Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by d.k, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * She still isn't eating much. She seems to be more of a ground-eater than a bowl/feeder eater. She will eat some when she has human company to watch, encourage her, but still eats little even then MAYBE 1/2 a Tbsp. twice a day , and apparently eats none when she is alone. CROP SEEMS FINE, BUT NEVER GETS CLOSE TO FULL!! I have tryed her original food straight, treats, half n' half, vitamins, sulmet, acv, grains/seeds, breeder mix-- none of it seems to make a lot of difference or evoke much interest. Is it the molting?? She is molting pretty heavy, got enough feathers tonight to fill a baggie. Any advice appreciated. She's got me really stumped. I'm seriously thinking of giving her a capful of Diet Coke-- DC always makes ME ravenous!! I know I sound panicky, but I'm really having to push to get her to eat even a tbsp. a day. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    dk, how old is your hen?

    What breed?

    If she is molting, have you tried something very high in protein to tempt her?

    Is her crop emptying properly at night?

    Any life changes ~ new chickens, new roo, change in pecking order?

    What's your weather? Any cold/wet/yuck?
  3. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * She is supposed to be a year and a half. Honestly, I think she's younger-- her comb isn't very large yet, maybe an inch and a quarter/half, though it has the "leghorn flop" already. She's a white leghorn. I have had her a month this coming Thursday. The treat mix I haue is very high protein, having hemp, flax, BOSS, some ground fish & sweet potato pet food, some tiny red "lentils" and other goodies in it-- but she doesn't eat enough to get a good huge protein count at a sitting. Everything is new to her. Us, the house, the run, my one other hen. . . .so, circumstance stress is a given. Her crop empties-- but then, I have only seen it full once since I have had her here. Weather is a bit cooler than it has been, 81-83 avg. Rainy the past 3 days:(
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  4. If you have bird that you are concerned about you should ISOLATE it. You can use a cage that is in the same space as the rest of the chickens if you think it does not have a transferable disease. Put electrolytes in a small waterer and watch how much water the bird is drinking. Use a feeder with chick starter in it. Also put in a feeder that has the regular food you offer daily. Watch which one she is eating. Most adult chickens will eat the starter and it is less a problem for them to digest. Feel her crop every 6 hours and take away the food for a period of 6 hours to see if the crop empty. A chicken actually eats quite a bit in a day, you will be suprised. Also, try to feed a small amount of plain yogurt. This can be a benefit and is rarely a bad plan. If you suspect any kind of desease use a small amount of Tetracycline in the waterer. Do not use it for over 5 days. If you see the chicken getting better put the antibiotic in for 5 days and none for 2 days. Repeat this a few times. I have brought back more chickens with electrolytes, vitamines and a small amount of tetracycline and yogurt than any thing else I have tried. Keep them isolated, warm, dry and clean. They are just like you and I. When they are sick they like a warm bed and someone to bring them food and drink and a kind word.
  5. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Molting is super hard on birds and mine are all out of sorts when it's been raining. It sounds like she's subject to nearly every stressor going. I'd add some poly-vi-sol to the regime, but it sounds like you're doing all you can. I wouldn't change up the feed too often. It sounds like she needs some familiarity, which she won't get if there's something new everyday.
  6. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * She's had my DS's old room to herself w/ a bin to sleep in. Two afternoons in the run to date, where she did catch a baby gecko and ate part of it. She ate maybe 1/2 tsp. feed early this a.m. I tried a very hi-pro snack for lunch. Scrambled egg, a bit of brown rice, a dash of tuna. She ate maybe 1/8 tsp. of that from my hand. [​IMG]
  7. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * OMGOSH!! SHE STILL EATS BABY FOOD!!!! :eek: She eats wet starter--and COOL!! NOT WARM!! When I broke out the eyedropper (I was getting desperate to get some food in her and had mixed a thin liquid meal), she went after the dropper and tried to grab it right out of my hand!!! I am so blown away-- I mixed a slightly thicker brew and got fully 3 oz. in her from a ounce cup!! DO YOU THINK her previous owner have REALLY been hand-feeding a full-grown egg-laying hen ALL THIS TIME!?!?! No wonder he gave her away to me, he was probably worn out (or his SO was!)! I imagine I will have to work hard to wean her to "big girl" food, hopefully, it can still be done even now. . . . BUT SHE'S EATING!!!! She won't starve to death afterall! YIPPEE! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  8. Some chickens are on starter all thier lives. You should call the previous owner and ask them if they ever weaned her over to starter/scratch mixtures.

    I would keep this up and DO PUT DOWN YOGURT in front of her. Be patient, she will eat it, but throw it away every day if she leaves it.

    I have never tried wet starter, nice idea and this will be put in my notes. Medicated starter is usually a real treat for adult chickens, most seem to really like it, but the poop is pretty nasty.

    After a bit mix in your regular scratch with the starter. I wean my chicks off starter after 6 weeks and they are on scratch by 10 weeks. One other thing you can try is game bird starter. This has about 22 percent protein. Guinea fowl flurish on this.

    I have a clutch of 6 silkies that are still with thier mom. I put down scratch and starter and now they are really going after the scratch and not so much on the starter. It is IMPORTANT that you get some kind of grit in your birds. You can use oyster shell or something like it if they do not like the scratch.

    I believe in very simple, no nonsense approaches to taking care of animals. I try very hard to stay away from the exotic treatments and think that a kind word and a showing of concern and love go a very long way, even with chickens.

    When i go to the barn at night they pracitcally follow me in. Sometimes i have a loaf of bread, sometimes fruit and sometimes yogurt. I call them in with a "chick, chick, chick". The silkies always come running, they are such gentle and innocent birds.

    I will use all the drugs available to me that are recommended for chickens, but I rarely use drugs that are going to be an "off label" application. This is why I do not have Tylosin or Bytril in my medicine cabinate. I do use Acepromazine to cull my chicks if there is something I can not do for them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2008
  9. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * Thanks for the help. Actually, I haven't had baby birds in awhile, and never baby chickens. When I need baby critter food, I usually grind stuff in a coffee grinder I keep just for that kind of thing. I got another 3 oz. in her before she went to bed. Now that I know what's going on, I think she'll do o.k.. Just never occured to me that a year+ old hen would be still on a mash diet-- when she's not sick or hurt, at least. Live and learn, eh?
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2008
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    you need one of those byc university shirts! Good job for figuring it out. [​IMG]

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