Emergency- Please help with poisoned chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by VreelandFarmlet, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. VreelandFarmlet

    VreelandFarmlet New Egg

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    This is my first post, though I have been lurking for a long time--I read so much helpful information in this forum from others' questions...I'm hoping you guys can help with this problem. I'm sorry it's so long, please bear with me; I don't want to leave anything out that might help:

    We have a 2 year old RIR named Ginger who is in some trouble...

    Wednesday morning she didn't come out of the coop in the morning, but we were in town all day so didn't know about the rest of the afternoon, but she didn't come out in the evening after we got home either.

    Thursday morning(Yesterday) I went out to let the chickens out and she just stayed by the waterer, drinking lots. She was sort of trancelike and zoned out.

    All day she stood by the waterer, until the evening, when she went to bed in the nest box instead of the roost. My husband went out at 11pm to check on her with a flashlight and she was standing up in there, flexing her vent. I thought, "She's eggbound!" and was so happy to have an answer. But when I went out to get her, she was doing some liquidy sounding breathing and some little groaning sounds.

    I made a warm bath and put her in it, massaging her tummy, although it didn't feel overly puffy or hard, just sort of normal. That didn't help, so I wore a latex glove with olive oil and did a vent exam. I didn't feel anything hard at all, so I was thinking there was no egg, but a bunch of white stuff came out suddenly....like eggwhite, or some weird poop maybe? It looked in the bathwater like when you poach eggs and there's all that extra white swirling around in the water. (I'm sorry if that is gross to compare, but its very accurate).

    She stopped groaning right away, but continued with the watery breathing, even coughed a couple times. I took her out of the bath and held her on my lap while drying her with a towel and there was a little drool appearing at the tip of her beak. When I was drying her crop I noticed it was like a little balloon...very full and puffy. I prodded it a little, and dried it with the towel before carrying her back to the coop. As I leaned over to open the coop door, she vomited a LOT. I thought...this doesn't seem like egg binding after all.

    I thought she was feeling better though because when I sat her down in the coop, she went straight to the food and started eating with a real appetite--the most alert she had seemed all day.

    I went inside and went to bed.

    This morning she is standing in the nest box, still flexing her vent. There is some normal colored, but watery poop behind her from the night, and her crop feels nice and normal, hard, and you can feel food in there, not puffy. She is silent today, no more of that liquidy breathing, so that is good, but she isn't interested in eating food or moving around. I have only seen her standing up for the last 2 of days...I'm not sure if she sits when I am not looking? Her comb and face are a little paler than normal, but her comb is not droopy.

    Finally today my husband realized that on Tuesday, the day before the trouble started, she ate my whole Bleeding Heart plant(very small and mostly dead) as she made a dust bath where it had been in the flowerbed. I came outside just in time to see her plucking some of the last roots out of the bottom of the dust bath hole. Poppy, our black australorp had rolled in the dust bath but I don't believe she ate the plant. We did some research and it turns out that Bleeding Hearts are poisonous!!! I feel just sick about it. I had read that chickens naturally avoided plants that weren't good for them, but she didn't obviously...

    Anyway does anyone know how to get her on the mend and flush the toxins out?? She seems better than last night as in she isn't vomiting or breathing in that watery way, and her crop is normal again, but she doesn't want to eat and is still flexing her behind. She has not laid an egg since Monday or Tuesday either by the way. I am cooking her a boiled egg right now to tempt her to eat...do you think getting her to eat more food will help push the bad stuff through? Do you think an upset stomach is the reason she is flexing her vent, rather than an egg problem? It seems like a weird coincidence that she could have gotten egg problems, AND poisoning on the same day...:(

    I'm looking forward to your help--thank you in advance.
     
  2. VreelandFarmlet

    VreelandFarmlet New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2013
    Update- She has walked out of the egg box into the coop, and actually is sitting down (finally!) inside the coop's screen door, in the sun. Everything else seems the same though. Any ideas? I'm done cooking the egg, should I try to feed it to her? Is food a good idea for flushing this out??
     
  3. Whittni

    Whittni Overrun With Chickens

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    Water helps remove toxins so anything in her system gets out. It sounds like she's doing better and it's good that she through up, her body must have noticed the bad stuff and should flush it out on one end or another. Just like with kids, their tummy's know when to be upset.


    Best of luck. Remember lots of water.
     
  4. GingerJane

    GingerJane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm.. that was a possibility she had stomach poisoning , but chickens have a strong stomach acid.. they could eat glass and be fine. She could have had some kind of stomach parasite, or a respiratory disease. . has she been kind of isolated fro the other hens? Does it sound like she is stuffed up and does she make a wheezing when she breathes? Kind of like when humans are sick with cold and there is that stuffed wheezing sound when breathing.
     
  5. VreelandFarmlet

    VreelandFarmlet New Egg

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    Thanks for your encouragement and suggestions! I just came in from giving her 1/3 of a mashed boiled egg, and clover, and she did eat it, and pretty excitedly. Not with her usual gusto, but a lot of interest.

    Whittni- I was really shocked when she threw up...I didn't know chickens could even do that (until it was running down my arm! ha). But I think you are right....probably her crop was all puffy because something was in there that needed to come out. I will make sure she keeps drinking.

    GingerJane- Good things to think about...luckily once she threw up, the slobbering and watery breathing stopped. This morning she seems to be breathing silently, as usual!

    I feel good that she ate and finally did sit down, but her comb and face are still a sickly pale color, and she is moving a bit slow. I'm hoping she's on the mend though...at least her crop isn't all bloated anymore. Maybe her comb will turn red as she feels better?
     
  6. GingerJane

    GingerJane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well that is good to hear, but they do that, they will stop for a while then go back, so if i were you just in case she had something wrong with her try to give her electrolights. Does she perch at night ?????
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  8. VreelandFarmlet

    VreelandFarmlet New Egg

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    Thanks for the idea! How do I give her electrolytes?

    And last night was the only night she didn't perch with Poppy, and stayed in the nest box. Otherwise she always does.
     
  9. VreelandFarmlet

    VreelandFarmlet New Egg

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    Eggcessive--it wasn't 'crammed full' there was just some food in there...maybe more like a golf ball? I should have been more clear. It was definitely MUCH smaller than the night before, when it was like a small peach. But maybe that is still too full? I will look at that link--thank you!
     
  10. GingerJane

    GingerJane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You put about two heaping tablespoons of it in her water, or what I did too was feed one of mine like a fruit, watermelon, and sprinkled some on it, got to make sure those little chickens get their vitamin's! And make sure Poppy gets some so just in case your bird had a spreadable germ!

    Is she still pale by the way?
     

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