Continuing to take care of my sick hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lyssa, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. Lyssa

    Lyssa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2011
    Albuquerque, NM
    Ok, I posted last week on Thurs or Friday. My 6 month old Ameraucana was diagnosed by the vet with lice, she is now lice free. But, this hen is still lethargic, but I have upped my battle plan. I am now sharing what I'm doing, to just share and see if I get any other suggestions to help. I have made a slurry of sifted layer feed, only small little dust corn really, Odawalla Super Food Juice, Poly-Vi-Sol, cooked egg yolk, olive oil. I have taken to using a large syringe and am feeding her by force right now. (question: should I make sure she is also getting water? she won't drink on her own, I would need to syringe it down her gullet. And, the juice is liquid that is mixed into the slurry?) This morning her stomach was making some gurgle sounds, which I take as a good sign that she finally getting some food in her. I am not worried about the grit, as nothing going into her is even a little big, it can all be sucked up into the feeding syringe. She still inside in the cat crate with a heating pad on low. And, I am always surprised when I come home that she is still alive. Since this is among my first 3 chickens, I am trying to learn from her. She doesn't seem in any pain, just doesn't have any energy. The vet had said that he has seen birds get depressed from lice, maybe the depression and her weakened state just cycled... Anyway, I am feeding her and keeping her warm and clean. I am at one full week of a sick bird. Just seeing how this will play out and what I can learn to help all my present and future birds.
     
  2. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2010
    NH
    how about adding a little electrolyte solution to the slurry, she will get some vitamins that way, just be careful when you give her her feeding, go slow so it goes in her stomach and not her lungs and enter her throat carefully so as to not injure her throat. I hope she gets better. Put her out in the sun, supervised of course, that may make her feel better, I know it makes me feel better and she will get some vitamin D that way, also good for her
     
  3. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    Sounds like you are doing the right things. But, I am new at chickens and haven't had a sick one yet.[​IMG] Keep posting on her progress so us newbie's can learn. Sorry she is sick and hope she makes a full recovery.[​IMG]
     
  4. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2007
    Just something to consider.......
    I had a hen that had mites really bad. I treated her and got rid of them. But she did have a little sore on her rear end. I don't know if the mites caused it, or she pecked herself or what. I kept my eye on it and it seemed to heal.....but left a big hard lump. She never seemed to get her strength back. She eventually died..........but this was before I realized that that lump was an infected abscess. They can wall off their infections, but it still seems to get to them systemically.
    I would check her over really well, for any kind of small/large bump/knot.
    She may have an infection from the mites.
    Even if you don't find one, I would consider giving her antibiotics.
     
  5. Lyssa

    Lyssa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2011
    Albuquerque, NM
    [​IMG] I'm sad, but working on the learning. Thank you all. It was clear last that Flygirl was slowly getting worse. Last night I fed her and we kept her warm. But, this morning I just couldn't see slowly letting her die. My lovely husband dispatched her this morning. I decided that I should look at her body and see if I just missed something. There were no mites or lice on her. There were no wounds of any sort.

    I've been thinking about this learning journey of the chicken kind. In retrospect I just waited to long to take action because I didn't know what I was seeing when she started acting odd a couple of weeks ago. Because she hadn't started laying yet, I thought maybe she was just having some hormonal changes... Michael thinks that the lice/mites may have started the problem, but that something else/illness may have exploited her weakness. There was no egg shape in her cavity, no blood in the poop, no respiratory trouble, just a lethargy that didn't get better.

    Things that I will do better at in the future.
    1. The first sign of a change in behavior I will do a thorough exam.
    2. The bath in soapy, salty, vinegar water, killed the lice and mites. I would do that sooner while the hen is stronger and still eating on her own.
    3. The DE worked well to kill any remaining lice and mites, and all my birds will get a dusting of this regularly. I've checked the other two and I don't see anything on them. I have new Lice Eye's now and pay extra attention.
    4. I learned how to syringe feed a bird, it reminded me of baby Robins that I raised as a kid, I know that she was processing the food, as she was still having poops, and they were normal looking. I would just make my food slurry sooner and help the chook to stay stronger.
    5. I need some more tools in my chicken care box and I will be getting it all gathered in advance of a future issue. Thank you to everyone who has posted the list of supplies and tools.
    6. I can fall in love with chickens and that is just fine by me.
    7. I have to remember that birds will die... fact of life, and all I can do is my best.

    We put her in a bag in the freezer, we were already planning on planting a new tree in my flower garden, and she will now become part of the garden that she loved to scratch around in.
    Thank you all again.
     
  6. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2007
    I'm so sorry Lyssa,

    You are a great chicken mama! Its an on-going learning process for all of us. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. We've all wished we had done things differently, earlier.
    Its great that you have learned something from this. That's the silver lining around making mistakes and loss........we learn a great deal from it.
    Sometimes we can overlook something, or think "oh....that symptom is just not important enough right now to do anything about"........sometimes that gets us into trouble later, and sometimes the problem goes away without any interceding on our parts. You just never know.

    You did all you could. Sometimes, we just never know what happened.
    How neat that her little body will feed a new tree and flowers!
    You're really sweet! [​IMG]
     

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