RoyalChick

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Visit from a Hawk

While I was outside with all 8 of the hens free ranging yesterday we had a hawk stop by for a visit. I was standing on the deck with the grown up six, having just given them some pasta to chow down on. When Lilly who had not quite made it to the deck zipped into the butterfly bush. She moved so quickly that I knew something was up. I immediately looked to the sky and a hawk swooped in from over the shed and roosted in the birch tree. Here is where the hawk roosted and where the littles were located when it did. View attachment 2871618

At the time none of the other 7 hens knew the hawk was there. Lilly did not make a sound. Hattie was at my feet so I shushed under the table on the deck and threw more pasta there to get everyone under the table.

Then I took off after the hawk. I needed to make certain it was gone before it saw the littles. I did not even get around the pool and it vacated the area leaving as it had come.
I then called Lilly over and lectured her for not alerting everyone else. I don't believe that those on deck ever knew a hawk was present. It is certain that the littles had no idea as they were happily peeping away.
Oh very scary!
 

RoyalChick

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Yes, this is the second one. And Ruby’s final report just had that Ruby’s cancer was even more widespread. No mention of Marek’s.
I think on balance that is good news. Ruby had something that could not be cured and lived a good life, and you can be confident you don't have Marek's. I realize it means that all the bad luck you have had with health in the flock is just that, bad luck, but I think that is better than Marek's.
:hugs
 

BY Bob

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An update on my little patient Minnie (sorry a bit long - I just need to offload on folk who understand how I feel).
The plan was to let her roost each night and then haul her into the hospital for the night with food and electrolyte water so she could get electrolytes and an uninterrupted breakfast. The vet suggested Gatorade but I had some sachet's of chick electrolytes so I used those (vet said that was OK too).
The first night she chose to roost on her own so I executed the plan. Of course I have a camera in the hospital so I could keep an eye on her. I learned a lot from the first night's experience. From the camera I learned that she spent a lot of the night doing this. Every 10 to 15 minutes for most of the night.


To me it looked like she was trying to rearrange stuff in her crop. So, I got up at about 4:30am and hauled her out of her hospital bed and sure enough her crop felt like it had a big hard lump still in it. I gave her a couple of pellets of frozen coconut oil and I held her and massaged her crop. I didn't really know how to do that because @Shadrach had told us it needs to be quite strongly manipulated to break anything up, but on the other hand I was terrified of causing her to aspirate.
In the end she seemed to enjoy the cuddle and fell asleep tucked under my arm while I pummeled and squished her crop around. It definitely got smaller as a result of this manhandling, but also wasn't completely empty when I put her back to bed.
When it got light she informed me that she hates electrolyte water. She wouldn't touch it and just sat there head down and all hunched up. Naturally I thought my night-time intervention had killed her, but when I gave her plain water she drank and drank and drank and then perked right up and had some breakfast.

So on to the second night (last night) and of course the best laid plans.. .. .. she roosted with her buddies. I mean look at them. Can any of you say you honestly blame me for deciding to let her stay there? From left to right that is Dotty, Minnie, Diana, Maggie.

View attachment 2872164

I had a camera on her and she did do this, but only once the whole night.


I got up at about 5am (still dark) and picked her off the roost. Her crop was not empty but way less full than the day before. She got more coconut oil and a crop pummeling and then when put in the hospital bed where she consented to having a pretty long drink of Gatorade so now at least I know she got some electrolytes and some calories.

Onwards to another day - you can do this Minnie. Get better my baby!
It seems like you are helping her for sure. This was a great use of the cameras to help you ID what might be going on. So Gatorade is ok but powdered electrolytes is not. That is interesting information as well. What flavor Gatorade?
 

RoyalChick

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Thank u for the reply Bob,but no one really knows about splay legs and can’t answer to my thread about quails,or chickens.I don’t want to be mean cos like you guys are really Great and experienced,anyways,I put a bandage on Pop pop’s legs.

