Chicken won't eat and is losing weight.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChickenLife92, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. ChickenLife92

    ChickenLife92 In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2017
    My sister has chickens and a couple weeks ago, she saw her chicken (a Jersey Giant) huddled up in the coop and acting weirdly. She noticed she had "thousands" of mites completely covering her. She put mite stuff on the chicken, bathed it, then put mite stuff on the chicken again. She then cleaned out the coop and put mite stuff on all of her other chickens and she put the chicken back in the barn a couple days later. Then she noticed that the chicken could barely walk and the others were picking on her and that she felt like it only weighed a pound so she isolated the chicken. She figured it was anemic from the mites and started to feed it sweet potatoes, peanut butter, oatmeal, and butter. She started to gain the weight back But now she isn't drinking or eating and she's losing he weight again. Her poop is purely urates and water. She put vitamin stuff in her water as well. Her comb, wattles, and other face parts are pale too like she has anemia.

    And every time she poops it seems like it hurts.

    It's a really old chicken and stopped laying eggs years ago.

    Does anyone know what might be wrong?
  2. Tiana's chickens

    Tiana's chickens Songster

    Dec 7, 2017
    I'd say take it to the vet. You could also put a few drops of apple cider vinegar and a small amount of garlic in the water, I'm not sure how much of a difference it will make but it's supposed to be very good for chickens
  3. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Crowing

    Jun 14, 2017
    Central PA
    It could be organ failure, if she's that old. As a precaution, I'd worm her with something gentle (I think vetricyn (EDT: name is valbazen) is recommended?) and give electrolytes to keep her hydrated. (1 tsp baking soda, 1 tbsp corn syrup (or molasses) and 1 pint water.) I would not be feeding butter or sweet potatoes at this point. I'd stick with something simpler and less rich.
    @casportpony ?
    @Ravynscroft ?
    @Wyorp Rock?
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    Wyorp Rock and Ravynscroft like this.
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hi @ChickenLife92 I'm sorry to hear about your sister's hen.

    Do you know what she used for treatment of mites?
    An aging hen can have multiple things going on, sometimes their system starts to fail.
    If you can get the hen to eat her normal feed, some chick starter or even some chopped egg, tuna or a little beef liver that would be good. The sweet potato and oatmeal would be o.k. for a small treat, but personally I would eliminate the butter and peanut butter.

    Poultry vitamins in the water would be good for a couple of days if you have them. Make poultry grit available (crushed granite) so she can digest what she eats. Check her crop to see if it's emptying overnight.

    If you have photos of her poop and of her that you want to share with us, we will be try to tell you what we think. Vet care is always best, if that's an option.
  5. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck

    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Vetericyn is a wound cleaner... Safeguard is the *gentlest* dewormer...

    What was used to eradicate the mites? Is she certain those are gone? Checked for lice?
    3riverschick and sylviethecochin like this.
  6. +1 to @Wyorp Rock’s post. Protein that naturally contains iron (meat) can be very helpful if she is anemic. If she can’t walk, she’s in pretty critical conditon. Fluids with vitamins and electrolytes in water will help get her through if she’s going to make it. She may need supplemental heat right now, as well. Good luck!
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would follow all of the good advice for warmth, help with feeding, watering, and vitamins, but I would consider putting her out of her misery if she is suffering.
    sourland, Smuvers Farm and Wyorp Rock like this.
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    I would treat all for Coccidiosis. I think the mites also got her run down..
  9. ChickenLife92

    ChickenLife92 In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2017
    Hi everyone, thank you very much for all of the info. I passed it along to her. Today, she told me she can barely stand and when she holds her up in a standing position, she slowly falls over. She said a worker at tractor supply (basically has agricultural & livestock supplies) recommended Zodiac flea and tick spray for the mites which she used for the chickens. Attached are pictures of the chicken and her feces.

    Taking her to the vet is something we would prefer to avoid as the chicken vets in our area are very expensive. Worst case scenario we will have to put her down.

    Attached Files:

  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Awwww...she doesn't look like she feels well at all.

    Has she examined her for any swelling/bloat or feeling of fluid in the abdomen? Since she is old, then she may have some reproductive problems that are catching up to her. The poop (to me) is not normal. Is her crop emptying overnight?
    Smuvers Farm likes this.

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