaffee New Egg

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    Oct 27, 2014
    San Diego
    Thank you for your honesty and time. She is surprisingly much better today. I didn't think she would make it through the night. Today she is chirping happily, moving around and is actually opening her eyes quite a bit. Her eyes are a bit red but that is her only symptom. I am still giving her food and water by syringe since I haven't seen her do it on her own but I also only have time to check on her every couple hours. Anyway I am very surprised to see her so chipper after being so listless.
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I don't know what's wrong with your chick for sure, but I can tell you that a water leak can indeed cause a horribly severe ammonia problem, if the leak is bad enough. While we were out of town and our usual chicken sitter was at camp, my daughter-in-law took over Katie's duties. On the day were were on our way home, she started the lawn watering tractor (that little tractor that puts along the "track" of the garden hose to water lawns) and then went back home. She totally forgot about it. We usually put the little stopper on it before the spray reached the chicken run, but she didn't. The tractor hit the side of the run, jumped the track, and pumped water into the run all day long. We got home about 6 hours later and rushed to turn off that hose. Food containers were swimming in water. The dust bath bin was a lake and it was running over. The chickens had retreated to the coop. Our deep litter was quite literally floating. After we cleaned up the mess, we removed as much saturated litter as we could, and turned over what was left to begin the drying process. It was really windy that l night and we kept turning that litter, adding more dry to it, whatever we could think of. Jenny felt horrible but it was just an accident.

    The next morning I woke up to the smell of ammonia - in my bedroom. I ran out in my jammies and the smell before I even got as far as the coop about knocked me over. My eyes were burning and watering, and I could barely breathe. It took over a week to get that run dried out and get the new deep litter to where it could start working again. DL needs a little moisture to work, not the Great Flood! We still had a slight ammonia smell for almost two weeks, until things got totally dry. The chickens were relegated to their coop and free time in the yard, but denied access to the run. I have never smelled anything that strong and repulsive. Even my neighbors were asking me why my setup started stinking when it never had before. A couple of my chickens ended up with swollen eyes and were kind of lethargic and off their feed for the first few days, but they recovered. I didn't do anything for them - I didn't know if anything but fresh air, clean food, and plenty of fresh water would help anyway.

    All that said, I still wouldn't be quite so quick to accept the "ammonia poisoning" explanation either, even though I know first hand it's possible. I think I'd be more worried about the potential of bringing some kind of pathogen or infection into my set-up. I'm just pointing out that ammonia can really be that serious.
     

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