Bird isn't eating, malnourished, lethargic- is he dying?


Sparkle Magnet
May 6, 2009
Akron, Ohio
1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.) Olive Egger cockerel, 8 months old, maybe a pound, at most- VERY skinny and light.
2) What is the behavior, exactly. I noticed several weeks ago that he was much skinnier than his siblings and coop mates, thought it was just a pecking order thing, where he got to food last. After being a quarantine area for two weeks with his own feed and water and scraps, I noticed that he barely ate any of his food and had not gained any weight. He walked with a limp, and his feathers got all scraggly and puffed up. He sat in the corner of his cage most of the day, limply. Yesterday, I watched him throw up his water, with no provocation (not being chased, not being held, just sitting there.) Eyes appear dull, and face looks slightly swollen.
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Three weeks or thereabouts.
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? Not that I have seen. All other birds appear healthy.
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. A bad limp, which comes and goes.
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. He has always been the runt of the litter, and he was hatched in a faulty incubator which shrink wrapped him as a chick.
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. The food is gamebird feed, supplemented with bread, watermelon, fruits, veggies, and other chicken-friendly scraps.
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Terra-cotta, extremely watery. Sometimes it is white and pasty.
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Quarantine, extra feed.
10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? Broke, so this has to be a treatment (or a cull) that I can do myself.
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use Medium cage with deep pine shavings. In the coop, it's a dirt floor with hay in the nest boxes.

This bird is my 4 yo brother's special pet, and he would be devastated if "Timmy" died. So please, help me figure out what this is, because I am really worried!
Sounds like the beginning of a crop problem.
He will overeat to compensate for it, and sometimes they can stretch until they burst, or need a "bra" for it.
Massage the crop, and maybe make him puke to empty it.
Hold him on your lap, head down, and gently squeeze it, making sure he can catch his breath afterwards.
That will empty whatever goo is in there. It may smell sour, or just plain nasty, depending on how long it has gone on.
Yogurt afterwards.
See how he feels, and good luck!
And watch to see if any wood chips come out, or anything else foreign.

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