Getting Chicken to eat - Help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lyssa, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. Lyssa

    Lyssa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
    Albuquerque, NM
    I am new to chickens. I have a young hen that has not started laying yet. Last weekend she started acting odd, resting and not acting her normal self. On Tuesday morning I noticed that she didn't come out of the coop, so I took her out. I kept her separated from the other chickens, but she just kept getting more and more lethargic. I took her to the Vet on Thursday. Apparently, she had a bad case of lice. One eye was shut and she had crusty stuff on her neck. He did blood work and her blood looked fine, he also gave her fluids. I took her home, I bathed her in Salt, vinegar, and with soap, dried her and kept her in a crate with a heating pad. I have also been dusting her with DE. I have been giving her water with polyvisol, and yesterday I bathed her again, cut off all the crusty stuff, and blew her dry with a hair dryer for an hour. Her eye has opened but she is still lethargic. I don't see any lice, I see dead lice, but no alive lice. What I am wondering is how to force feed her? I don't think she is getting enough food. Or, really any other suggestions that might help me to help her. This has all been a huge learning experience, but I really don't want to lose this hen if possible. Thanks for any help.
  2. violetsky

    violetsky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2011
    Huntsville, Alabama
    I've had good luck just dipping a weak chickens bill in sugar water a couple of times.
    It doesnt seem like they ingest much but it will give them a little kick start. Then
    raise the temperature and give crumbled boiled eggs, tempting live mealworms, greens
    or anything thats attractive to eat. Keep her warm, dry, with good lighting after that with good food and leave
    her alone. Too much handling is exhausting, its always risky business medicating and
    treating, its like one necessary big step backward to start little baby steps forward.
  3. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis
    Quote:x 2
    You could give her electrolytes/vitamins in her water. TSC carries some in 3 packs called Sav-A-Chik.
    Worms are also good for getting her protein levels up. Sick chickens need extra protein and vitamins A, D & K, especially A.
    Boil up some broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin & mash it up a little, or give her some tomato juice for some extra vitamin A.
    I sure hope she is feeling better soon for you.
  4. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Sorry you're having problems. Make sure she is getting grit while she is separated, in order to digest the tempting treats. You could ask the vet if antibiotics in the water might help.
  5. hoosier

    hoosier Chillin' With My Peeps

    In addition to all of the great info here -
    If she won't eat and you have to force her: Mix Karo syrup with oatmeal and use a syringe. You might have to put it in a coffee/herb grinder or something first to break it down into small enough particles.
    I hope she perks up soon for you.

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