Anorexic hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ptowne, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. ptowne

    ptowne Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Sep 13, 2008
    I have a 2 year old black minorca hen. About 3 or 4 months ago she started laying down whenever the flock stopped in their daily rounds. She has slowly been going downhill since then. At this point she is emaciated. She appears hungry when I feed them and does eat a bit of layer mash and a bit of "scratch" (oats and cracked corn). She also drinks. However when they all come in at night the other hens crops are full and hers is empty. Nothing there but neck bones. I doubt she weighs a pound. She is very weak. I have found a vet who will see chickens, but I can't get her in until Tuesday afternoon.

    For now I have put her in a cat carrier to keep her contained and quiet. I don't think she needs to expend any strength she does have following the others around. I also got 2 cans of Prescription Diet cat food from my small animal vet. It is a high nutrient food for sick animals. I put some of that in the cat carrier with her, but I haven't seen her eat yet. She was exhausted just from being caught. I followed her for about 5 minutes and she was so exhausted she couldn't go on.

    Her poop is dark brown and watery. She has small infrequent stools likely because she is eating little. She has no other symptoms I can think of, although her feathers are not so nice, probably because of the lack of nutrition.

    Does anyone have any ideas what might be wrong or what else I can do to try to keep her alive until Tuesday afternoon?

    Thanks,
    Pam
     
  2. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    4,617
    20
    264
    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    A few drops of Polyvisol enfamil carefully dribbled along her beak so she swallows on her own. Do this beginning today and for a week. Meanwhile others will refine advice here and for the longer term.

    Parrot handfeeding formula has also been recommended here on BYC for a nutritional boost.

    Also, see if she'll eat a (cooled off) scrambled egg.

    See if per chance she will accept a bit of fresh plain yogurt (you can mix in a little cut up fruit if that will entice her - mine prefer cherries in their yogurt and won't eat it plain.

    Poor little hen - she sounds very seriously compromised weighing in at so little at this point.

    JJ
     
  3. ptowne

    ptowne Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Sep 13, 2008
    Can I get the Polyvisol enfamil at the local drug store? I am just sick over this. My daughter raised this little hen. She even read to her in bed when she was a chick.
    Pam
     
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    4,617
    20
    264
    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    You should be able to, yes. Good food stores, good pharmacies - should be readily found. Your hen is pretty compromised at this point but I truly hope these things help her.
    JJ
     
  5. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,101
    62
    231
    May 25, 2008
    Idaho/Utah
    A little bit of Vitamins, Minerals & Electrolytes powder (~$4 for a pouch at most feed stores) in her water may help, plus maybe a little sugar. Gatorade is a possible substitute.
    Best wishes [​IMG]
     
  6. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    7,008
    23
    261
    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Watch out about how much sugar you give her, only give it to her for 1 day or her stools will get looser and she may dehydrate.

    Minorcas seem to be a lean breed (I have a buff) and flighty and nervous, so they burn off their food quickly.

    I have to pull mine away from the flock and feed her seperately or she runs around with an empty crop.

    Cooked rice is good to bring up her strength because of the startch to sugar conversion.

    Finely chopped liver would help too.

    If she is emaciated give her frequent small meals rather than large ones.
     
  7. ptowne

    ptowne Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Sep 13, 2008
    Well Little Crow is still with us, but still about the same. I kept her in the house for a week and she seemed to gain a bit, maybe about 3 oz, but has lost it since I put her back out with the others. I was wrong about her weight. She weighs 2 lb. 8 oz. I started her on a course of Baytril that the vet suggested. The vet wasn't able to find anything really wrong with her. No parasites, a bit of Coccydia but the vet didn't think enough to make her sick and a bit of yeast in her poo. I really don't know what to think about her. If she were an infant I would call it failure to thrive, but she's 2 years old.
    Pam
     
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    4,617
    20
    264
    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    While it remains a mystery, lots of good nutrition will hopefully strengthen her, as summed up above.

    With the baytril, give yogurt (mine will only take it with fruit they like chopped up and mixed in with it) or probiotics from capsules (mixed in food) in between doses so her good bacteria can get restored.

    I really hope she can gain some weight and strength.
    JJ
     
  9. ptowne

    ptowne Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Sep 13, 2008
    Little Crow is just finishing a 4 day course of Baytril. She is back out with her friends; she's much happier there and hasn't lost any more weight. She does seem a bit feistier today. When I gave her the Baytril she struggled and jumped out of my arms. She hasn't done that before. I'll take it as a good sign.
    Pam
     
  10. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    Good luck with her! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by