Clarice won't eat or leave the coop, please advise!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by eggkeeper, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. eggkeeper

    eggkeeper New Egg

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    Dec 5, 2008
    I have three chickens that live in my backyard in Portland, Or. I don't know exactly how old, less than a year, they started laying last August. Clarice is all white and maybe 6-7 lbs? This morning when I opened their door, the other two bounded out as usual but Clarice wouldn't leave the coop. I let her be for a while, then took her out and looked for problems, she stood perfectly still for me (unusual!) and let me look, I didn't see any overt problems, her vent isn't pasted over, no wounds or swelling or discoloration that I could see. I changed the straw she is sitting on and offered her scratch grains and some zuchini and melon but she didn't want to eat anything. I put a little water and food in with her but she's not interested in eating (unusual!) and just sits there. She's not moving around or giving any evidence of pain or distress but clearly something is very wrong. I noticed that someone (don't know which) had some watery stool in the last few days, but no weird color, just regular greenish grey white mixed together. They coop up in a kitchen cabinet in the yard at night with the doors closed so no critter got her. Nothing has changed real recently, they sleep on straw that I change about every 5-7ish days, they eat Payback brand pellets for layers and multigrain scratch and fruit and veg scraps from the kitchen for treats and oyster shells and lately some flax seeds. They have water in a water jug available that I change/refill every few days, they all scratch in the backyard which does have some bits and bobs of plastic metal and glass leftover from the previous owners that I try and clean out when I see but keep finding more bits so maybe she ate something bad. The local feed store recommended Sulmet powder (sodium sulfamethazine) which I'm willing to do if it seems like a good idea. Any advice would be enormously appreciated! Does anyone know what might be wrong? If the other two chickens sleep on the top shelf of the cabinet and she sleeps on the bottom are they likely to be safe from contagion? Should I throw out my eggs? (I don't know who lays which one) Should I use the Sulmet powder? I'd rather try and manage this without a vet--thank you for any help!
     
  2. crystalchik

    crystalchik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gosh, Im sorry to hear that she is not feeling well.

    Answer these questions for me, these will help us:
    ~Have you wormed them yet?
    ~Are they skinny or underweight?
    ~Do they have mites?
    ~Is she sitting in the place where she usually lays eggs, and does she appear to be straining at all?
    ~How long has this been going on for?

    Thank you and I hope we can help you!
    Crystalchik
     
  3. eggkeeper

    eggkeeper New Egg

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    Thanks for responding! Only one of the three is sick, the other two are just fine.

    -I haven't ever done any worming, should I?
    -She doesn't seem skinny, she feels solid when I pick her up.
    -I didn't see any mites, but I'll look again tomorrow, can mites cause lethargy and not eating? I should see them at the base of the feathers if they're there, right?
    -She was sitting all day on the shelf where she sleeps and lays, she does not appear to be straining or shifting about at all.
    -She seemed fine yesterday, I noticed a problem this morning when I went to open the cabinet/coop doors to let the girls out, and one of them, Clarice, didn't come out like she always does, she just stayed inside.

    Nothing seemed to change all day. I got her to eat a tiny bit of banana and I used a syringe to get some water/sulmet (antibiotic from the feed store) down her. I moved her into a cardboard box with straw in it into the mud room of my house which is warmer than outside and she seems to be sleeping. I have to go to work tomorrow at 6:30, so I guess I'll leave her some fruit and yogurt (I read in another post yogurt is good for sick chickens) and I'll pour some more water/sulmet down her and leave water for her. I'm thinking right now I'll leave her in the mud room and hope she doesn't freak out while I'm gone. I don't really know what else to do, the guy at the feed store said it's pretty cold out there for them right now. Arrgh!
     
  4. crystalchik

    crystalchik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2008
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    You're welcome! I just hope I can help![​IMG]

    -YES! You need to worm them and treat them for Coccidiosis every 2-3 months if you have reason to suspect an infection (like we have a history of strong round worms and Coccidia). If not then I say 3-4 months, but others say every 6 months. Here's how you do this:
    Worms: Ivermectin sheep drench- 10cc per gallon ~OR~ Ivermectin Cattle injectable- 4-6 drops (depends on size) on a peice of bread and place down throat
    Coccidiosis: I use 2tbsp of liquid per gallon but the powder will do!

    You need to treat all of them at least once every two months.
    Keep them on the Sulmet and Ivermectin drench for at least 5-6 days and only treat the Ivermectin injectable ONCE. If you go for both liquid, you can do them at the same time in the same jug of water.

    -Mites can cause lethargy, definatley, but you really need a lot of them. The bird can also die from them...they are blood-sucking insects! But usually, the bird continues to eat because the life and energy is being drained from her making them hungry for more energy.
    -Yes you will see them at the base of the feathers, when you pull them back, ESPECIALLY under the vent! Normally, you will see little yellow things scurry away, but some can be so minute that you really have to look.

    If I were you, I wouldnt leave the yogurt out all day in there. You dont want it to go bad, and then have her eat it. You could leave out soaked cat food, which they usually like, or even canned corn or something soft and apealing-looking that wont really spoil after a few hours. But some fruit sounds good too! Usually though, when a chicken isnt eating, you want to try to give them something with a lot of protein and carbs. Like bread, or cat food.
    You can give her yogurt, however, and if she does not eat it right away, if you feel it necessary, you can always put it in a surringe and squirt it in her beak and let her lick it down. She will have to be in your hands of course, you dont want her running around with yogurt! You can also try HB egg.. they really like that!

    If it is cold out and she is not feeling well, you might want to consider putting her under a light to keep better warmth.

    Good luck to you and I hope she feels better! If you can post a picture of her that would be great as well because we can get a look of her and what she's doing. But you definately want to worm them!
    Good luck and God bless,
    Crystalchik
     
  5. eggkeeper

    eggkeeper New Egg

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    Clarice died. She was a great chicken. She came to the flock (I had five others when I got her, three of them have since gone to other homes so now I have two left) last, and she was the littlest one at that time and the others used to pick on her and chase her around something fierce. But she figured out that if one was chasing her she could dive under another one and the one chasing her would crash into that one and she'd get away in the fracas. I think she eventually enjoyed the sport because after she grew up she'd often grab one of the choicest kitchen scraps and then dance away making a "chase me chase me" kind of sqwak until someone obliged her. Her nickname when she was little was Scrappy McScrapperson, and when she grew up she was bigger than everyone else. She was a little shyer and she had just recently started eating treats out of my hand--which surprised and thrilled me. She had a special place in my heart and I am very sad that she's gone.
    Thank you for your advice, crystalchik, I am new at chickens and it was comforting that someone else was out there.
    Bye bye, Clarice.
     
  6. crystalchik

    crystalchik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2008
    Central Florida
    Oh my gosh, I am so sorry, I cant believe it. I wish I could have helped you with her; my guess by how fast she passed was that she was probably egg bound, especially since she was young. I feel terrible that none of us could help you.
    Again I am so sorry and I know that she is in Chicky Heaven.
    God bless you,
    Crystalchik
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008

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