chicken will not eat and has not been well for 1 1/2 weeks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by PalmCityChic, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. PalmCityChic

    PalmCityChic Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2012
    Wood Palace, Palm City
    My 1 yr old Barred Rock and Wyandotte both fell mysteriously ill together very quickly last Sunday, the Wyandotte passed away the next day. The Barred Rock is hanging in there but still very ill. Very lethargic, her is face pale, and her comb is dropping and a much darker red than normal. I believe they may have either eaten a poisonous bug or plant or was stung or bit by something poisonous. This is a guess - my dog's vet checked her droppings, no parasites. My other 5 hens are fine and frisky, which ruled out a viral or bacterial infection to me. Also, the fact that 2 birds fell ill at exactly the same time, rules out genetic issues.

    I have the Barred Rock separated and keeping her in the house. I try to entice her with all her favorite foods: meal worms, cooked meat, watermelon, crumbles, scratch and much more and now she turns her face away. She had been eating quite well for the first week of her illness and I thought she was kicking it, but now she hardly eats. I put her outside near the coop and she lays there and will peck around in the grass and dirt, and I'm hoping she is getting some nutrition from that. She won't really walk much, and when she does, it's a short distance and she walks slow and her wings are drooping down. I try to keep her outside near the other chicks a couple of times during the day for social interaction and to hopefully build her back up. When I have any of the other chicks with her, they peck her :(

    I had made a few previous posts last week and have been following some advice I've seen on my post plus other things I had tried from reading other posts, and I can't seem to find anything about getting a chicken to eat. I give her warm Epsom salt baths, which she seems to enjoy. I also had her on oxytetracycline for 7 days (in case it was an infection), I also used Safe-guard dewormer (just in case it was worms).

    I took a sick chicken to a nearby avian vet, who didn't seem to be an expert on chickens, and she ran every imaginable test possible (most tests were not warranted by the symptoms) and I was charged over $300 and the chicken died anyway (she was very young, and I'm thinking it was some type of genetic defect. She wasn't growing and was beginning to look deformed.) So, I don't see that as an option.

    Any ideas on how I can get her to eat to help her bring her strength back? I am giving her Poly Vi Sol Vitamins (no iron). HELP!!! Thank you in advance for any advice or inspiration you may have!
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Have you tried treating her with Corid? No appetite, drooping wings, lethargy all sound like coccidiosis to me.
     
  3. PalmCityChic

    PalmCityChic Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2012
    Wood Palace, Palm City
    Wouldn't that have shown up as a parasite in her stool? Her stool showed no parasites. Isn't coccidiosis normally in small baby chicks? If it were coccidiosis, wouldn't that have been spread through my entire flock?

    2 birds took ill very suddenly after being outside in the yard - one died the next day. The way it happened is leading to me to believe it was a poison they had gotten into.

    She was eating during the first week of her illness - she just stopped eating yesterday.

    Is there a test for coccidiosis, should I start Corid now?
     
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I've lost a few hens like this and I did a post mortem afterwards and found they had an impacted gizzard. They were emaciated and had basically starved and dehydrated. Their combs had gone dry and wizened and dark and they just had no energy, I was syringing fluids into them but it couldn't get past the blockage in the gizzard which was rock hard and packed full of fibrous material and grit. Unfortunately, from what I have read, there is nothing you can do for an impacted gizzard and it is very difficult to diagnose until they have died and a post mortem is done.
    I'm really sorry if that is what it is, but it does sound very similar. Hope it's something else and she makes a recovery. I felt awful afterwards for putting my hen through the trauma and discomfort of handling (she hadn't previously been handled much so that alone was unpleasant for her) and syringing fluids into her when she was so ill and it didn't help.

    Good luck. I really hope I'm wrong.

    Barbara
     
  5. PalmCityChic

    PalmCityChic Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2012
    Wood Palace, Palm City
    Thank you, Barbara, I also hope this is not it. But isn't it odd that 2 very healthy active birds, BOTH suddenly fell ill at exactly the same time while they were outside foraging in the yard?

    I can't find ANYTHING, anywhere on here addresses possible poisoning of birds? Not intentional at all - my backyard is secluded and well fenced, but I am truly believing that something got them - either they ate something poisonous, or they were stung or bit by something venomous.

    I live in southern Florida and maybe there is something in the yard that caused their sudden illness?
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I hear what you are saying although 2 of mine fell ill within a couple of days of each other. When I eventually did the post mortems and found what I did, it was obvious that they had got into the lawn cuttings that I had left for the horses.... the long strands of grass were all knotted together in their gizzards. I was pleased I did the post mortem and lucky to find something so obvious as I had not cut a chicken open before.... in fact I hadn't dissected anything since school a lot of years ago.... but it at least enabled me to try to prevent the same thing happening again.

    As regards, plants and poisoning, I wouldn't have a clue about your natural and cultivated flora as it will be very different from ours. Also it could be pesticide related or the hens had maybe even eaten a dead mouse/rat that had been poisoned. Without throwing lots of money away on blood tests and knowing what to look for anyway, I think you can only make her as comfortable as possible and hope for the best.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for her and you. She's obviously a fighter to have survived this far.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
  7. PalmCityChic

    PalmCityChic Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2012
    Wood Palace, Palm City
    My Barred Rock was so distressed and took a turn for the worse yesteray and I took her to the Avian Vet ... $600 dollars later - she passed away during the night. After a post-mortem, the vet determined that she had egg yolk peritonitis. I had given her oxy tetraclycine at the very beginning as this seemed to be diagnosis for the symptoms she showed.

    Now the vet wants to treat the rest of my flock with antibiotics -any thought? thanks!
     
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    A great thing that I make makes them eat like vultures. It's chicken feed and water made into a mash. (not too dry). Mine all think it's great.
     
  9. PalmCityChic

    PalmCityChic Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2012
    Wood Palace, Palm City
    Thanks for the tip! I'll remember that next time. Unfortunately my hen passed away today. The vet did a post-mortem and she had egg yolk peritonitis. :( Now, I'm researching threads about that. The vet wants to treat the other 5 in my flock with antibiotics. Any thoughts on that?
     
  10. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry to hear she didn't make it and that you ended up with such a huge bill. You certainly couldn't have done any more for her than you did. I hope that is some comfort to you.

    I don't know anything about egg yolk peritonitis, so I really can't comment, but I do think you are right to do some research before you commit to further treatment, especially if the rest of the flock appear healthy. I guess you didn't have a post mortem exam on the first hen that died. It would have been useful to have known if it was the same cause or purely a coincidence.

    Please post back with whatever results you come up with, so that we can all learn something from your sad experience, hopefully for the benefit of other hens.

    Best of luck and I hope your remaining hens stay fit and healthy.

    Barbara
     

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