Figuring out what made my hen sick after I was gone for a month.

Jackie-83

Chirping
May 26, 2020
60
68
76
So, I wasn't home for a month and had a neighbor caring for my chickens. This is what happened...
I live in Alabama (this only matters because of climate and predators) and went to Louisiana to help with hurricane Ida relief. The neighbor who cared for my chickens were instructed to let the chickens out of the coop in the mornings before it became hot. Preferably by 9 am. To give them fresh water ever day. Refill their pellet feeder as needed. Scatter a cup of scratch each day. And to let them out of their run anytime they were home during daylight hours. And to lock the chicken coop back up at dusky dark. And also, if anything came up to call or text me.

When I got home it was after dark, I went to check on my girls. Everyone was on the roost and appeared normal. The next day when I let them out "Who" seemed off. I thought maybe because I hadn't been home she was being standoffish. After observing them for a while it was obvious to me that something was wrong with her.

Her symptoms are as follows. Diarrhea, looks as though she had not eaten anything solid. Disheveled appearance. Comb flopped over and pale. Low energy and slow movements. Would 'sit down' when she was outside. Lack of interest in food.

I got these chickens approximately 18 months ago. This is my first flock, and I'm still very inexperienced. So far the only illness I've needed to identify and treat is bumble foot.

What I've found out is that my chickens were fed moldy pellets and confined to their run the whole time I was gone. I allow them to free range most of the day because I don't tell like their run is large enough for them. Their coop was not cleaned, nor was any bedding added to it. I did not directly instruct my neighbor to clean the coop, or to at least add more bedding. So I can only be upset with myself for not realizing that what would be basic common sense for me, is not for others.

I've decided that coccidiosis is the most probable cause of her illness and have been treating with a teaspoon of powder Corid 20% per gallon of water for the past 2 days. Is this dosage correct? And how long should I continue treatment?

Also, I think there may be a fungal issue going on. Mushrooms have sprouted in their run. This hasn't happened before. And also a few of my girls have what looks like a white powdery substance on their ears. This is new and not part of their normal coloring. Any idea on what it could be and treatment options? I tried to take pics, but my girls seem to know when I have a camera. So I will attach what I can.

Thank you for any and all help, or advice given. I'm experienced with animals in general but still very green with chickens.
 

Jackie-83

Chirping
May 26, 2020
60
68
76
Mushrooms in the run and a couple pics of Who.
 

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Jackie-83

Chirping
May 26, 2020
60
68
76
New poop pic. Anyone with more experience please feel free to advise.
 

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Jackie-83

Chirping
May 26, 2020
60
68
76
Update. Day 3 of Corid treatment and she is improving. Who has significantly more energy. Her comb is still flopped over, but her tail has been up at times today. She actually ran to one of the other chickens today when she thought she had something to eat. And her overall demeanor is better. I plan on continuing the Corid for at least 2 of not 4 more days. And then we will work on the bumblefoot. This will be the second time she's had bumble foot. It seemed to stress her out last time so I wanted to wait until she was over the hump with her digestive issues before I subjected her to anything else. She does not appreciate being caught or being confined to the sink.
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Jun 23, 2013
9,229
13,109
977
The Big Island/Hawaii
The dose you specified is for Corid 9.6% Oral treatment,1 tsp for a gallon of water for 5 - 7 days and to the whole flock. Are you sure yours is Corid 20%?

I personally wouldn't feed my chickens/animals moldy feed, it can/will make them sick.
I would also clean out their coop of all bedding and remove/clean out their run.

Glad to hear she's better.
 

Jackie-83

Chirping
May 26, 2020
60
68
76
I'm positive it is Corid 20% powder. And I put 1 tsp per gallon of water for 5 days. So all 6 of my girls got treated. I was instructed to not allow them another water source while treating but that was impossible for me because I allow them to free range. I stopped treatment a couple of days ago and she appears to be maintaining her improvement for now. I'm also treating bumble foot. She still looks somewhat ragged compared to normal and she's not yet keeping her tail up all the time yet. He comb has regained a healthy color but has not stood back up. She has a lot more emergy and clearly feels much better though. So by my judgment she's not healthy yet, but improved. I'm not 100% sure she doesn't have something else going on as well. But right now I'm going to keep working on the bumble foot and will reevaluate her condition once that has healed.

