Anything else can I do to up Iseult's chances of survival? Long post, sorry!

Overo Mare

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Aug 26, 2019
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Thank you. Just to confirm, I do not have plans to tube feed this chicken, only to syringe 0.6ml of antibiotics as advised by vet. Although I would like to learn to tube feed at some stage to help chickens like this in the future.
This chicken needs nutrition yesterday. If she is eating on her own, that is wonderful. If she isn't, she needs to be tubed.

Not sure if anyone has suggested it yet, but you should be weighing her daily to track weight. That is so very important with sick birds.
 

HollyWoozle

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Is it possible to rig the waterer to be at the angle she likes?
I’ve adjusted it and she did take a sip so she might help herself before I get there in the morning. :)

This chicken needs nutrition yesterday. If she is eating on her own, that is wonderful. If she isn't, she needs to be tubed.

Not sure if anyone has suggested it yet, but you should be weighing her daily to track weight. That is so very important with sick birds.
Ok, then I will read up about tube feeding further if she won’t eat tomorrow. I remembered today that I do have some suitable scales and will weigh her in the morning.

This is how she was after her vet visit: https://streamable.com/8tb9gg

I’ve now put her to bed essentially and hope she’s still going tomorrow.
 

JbR

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I’ve adjusted it and she did take a sip so she might help herself before I get there in the morning. :)



Ok, then I will read up about tube feeding further if she won’t eat tomorrow. I remembered today that I do have some suitable scales and will weigh her in the morning.

This is how she was after her vet visit: https://streamable.com/8tb9gg

I’ve now put her to bed essentially and hope she’s still going tomorrow.
You are doing everything that you can, taking all advise to heart & from the most current video, she doesn’t seem to be suffering... Keep up the good work!
 

jwehl

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I’ve adjusted it and she did take a sip so she might help herself before I get there in the morning. :)



Ok, then I will read up about tube feeding further if she won’t eat tomorrow. I remembered today that I do have some suitable scales and will weigh her in the morning.

This is how she was after her vet visit: https://streamable.com/8tb9gg

I’ve now put her to bed essentially and hope she’s still going tomorrow.
did she just drink on command! omg
 

HollyWoozle

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You are doing everything that you can, taking all advise to heart & from the most current video, she doesn’t seem to be suffering... Keep up the good work!
Thank you. :love

did she just drink on command! omg
Haha, sometimes she just takes some encouragement! I think she is just exhausted (understandably) but if I keep cajoling her then she will keep going.

I visited her this morning and she is definitely no worse than yesterday. Droppings overnight were similar and did appear to have a little bit of solid matter, so I remain hopeful that what was leftover in her crop is clearing slowly - I am massaging a little bit each visit. She can still stand up if she wishes, although a bit wobbly.

She had another good amount of CCF fluid and I also managed to get her to swallow a very, very small amount of her pellet feed made into a watery soup. I have found that she is usually a bit more alert in the afternoon and evening and I will be back there at lunchtime to give it another go. Interestingly enough, my Mum showed her a sprig of rocket (arugula) which is her absolute favourite and she went for it, but as I expected she took a big chunk which she couldn't easily swallow and I took it off her. I did then chop a tiny bit up very finely and put it on her food in the hopes it might inspire her, although no luck. At least it showed a will to eat and perhaps if I can find the right thing to tempt her then she will try (she has no interest in the usual things like scrambled egg and never has done).

I also recorded her weight this morning too.

Thanks again for your help and encouragement. I'd told myself I would stop getting emotionally invested in our family flock and I do think I am more realistic these days, but equally I want to do my best for her. My family have had a lot of chickens over my lifetime (and long before) and have never done much in the way of treatment, just sort of accepting that sick chickens fade and die. I want Iseult to survive for her own sake but I also think it would set a great example to others here that like all animals, and people, chickens can sometimes recover if you give them the treatment and care they need.
 

HollyWoozle

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Evening update: I syringed the antibiotics straight down the hatch so to speak... can’t say either of us enjoyed it but I know she got the full dose and didn’t aspirate so I call that a success! I have also syringe-fed her quite a lot of her food as a soup, as well as raw egg (she took a few sips of that from the bowl herself), but let her sip that little by little and that seems to have gone OK.

Video: https://streamable.com/5yni9q

I’m just doing little by little and her crop is now pretty full (although a lot of that is water/CCF rather than solid food). Her crop contents must surely be moving as she’s just produced this solid dropping.
 

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HollyWoozle

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Iseult is still hanging in there, 14 days or so after becoming ill. I wonder if I ought to treat her crop?

She has started to eat a little bit by herself and I am working really hard on finding what tempts her... she finds it exhausting but is giving it a good go. Between yesterday and today she didn’t lose any weight and I hope will be the same tomorrow. Her crop does not fully empty overnight - it goes down and what remains is a small, fairly pliable bit of matter. There is no sour smell at all but I worry that I should be proactively treating this crop issue. Of course I can’t withhold food when I desperately need her to eat. I am adding olive oil to everything and massaging her crop regularly. I do have fluconazole which I could give her?

Droppings now a small amount of more solid matter so things are moving, but still some liquid yellow as well and very smelly. Today was her 4th dose of antibiotics and I do feel she is more alert, standing better (she stands from time to time but just for very short periods) and starting to preen quite often. She did shake her head a bit this evening and I am not happy about that... the head shaking never seems to bode well in chickens, but not sure what I can do on that front!
 

azygous

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It appears you are doing all you can be doing. Sometimes, it needs to be enough that a chicken isn't declining. The yellow poop often points to a reproductive infection, and those can be very challenging to treat. Often they don't respond at all to an antibiotic.

By all means feed her. The only crop disorder you would want to feed is impacted crop, and it's doubtful the chicken would even feel like eating. I've never withheld food from a crop patient except for acute impaction. I honestly can't figure out why anyone would recommend starving a crop patient. I don't believe it's helpful.

Head shaking is normal for chickens unless it's intense and accompanied by scratching the head, which could indicate an ear infection. Is she scratching her head?

Chickens literally "point" to a problem with their feet, as well, by scratching any spot that is itching or causing pain. Same with their beaks. If a foot is hurting, they will peck at it.
 

HollyWoozle

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Thank you for your reply @azygous, you are a great help as always and it’s a comfort to have access to your knowledge.

She isn’t scratching her head and was just shaking it periodically, although I noticed she had stopped at bedtime when I put her in her crate and darkened the room. I am concerned about a reproductive infection, although her stance and behaviour has always been quite different to hens we’ve had previously with suspected reproductive issues... but I expect that is false hope!

Interesting to hear your thoughts on crop issues too. I think I’ll reassess tomorrow... things are definitely moving and if she holds her weight again then I think I might just not interfere for now!

Edited to add: still waiting on results of the samples I sent off to test for coccidiosis and worms. I sent one for Iseult alone (although after she’d finished Amprolium treatment and been wormed again) and one as a mixed sample from the flock. Amprolium for rest of them ordered already.
 

Tycine1

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I've had excellent success feeding ill birds a raw egg by cracking it into a pudding cup (small, shallow dish). They typically only eat the yolk, but they are often quite greedy, even if sick, to gobble it up. What the chicken doesn't finish in an hour, I then offer to my dog. Win-Win.
 

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