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Emergency! Old English Game Hen acting sick/strangely

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wingleader, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    My old English game hen (approximately less than 6 months old) is extremely lethargic and is writhing around (swinging her head back and forth in a sort of figure 8 movement).
    Every few minute the hen seems to stretch or strain.
    She has not laid any eggs yet that we know of.
    Could it be a bound egg or an impacted crop/digestive system?

    HELP! My chicken isnt looking so hot right now!
     
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Does she look like she's dying? Or does it look like something is stuck in her throat?
     
  3. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not sure... She's laying in my lap with her head resting against her back (beak pointed straight up). She looks very tired and keeps closing her eyes. I'm not sure there's anything stuck in her throat, I can't feel or see anything and she doesn't smell bad or anything.
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    It sounds like she's dying, but I could be wrong. Is she having any type of seizures or is she flapping her wings?
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Maybe someone else will comment...
     
  6. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    no, just waving her head around. she is alert enough to open her eyes when i move, though, and she was peeping a little bit. I gave her a small amount of mineral oil with a syringe about ten minutes ago, though I'm not sure it'll help. The way she's moving her head around a lot really makes me think she's got something going on in her throat.

    Right now she's in a cage tucked into a towel now with a soft blue heat lamp near her so she doesn't get cold. There's food and water nearby, so I guess I'll just wait until tomorrow morning to see what happens.... Not much else I can do, really, unless folks have suggestions.
     
  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Well, I'll bump this up for you. No idea really. Sounds like it might be some kind of seizure. It does sound bad.
    You are doing the right thing, keeping her quiet and warm. Not sure what else to tell you, unless you want to take her
    to a vet.
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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  9. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check her closely for any other symptoms. Check her legs and wings, to see if there is any loss of strength or uneven response when you gently tug on 'em. And, most importantly: You need to know whether she is slinging her neck/head, or if she's just losing the ability to control it's movement ... gently push her around a bit, and nudge her off balance (it only sounds mean, to pick on a sick chicken, but it will help w/ diagnosis )-;~

    Is she holding her beak open at any point, or stickin' her tongue out slightly?

    Also, closely inspect the flock for any hints of similar weakness or uneven muscle response, fluffed appearance or ... well ... anything that's off.

    If she has good strength (or, if not, at least consistently weak all over), then it could be something 'stuck in her crawl' as a possible cause. If there's a bird of the same age/breed, that's good for comparison (but, feel the healthy bird first, and away from the sick one). There's a presentation of the anatomy of the chicken that you might find useful: >>peck here<< to open an introduction to it in a new window.

    If she shows any signs of weakness on one side, or if her neck is mostly just flopping around, then this might be an indication of yellow jasmine or algae poisoning, or the result of toxins from botulism, or aspergillus, or ...

    These are just a couple of the many possibilities. To be safe? Clean up and change shoes before you go near the flock, so as to not transmit anything. Putting the flock (and this bird as well, if you can) on an astringent solution of 4 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to each gallon of water (but not in galvanized containers) just as a precaution, in case this is due to something toxic, or some respiratory condition, and just in case they'll require medication/treatment of some form ... the tannin in the ACV helps to 'cut through' the mucus, allowing them to more easily expel it, and aids in detoxification, and -- for certain -- it can do absolutely no harm to any of 'em, but may prevent others from gettin' sick, if it's contagious, and might remove some of the toxins, if there are any present w/in your bird(s).

    I wish I could be of more help, but there just isn't enough information to point to anything w/ certainty. But, treating for what you can w/o risk just makes good sense, and better preps your birds for further treatment, if you can figure out what's wrong. There are links in my signature that might be helpful -- read the Diagnosing Poultry Based Upon Symptoms several times, so as to help trigger your response should somethin' be too subtle to notice.

    Be sure 'n update this thread w/ any/all informations <-- that's what folks like casportpony need, in order to help you figure this out.
     
  10. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, cowcreekgeek. That's a lot of good stuff.

    The chicken made it through the night and had even turned around sometime. We woke up this morning to find her relatively alert and watching us and she was able to get up and wobble around without too much trouble. She pecked at a tiny amount of food we placed in her cage and was even able to get a few beakfulls of water. She defecated twice during the night, as well, and doesn't seem to be swinging her head around anymore.

    As for the open beak or tongue sticking out, she was not doing that, but she did make a soft sort of "chuffing" sound last night and some fluttery "peeps" but only once and not for very long. Last night she was very weak all over, letting her wings dangle and not using her feet at all, but as I said before, this morning she seemed much stronger and was walking around and balanced decently well/laid down so she wouldn't fall over when we moved the box she is in up to my future mother-in-laws for chicken-sitting today.

    The rest of the flock looked hale and hearty, acting normally and otherwise unaffected by whatever is ailing the little hen. Her sister looks absolutely fine, and the day before yesterday this little one didn't seem to be acting strangely at all.
     

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