P.s he seems fine,I’m taking extra care of him.
Afi did you see the response from @bgmathteach with the video link attached. I don't know anything about splay leg but that video was informative. The only issue is it seems you need to handle it in the first 24 hours of life so it may be too late for that.
I don't know if I did it right but I think this is the link
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...es-stories-of-our-flock.1286630/post-25020212
 

RoyalChick

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It seems like you are helping her for sure. This was a great use of the cameras to help you ID what might be going on. So Gatorade is ok but powdered electrolytes is not. That is interesting information as well. What flavor Gatorade?
I don't know if it was color or flavor but it was an unambiguous preference! The store only had fruit punch or lemon flavor so I got fruit punch. I am skeptical that she really needs it TBH because when I let her out she does go scratching around outside and eats stuff (not commercial food of course!).
I really need to learn this whole keel bone thing. I felt all of them this morning and they all feel the same degree of sharpness. Is it possible I am starving all my chickens? I don't even give them much in the way of treats so they mainly have commercial food and what they forage.
I do give kitchen scraps and I use sunflower seeds to bribe them to come in to be locked up if I am worried about hawks or am going to be away and once a week they get my left over Thai food rice.
:idunno
 

BY Bob

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I don't know if it was color or flavor but it was an unambiguous preference! The store only had fruit punch or lemon flavor so I got fruit punch. I am skeptical that she really needs it TBH because when I let her out she does go scratching around outside and eats stuff (not commercial food of course!).
I really need to learn this whole keel bone thing. I felt all of them this morning and they all feel the same degree of sharpness. Is it possible I am starving all my chickens? I don't even give them much in the way of treats so they mainly have commercial food and what they forage.
I do give kitchen scraps and I use sunflower seeds to bribe them to come in to be locked up if I am worried about hawks or am going to be away and once a week they get my left over Thai food rice.
:idunno
I think that @Shadrach will tell you that your chickens should be a little lean. Your chickens have access to commercial feed all day, right? If so you cannot possibly be starving them. They would tank up on commercial feed before they would starve.

To me it seems that if you can feel all their keel bones the same that means that whatever is going on, Minnie is doing fine weight wise. She is just like the other healthy ones. 👍
 

micstrachan

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I think on balance that is good news. Ruby had something that could not be cured and lived a good life, and you can be confident you don't have Marek's. I realize it means that all the bad luck you have had with health in the flock is just that, bad luck, but I think that is better than Marek's.
:hugs
Thank you. However, Margo’s necropsy said she DID have Marek’s. It said she did NOT have tumors, but evidence of a “background infection” based on microscopic review of the nerve caps. The thought was her Merek’s compromised her immune system, allowing the bacterial infection from dorsal egg yolk peritonitis.to go septic.(On a side note, they did not diagnose egg yolk peritonitis until microscopy revealed egg yolk protein.) Bagheera died two weeks later with no mention of Marek’s in the necropsy. However, her cause of death was obvious, fatty liver hemorrhage, and there was no microscopy done that I can tell. Some good news is that Ruby was negative for Avian Flu and Bagheera was negative for Infectious Bronchitis.

Since not not one of three necropsies has had Marek’s tumors, I feel I still don’t know for sure if it’s in my flock. Maybe I should just trust thst it’s there based on Margo’s necropsy.

We know Margo and Rusty had egg yolk peritonitis. I suspect Dorothy did, too, since she was mostly Leghorn, laid soft eggs, and presented the same as Margo (Leghorn), like she had a septic infection (I was unable to get a necropsy done based on the timing of her death). As yiu know, Ruby had cancer.

I think it may mostly come down to poor genetics of hatchery stock. Bagheera’s death was likely my fault, as she had abundant fat stores.

Sorry about the long post. Just thinking it all through. Thanks for allowing it!
 

Shadrach

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An update on my little patient Minnie (sorry a bit long - I just need to offload on folk who understand how I feel).
The plan was to let her roost each night and then haul her into the hospital for the night with food and electrolyte water so she could get electrolytes and an uninterrupted breakfast. The vet suggested Gatorade but I had some sachet's of chick electrolytes so I used those (vet said that was OK too).
The first night she chose to roost on her own so I executed the plan. Of course I have a camera in the hospital so I could keep an eye on her. I learned a lot from the first night's experience. From the camera I learned that she spent a lot of the night doing this. Every 10 to 15 minutes for most of the night.


