Bridgey is Unwell...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by micstrachan, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    I’m upset this morning because Bridgey is OBVIOUSLY unwell and I didn’t clue in until last night right before bed, even though I am super attentive to my birds. She is 2 1/2 and has always been one of my most robust hens. And, of course, she’s my favorite and was my special little first chick.
    Bridge has been molting for at least a week and seemed to be tolerating it fine. But yesterday she did not touch a tunafish treat, which is highly unusual for her. This morning she is weak and stumbly, and I think her comb might be darkening. I’m afraid it’s the dreaded molt-stress-bringing-out-illness syndrome. I thought I saw her try to poop and nothing came out. Not totally sure. I had to run to work, though, and couldn’t properly examine & evaluate her.
    She put herself back in the coop before I left.
    There was one yucky poop, but I don’t know whose it is. Have been having trouble with wet poops in general.
    Confession, I did throw a few pearl barley a few nights ago to see if it helped firm up Ruby’s poops. I was unaware chickens don’t digest them so well. Hopefully this did not cause a problem for Bridgette. Everyone else seems fine.
    Here is a photo of Bridge after she returned to the coop and of the unidentified poop.
    Thoughts of any kind are appreciated. I need help (at least moral support) from my friends &”big guns”. I think you all know these are my pets and I would like to treat at home. I may take the afternoon off to try to save my girl. Hoping beyond hope it’s delayed reaction to molt, but don’t think so.
    @Wyorp Rock @casportpony
    @rebrascora @azygous @Kathy Golla @staceyj @Hen Pen Jem
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  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains

    When you get home, cage her on some puppy pads so you can see if that poop is hers.
    Give her plain fresh water and some of her normal feed. A little egg for a treat, then see how she does.

    If that she is pooping like that, then if possible, get a fecal float.
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    That tail down posture usually indicates an abdominal or reproductive issue. A lot of my birds tend to have loose droppings at this time of year so I don't worry too much about it in itself but when they are also acting sick, that is another matter. It would be helpful to know for sure if this is her poop or if not, what hers looks like so isolating her, probably with a heat pad would be beneficial. It sounds like she is choosing to isolate herself anyway, so she shouldn't be overly stressed by it.
    I also think you need check the usual things for when a hen goes off her food like inside her mouth, crop function, abdomen and vent area for swelling/discharge.
  4. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    Thanks, Melody.
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  5. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    Thank you! Her crop was soft and mostly empty this morning. Her vent looked dry and a bit dirty, but I’ll take a better look later.

    Here’s a question for all of you... you may remember I feel like I killed Rusty by dipping her on a hot day when she was sick. The other birds enjoyed the cool off, but it pushed Rusty over the edge. Sadly, I was not aware at the time of the danger of wetting a sick bird.
    So if Bridge needs a little gentle cleaning, is there any danger in spritzing her a little on her back end? Thanks.
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  6. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    I forgot to mention that Bridge han’t laid an egg in months.
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  7. staceyj

    staceyj Enabler

    Jan 1, 2017
    Coastal NC
    My Coop

    She looks a bit skeptical and fluffed, or is she a “big girl”?
    How does her weight feel?
    Is her tail at it’s normal posture, or did your camera just catch her when it was a little down?

    It’s hard to tell where a poop comes from unless it gets splattered on your shirt and down your leg! Maybe you’ll get lucky and get shat upon while you’re examining her later.

    I agree with @Wyorp Rock ‘s observation suggestion and applaud her as well for the suggestion of the puppy pads!
    I bought two packs in prep for hurricane Florence and never opened them and thought yesterday as I passed by them in the garage that I should “donate them or something”.

    Keeping them now!

    What a great alternative to layers and layers of paper towels! Idk why I never thought of them.
    Thanks @Wyorp Rock !
    See? This is why I love BYC and everyone here!

    I too would give her a good look over. I won’t trouble you with questions about feed and oyster shell and grit, I know you know all those things. And I can clearly see natural grit in your photo between the bricks so I don’t think I’d blame it on a bit of barley unless her crop seems especially slow.

    Do check that tonight and in the morning to be sure.

    Mine are molting too and one is looking especially peaked.

    I brought her in today and put on my reading glasses to have a good look.
    No lice or mites evident.
    Nothing glaring at all other than molting and a bit thin.
    She’s low in the pecking order.
    Her stance is good.
    No abdominal swelling.
    No bumblefoot. Leg scales were a little dirty but not at all raised. They freerange and have been digging deep holes the past few days so that’s not out of the ordinary. I made a note to scrub them tomorrow and apply some oil just in case.
    Beak and toenails fine.
    Ears fine.
    She was not happy about a mouth and throat exam but complied. Breath wasn’t offensive. Nothing in there. Clean as a whistle.
    Eyes clear and bright. Pupils round, equal and reactive.
    Vent was winky and clean and looked normal for a non laying hen during molting season.
    No mess on her fluff.

    So I made her a little special lunch of hardboilded egg, shredded cheese and raw unsalted sunflower seeds to enjoy apart from the others which she seemed to appreciate and before I took her back outside I dosed her with nutridrench and a few crumbles of a super b complex human vitamin.
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    In that case, checking her for any abdominal swelling is even more pertinent.

    Personally I very much doubt you killed Rusty although I would not personally dunk a chicken in cold water even on a hot day. Just like they advise people not to jump into cold rivers/ponds on very hot days. The sudden change in temp can put the body into shock. A warm sitz bath soak in Epsom salts to clean a poopy butt is not a risk in my opinion unless the bird is extremely ill. The water should not be too deep and just a comfortable temperature and obviously keep the bird under supervision whilst soaking.
    Vent soiling often indicates some abdominal swelling, so be sure to feel other chickens to compare in order to get a realistic idea of her abdominal status.
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  9. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    Thanks. I do check her regularly for abdominal swelling. It’s hard to tell, since she’s usually second heaviest to my Light Brahma.

    I’ll probably clean her up and look close this afternoon along with more photos.
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  10. townchicks

    townchicks Free Ranging

    Dec 1, 2016
    Contra Costa county, Ca.
    No real advice to offer, but lots of moral support. You got this!

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