First time chicken owner. Very lethargic bird after possibly being dehydrated

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 5thgear, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. 5thgear

    5thgear New Egg

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    Oct 2, 2012
    I tried searching before posting this but I couldn't find anything like my situation. Sorry if this has already been covered somewhere.

    So we are new to the whole backyard chicken thing. We have 16 Freedom Rangers that are about 6 weeks old. So far they have been very healthy and seem to be doing fine. I got tired of messy water so I made a new waterer out of a 5 gallon bucket with three nipple waterers. Long story short, we finally figured out last night that I sealed the lid too tight and that there was a vacuum keeping water from flowing and the chickens were not getting the water they needed. This, in addition the feed issues we've been having with the mash not flowing out both a homemade and storebought feeder, make us feel really bad.

    Anyway, last night after we figured out the problem we gave them more than enough water for them to drink and 15 of the 16 seem to be back to normal. However, there is one that seems sickly. He seemed a little off last night too, but I carried him over to the food and water and he seemed to both eat and drink, so I thought he'd be ok. Today I found him flopped over on the ground with one foot all curled up and his eyes were closed. I picked him up and tried to make him drink out of my hand, which he did do a couple times but seemed very lethargic. So I brought him inside the garage and now he's got his own supply of food and water and I do have a heat lamp on him as well.

    He's standing up, but is all balled up and is not actively moving around the box. He just sorta of stands right by the food and water and occasionally pecks at them both. When his head gets droopy and he shuts his eyes sometimes I've tried just touching him and then he wakes up and eats and drinks a little and then gets droopy again. When I go out there check on him he's still just standing in the same spot, occasionally eating and drinking. Compared to this morning he's a little better, but not like normal. His poop is watery and it looks like there's bits of green grass throughout.

    Is there something else I can do or do I just need to wait it out and see what happens? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC. Sorry for the circumstances. You've made all the right moves - I would suggest providing some electrolytes orally by way of a syringe. It may be that he was borderline sickly and was more strongly affected by the water deprivation.
     
  3. 5thgear

    5thgear New Egg

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    Oct 2, 2012
    Thank you very much for the confirmation of what we're doing! We are giving it the electrolytes now.
     
  4. 5thgear

    5thgear New Egg

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    Oct 2, 2012
    It's been a couple days now and we tried putting him back out in the tractor with the others. We thought he was ready to go as he seemed fairly normal but when we put him back out there he did eat a little, didn't drink at all, and then kinda shut down again by balling up his body and his head was getting droopy sometimes. All the other chickens were still running around acting fine. They weren't picking on the sick one thankfully.

    We decided maybe he wasn't ready to go outside so we brought him back inside under the heat lamp. He's perked up quite a bit and is continually drinking now that he's inside.

    Is it too soon to move him out again or do we just have a sick chicken that's not going to do well? We have to put him out tomorrow so it's either try to find someone to babysit him or just put it out and see what happens?
     

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