To me it looked like she was trying to rearrange stuff in her crop. So, I got up at about 4:30am and hauled her out of her hospital bed and sure enough her crop felt like it had a big hard lump still in it. I gave her a couple of pellets of frozen coconut oil and I held her and massaged her crop. I didn't really know how to do that because @Shadrach had told us it needs to be quite strongly manipulated to break anything up, but on the other hand I was terrified of causing her to aspirate.
In the end she seemed to enjoy the cuddle and fell asleep tucked under my arm while I pummeled and squished her crop around. It definitely got smaller as a result of this manhandling, but also wasn't completely empty when I put her back to bed.
When it got light she informed me that she hates electrolyte water. She wouldn't touch it and just sat there head down and all hunched up. Naturally I thought my night-time intervention had killed her, but when I gave her plain water she drank and drank and drank and then perked right up and had some breakfast.

So on to the second night (last night) and of course the best laid plans.. .. .. she roosted with her buddies. I mean look at them. Can any of you say you honestly blame me for deciding to let her stay there? From left to right that is Dotty, Minnie, Diana, Maggie.

View attachment 2872164

I had a camera on her and she did do this, but only once the whole night.


I got up at about 5am (still dark) and picked her off the roost. Her crop was not empty but way less full than the day before. She got more coconut oil and a crop pummeling and then when put in the hospital bed where she consented to having a pretty long drink of Gatorade so now at least I know she got some electrolytes and some calories.

Onwards to another day - you can do this Minnie. Get better my baby!
Excellent news. I'm delighted. I'm delighted that you've had the courage to take inn the information I've given, delighted that it worked and you have felt the stuff in the crop and applied enough pressure to not just break it up, but feel that it was happening.
I do this three or four times a day with hens with slow crop problems. The vast majority of crop problems start as slow crop. It's a matter of realising there is a problem before it develops into sour crop and putting in the time to get things moving.
It takes on average three days of routine crop massage and water flushing to clear a crop ime. You will know that thhe crop hhas properly cleared because when you squeeze the bottom of the crop the two sides of the crop will flatten enough for you to feel the little nodules that line the crop walls.
All the chickens that I've crop massaged seem to enjoy the feeling. They must be able to feel that stuff is moving.
Once you are confident that the crop is clear; poop checks help here, give the chicken some live yogurt. This will help to put the correct balance of bacteriia back in the crop.
Well done RC. As you can see, you can do this and being able to do this and see that it works will give you cinfidence for the inevitable next problem.
 
Last edited:

BY Bob

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Thank you. However, Margo’s necropsy said she DID have Marek’s. It said she did NOT have tumors, but evidence of a “background infection” based on microscopic review of the nerve caps. The thought was her Merek’s compromised her immune system, allowing the bacterial infection from dorsal egg yolk peritonitis.to go septic.(On a side note, they did not diagnose egg yolk peritonitis until microscopy revealed egg yolk protein.) Bagheera died two weeks later with no mention of Marek’s in the necropsy. However, her cause of death was obvious, fatty liver hemorrhage, and there was no microscopy done that I can tell. Some good news is that Ruby was negative for Avian Flu and Bagheera was negative for Infectious Bronchitis.

Since not not one of three necropsies has had Marek’s tumors, I feel I still don’t know for sure if it’s in my flock. Maybe I should just trust thst it’s there based on Margo’s necropsy.

We know Margo and Rusty had egg yolk peritonitis. I suspect Dorothy did, too, since she was mostly Leghorn, laid soft eggs, and presented the same as Margo (Leghorn), like she had a septic infection (I was unable to get a necropsy done based on the timing of her death). As yiu know, Ruby had cancer.

I think it may mostly come down to poor genetics of hatchery stock. Bagheera’s death was likely my fault, as she had abundant fat stores.

Sorry about the long post. Just thinking it all through. Thanks for allowing it!
It is good to think this stuff through. I'm still not convinced that you have Marek’s in the full flock. That is only one instance of it showing. It is actually possible that only she had Marek’s. :hugs :hugs :hugs
 

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