Discovered a hen, lethargic, emaciated and withdrawn. Unknown cause...need help with treatment

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rfmudflap, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. rfmudflap

    rfmudflap Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mariposa, California
    I discovered one of my hens tucked into a corner of my goat house with her head under her wing. I checked her out and she is super thin and very weak. I've been dealing with a horse's cancer and a bit distracted so it could have been a slow progression to her current condition which I did not notice. My hens free range, are fed organic feed, apple cider in the water, get tons of treats, watermelon, lettuce, corn on the cob etc.

    I gave her some worming medication thinking it may be internal parasites. i'm a bit mystified since everyone else is in top form.

    she is in the house next to my fire and just stands on her legs---she doesn't sit down--and tucks her head to the side and closes her eyes. I've managed to get fluids into her sub Q, and then also some electrolytes down her plus some yogurt and some raw egg. I have no idea what is wrong and have examined her to see if I can find anything. I'm shocked at how thin she is---just skin and bones, poor thing. She shows no interest in food or water. I've tried cat food---fishy--cottage cheese, 1/2 pear, tomatoes, all their faves without any success. She really seems to be suffering and I'm considering putting her down. Does anyone have any suggestions please? I'd be happy to do what is needed if she can be saved.

    Thanks, Ruthie
  2. delisha

    delisha Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 13, 2012
    Racine, WI -
    My Coop
    I am sorry you are going through this.
    Check the rest of your chickens, pick them all up and do an exam. Know by feel they are all OK
    Check them all for lice, mites etc
    This is that time of year, same with molt
    Chicken can go down fast so double check
    If all of your chickens are healthy and shinny feathers you can relax
    When was the last time this hen layed an egg?
    Could she be egg bound?
    Does she have an ordor
    Open her mouth and check to see if she has anything in her beak
    check her crop..
    check her feet
    how old is she?
    what did you worm her with?
    Do you see worms in her poop?
    if she is in a weakened state don't give her any more poison till you do an exam or till you know if she does have worms
    Take a picture of her
    Take a picture of her poop
    Take a picture of her vent

    Post the pictures
  3. rfmudflap

    rfmudflap Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mariposa, California
    HI Delish, Thx for replying. I think this hen was one of four which I got from a 4H kid. The 4 were all in pretty bad shape in the spring but came round fairly quickly with my regimen. It's hard to know since I also have 2 other Black laced Wyandottes, her breed.

    Also all of my girls are in great shape, shiny feathers, free of mites etc.... I did a dusting in august when they all were molting. I only have 9 girls and 2 roosters--1 is a banty named Kong. So not a large crowd.

    I have just spent an hour or so reading posts and I'm thinking that she may have an impacted crop which is causing her to starve. This seems like the most likely of explanations. The other thing that had me slightly worried was Cocci, but I'm ruling that out based on teh good health of my other hens. Is this a reasonable assumption?

    I examined her vent, feet etc and everything is in good shape. She is pale and super weak which is why the impacted crop/starvation theory seems to make the most sense to me, although I'm at this point, guessing based on the posts I read. I need to check her crop tomorrow. Poor thing.... I will start the olive oil/water routine along with massage. I'd love to hear if anyone has ever discovered a hen like this.

    I'm kicking myself for not noticing sooner.

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