I also would not feed my chickens (or any animal) moldy food. However, I was gone for a month to Louisiana to help with hurricane Ida and my neighbors were caring for my chickens. Due to our climate the feed molded in the bag. The neighbors let me know, I told them I would have new food delivered, but they continued to finish off the bag of feed that had molded. They also did not allow my chickens to free range. Their run is not large enough for 6 chickens for a prolonged period of time. I know they gave them fresh water, but I'm not sure they actually washed the waterer while I was gone. They did not clean the coop or even add more bedding when it became soiled. I currently have 2 chickens with bumble foot. With all that happened I'm greatful that only Who is sickly. But I messed up. I clearly overestimated my neighbors common sense and level of give a damn in regards to my chickens. A mistake I will not repeat.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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Sorry about your sick hen and the lack of care they had. I have had sitters taking care of mine for a week usually, but I can’t imagine leaving them for a month. Others without chickens don’t have any clue what to do for them. I take my pet sitter with me and go over every detail, writing it down, but even then she doesn’t do as much as she could.

Mold is feed can be a serious problem, and they can die of mold (aflatoxin) poisoning. Waterers in hot weather have to be cleaned daily with soap and water, and filled, and multiple ones are needed in case of spilling. So glad that your sick hen seems to be on the mend.

For the record, Corid 20% powder dosage is 1.5 tsp per gallon of water. The 9.6% liquid dosage is 2 tsp (10 ml) per gallon, and given for 5-7 days.
 

Jackie-83

Chirping
May 26, 2020
60
68
76
Sorry about your sick hen and the lack of care they had. I have had sitters taking care of mine for a week usually, but I can’t imagine leaving them for a month. Others without chickens don’t have any clue what to do for them. I take my pet sitter with me and go over every detail, writing it down, but even then she doesn’t do as much as she could.

Mold is feed can be a serious problem, and they can die of mold (aflatoxin) poisoning. Waterers in hot weather have to be cleaned daily with soap and water, and filled, and multiple ones are needed in case of spilling. So glad that your sick hen seems to be on the mend.

For the record, Corid 20% powder dosage is 1.5 tsp per gallon of water. The 9.6% liquid dosage is 2 tsp (10 ml) per gallon, and given for 5-7 days.
She was doing better but since I have stopped the Corid she has declined again. She's cool to the touch which has not been my experience in the past. The first time I touched my chickens I was surprised by how warm their feet and combs were. She's very lethargic. She's still eating (mostly meal worms and collard greens) and drinking. But she had lost a significant amount of weight while I was gone and has not regained it. Her poop smells horrible. It's milky, kinda like a yellowish mucus with a green bit that is more of a paste texture. She normally would have to be cornered to be caught and once she's caught she acts like you are trying to murder her. Currently she doesn't even try to run away and seems content to snuggle. Like she's enjoying my body heat. Any suggestions are appreciated. Should I restart the Corid with the higher dose? Should I try worming? I'm new to this myself and have never had a sick chicken before.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
Can you feel of her crop to see if it is empty, full, firm, doughy, or puffy? Check it first think again in the morning. Crop impaction or sour crop could be a problem. You could restart the Corid if you wish. They can suffer from reproductive disorders, and this time of year when some are molting, can be very hard on them. If you should lose her, your state vet could perform a necropsy to look for a cause.
 

Jackie-83

Chirping
May 26, 2020
60
68
76
It wasn't full like the others are, but it didn't feel doughy. There is no smell from her mouth. I will read up more on impacted crop. Would that cause her to be raggedy looking? Her tail is still down and comb flopped over. I mean the poor girl looks like she's been through the spin cycle.
 

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