Digestive problems, nothing seems to work, need help *update*

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LaurelRidgeDreams, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    595
    5
    129
    Jan 23, 2010
    Mountains of NC
    I have an 8 month old BA pullet who started laying within the last month. About six weeks ago, I noticed her poops were watery, sometimes seem to be just water, and are projectile. She does not have soiled feathers around her vent and nothing smells bad.

    I'm feeding layer feed (in the process of switching from 16% to 21% protein due to a picking problem),grit and oyster shells, ACV in water (1 oz./gallon), a little BOSS as treats, and she has free access to coop/run/and slowly disappearing grassy area. I orderd three different kinds of Probios, Bird-Powder, Probios, and Multidophilus Powder which has L. bulgaricus L acidophlus, and B. bifidum.

    I have watched her carefully over the last few days. When the other chickens run for BOSS treats, she stands around as if she doesn't know what to do. She might eat two seeds. She also does not eat as much layer feed as the others. Sometimes she will go up to the feeder as if she's going to eat but then just turns around to go somewhere else. She drinks LOTS of water. She seems sensative to the actions of some of the chickens, as in thinking they might do something to her but I've never seen her pecked, picked, or been made to move.

    She doesn't run into anything. (At one time I thought maybe she didn't see well.) She likes to be out in the grass scratching around and she pecks around in the run. Yesterday, I noticed she would stand on one foot for a while and then switch and stand on the other. She's having no difficulty walking/running.

    I've given vitamins/electrolytes in the water for the last two days. I don't have a clue what to do now. This morning she seems to lack energy and isn't eating much. Any suggestions?

    UPDATE: I checked her crop this morning. It was the size of a golf ball and somewhat hard. She seems to feel better, gobbled soaked layer feed and scrambled eggs this morning, but still has watery poop. I guess she's impacted.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,956
    2,632
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    If diet related I am having same problem with confined birds. Plant forage quality beneath pens inadequate for meeting fiber requirements. I have been upping BOSS and began providing quality alfalfa / clover hay. If pellets are attempted, then avoid those with lots of salt like those formulated for rabbits. It takes a few days for intestinal tract and microbes to adapt.

    Are you certain fluids from digestive tract and not reproductive tract?

    About 1 in 5 of my flock in poor health at any given moment. Sniffles and squirts. Some of this may be due to infection. Flock not closed, bringing in new birds without proper quarantine, and lots of migratory song birds use my pasture and woodlot as refueling area. Some of the migrants have been dying from something and the free range birds find and consume carcasses.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  3. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    595
    5
    129
    Jan 23, 2010
    Mountains of NC
    Quote:Well, plant forage is minimal for my seven pullets. During the day they go from their run into a small section of a pasture that is fenced in and covered with deer netting. The layer feed I use is crumbles. I'm sure there are birds that fly overhead but no other contact would be possible. I've had these pullets since May and have not added any others.

    How do I know if the fluids are digestive or reproductive? What I do observe is a wet, area under where she roosts at night. Some of the wet is clear and some is poop colored.

    I'm wondering why she is not very interested in the layer crumbles. Can chickens be picky eaters?
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,956
    2,632
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Well, plant forage is minimal for my seven pullets. During the day they go from their run into a small section of a pasture that is fenced in and covered with deer netting. The layer feed I use is crumbles. I'm sure there are birds that fly overhead but no other contact would be possible. I've had these pullets since May and have not added any others.

    How do I know if the fluids are digestive or reproductive? What I do observe is a wet, area under where she roosts at night. Some of the wet is clear and some is poop colored.

    I'm wondering why she is not very interested in the layer crumbles. Can chickens be picky eaters?

    Lack of interest in foods typical when bird does not feel well. How is her weight? Picky eaters can be a function of many things, especially when considering breeds. Try getting some fruits into her and giver access to more greens. Vitamins of vegetable origin will help her immune system. See if you can stimulate her appettite with something like meal worms. With sick birds of value, I also like to feed back with boiled eggs. The roughage in the diet should not be underestimated for normal function of chicken digestive tract. In many ways the leafy greens are like yogurt for these birds.
     
  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Her actions with regards to eating - treats, from the feeder, and her reaction to the others - acting like she is going to get hurt, are all signs of the low chicken in the pecking order. Being low on the pecking order can cause a pullet to not get enough to eat.


    How many feeders do you have that have pellets in them?


    Have you tried hand feeding her? Toss the treats to the others, move to the side and shake the container for her. Encourage her to leave the other group and eat on her own with you protecting her - if another hen comes over, direct it back to the other group. You can mix pellets with her treats when you hand feed her or just feed her pellets.
     
  6. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    595
    5
    129
    Jan 23, 2010
    Mountains of NC
    I've observed this BA pullet for several hours. She will drink with all of the others. No one is picking on her but they have been picking on another pullet and adding more protein to the diet, more time in a larger area, more roosts, and old logs in the run have stopped that problem. This BA pullet seems to be in the middle of the pecking order. She is eating, just not as much. She looks good but is resting one foot and then the other more than the others. Her feet look fine and she walks/runs without problem. She is just not the same. She started this watery poop about two weeks before she started to lay. Right now, only my EEs and Delaware continue to lay frequently.

    I've been thinking about taking a poop sample to the vet but not sure how to get a good sample because it's so watery. I "think" her poop is so watery because she drinks much more than she eats. Why would a chicken drink excessively?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,956
    2,632
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    If a digestive disturbance is in fact the problem. Damage to intestinal lining may be compromising her ability to absorb / reabsorb salts and therefore water. Therefore the water can not be rovered as normmal when it follows salts back into bloodstream. She is drinking more water to compensate, just like human with squirts.
     
  8. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    595
    5
    129
    Jan 23, 2010
    Mountains of NC
    Quote:Is there anything that you know of that can help her?
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,956
    2,632
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    In my opinion, best option is to simply let her immune system get whatever disease organism involved under control. Effort to provide high quality, whole, and if possible live food items (fruit, insects). All more likely to be nutrtionally complete and with latter more easy to digest. Might even try small amounts of raw fish (marine origin; not catfish or tilapia fed grain based feeds, farm raised trout and salmon OK). Very easy to digest and may provide some needed fatty acids.

    You could give her antibiotic laced feed or water. Since you are already using pro-biotics I assumed that was an option wanted to avoid.

    Get some meal worms from a wild bird supply store or even pet store (latter not as cost effective) first to see if you can get her exited about food. That may be all that it takes to ramp-up her metabolism and immune system.
     
  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    37
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    I would isolate her in a pen or cage by herself. That way, you can monitor her more closely. You'll know exactly what she's eating and drinking and producing in the way of droppings, and you'll also be able to catch her for weighing more easily. If you can provide her with a little extra warmth, that often helps a bird that's got some kind of illness recover. Just be sure she can move away from the heat source if she's too warm (just like with chicks in a brooder).

    If she is sick, isolating this bird might help avoid the disease spreading to the rest of your flock. Have you checked her all over for mites? The other thing I can think of is to have her droppings checked for worms. Our vet does a fecal check for about $20, and he doesn't require us to bring the bird in for an office visit first.

    Good luck!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by