emaciated, but otherwise healthy-seeming hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ShadyHoller, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2010
    Willamette Valley
    Hi all. Apologies in advance for a question that surely has already been asked. I just can't seem to find it.

    Here's what I've got: a year-old buff orpington hen who has been skinny for a long time, and who is gradually getting skinnier and skinnier. She is now about the size of a pigeon and looks horrible. Her flock-mates are thriving. They all have access to pasture, clean water, reasonably clean and well-ventilated coop, and a buffet table of feed, scratch, oyster shell and grit. None of the birds have any external parasites. Like I said, the other birds look great. No one picks on this skinny bird, and she acts like she's perfectly healthy. Her butt/oviduct look normal. But her body looks just awful. Based on how gaunt she is, I expect her to drop dead at any moment.

    Any experiences out there with one hen who wasted away while the rest of them were big fatties?

  2. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2010
    Willamette Valley
    I should also add: if it's coccidiosis, why aren't the other birds showing signs of sickness? Egg production for the flock as a whole is normal. The skinny bird has been that way long enough that, if the disease was contagious, I would have expected other birds to come down with it.
  3. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    This is a cut and paste from another post of mine

    When mine get sick, this is what I do:

    • Thorough exam which includes inserting a gloved, lubed finger into the cloaca to check for an egg, check for cuts, bruising lumps etc.
    • Dust for mites/lice with poultry dust even if I cannot see any. DE does not work.
    • Weigh on digital kitchen scale (see avatar), record weight and weigh daily. any weight loss is bad.
    • Place bird in a warm, quiet place on towel with food and water that it can't drown in.
    • De-worm with Safeguard or Panacur, liquid or paste 50mg/kg by mouth and repeat in 10 days. Warning - Safeguard/Panacur (fenbendazle should not be used during a molt)
    • Once warm, if not drinking, and crop is empty, hydrate with warmed Pedialyte or lactated ringers with a feeding tube - 30ml/kg every 6-8 hours.
    • If not eating after 24 hours and crop is empty, tube feed baby bird food mixed with Pedialyte
    • Inspect poop.
    • If I suspect a stuck egg, treat for egg binding.
    • If I suspect a bacterial infection, treat with antibiotics.

    From: http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/avmed/cam/07_emergency_and_critical_care.pdf
    Supportive Care
    Sick birds are often hypothermic and should be placed
    in heated (brooder-type) enclosures

    b (Fig 7.7) in a quiet
    environment (see Chapter 1, Clinical Practice). A temperature
    of 85° F (29° C) with 70% humidity is desirable
    for most sick birds. If brooders are not equipped with a
    humidity source, placing a small dish of water in the
    enclosure will often supply adequate humidity. A moist
    towel that is heated and placed on the bottom of a cage
    or incubator rapidly humidifies the environment, as indicated
    by the fogging of the acrylic cage front.

    Oral Administration
    Oral administration is the ideal method of giving fluids.
    This method is more commonly used in mildly dehydrated
    birds or in conjunction with subcutaneous (SC)
    or intravenous (IV) therapy. Oral rehydration (30 ml/kg
    PO q 6-8 h) also may be used in larger birds (eg, waterfowl)
    that are difficult to restrain for parenteral fluid

  4. Is she bottom of the pecking order?

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