Good-bye Goldilocks (bronchitis ... diarrhea ... fleas (rescue hen))

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by reginak, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. reginak

    reginak Out Of The Brooder

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    I went to a poultry show last Saturday and came home with an "Araucana" pullet (supposedly, but with a tail and no ear muffs), who is perky and healthy, and a miserable salmon faverolle hen, of undetermined age, from the same breeder. I'm afraid the faverolle was one of those end-of-shopping-day fatigue purchases -- I didn't intend to rescue anybody, in fact I didn't even realize she was sick until next day.

    She was wheezing, really loud. Well, she was wheezing on Saturday, too, but I am a VERY inexperienced chicken keeper, and -- well, there's a thread on this forum somewhere, about the strange noises faverolles make, and I just didn't realize that noise was coming from her LUNGS. So I realized on Sunday that she was really very sick. I took her into the house, put her in a cardboard box with pine shavings, gave her a few drops of Sulmet in water and some scratch grains to eat, and my next-door neighbor contributed some kind of neon-yellow liquid vitamins that he had for his pigeons.

    By Monday morning she was no longer wheezing, seemed much better. So much better that I let her out in the yard with the other chickens (I'm so ignorant I didn't even keep her separate from them!). One thing, she drank a LOT of water. Anyway when I picked her up later she seemed to vomit a little. Put her back in the house in her box overnight. In the morning I went to bring her up from the (heated) basement, and she had had some diarrhea but seemed reasonably OK. Not real high energy, but not wheezing or bleary-eyed or moping or anything.

    But she was so filthy with diarrhea and that neon yellow vitamin water all in her beard, and moulting and everything else that I decided if she was going to stay in the house to recuperate, I would have to give her a bath. Turned up the heat, gave her a bath with flea and tick shampoo -- managed not to drown her, although she would not hold her head out of the water! -- blow-dried her and then held her on my lap tucked under my sweatjacket for a few hours so she would be totally dry and warm. That's when I found fleas on her and me -- AFTER the flea shampoo. The pet store down the street was out of bird flea dust but said he might be able to get some in by tomorrow.

    All day long, she didn't eat or drink. She didn't poop either, while she was under my sweatshirt, but after she was totally dry I perched her on the back of a kitchen chair for a few minutes and when I came back she had had diarrhea, splat all over the floor.

    It's dark now so all the birds are gone to bed, the original pair in their coop in the yard, the little Easter-egger in a rabbit cage on the kitchen table, and the sick faverolle in the basement in her box.

    I'm not sure what to do -- how to care for her or how to keep from transmitting what she has to the others. The Easter-egger can't sleep in the coop, she hasn't been accepted into the flock yet, and it's getting down below freezing now at night so I feel like I can't just leave her rabbit cage on the screened porch. So I'm worried about her being in the same space the sick one was in. On the other hand, since she came from the same breeder maybe she's already been exposed to whatever the faverolle has and either got over it, or is just stronger and healthier. So far my original odd couple (a Polish hen and a Serama roo) seem fine, altho I haven't actually inspected them or the EE for lice. Luckily I am able to stay home with them pretty much full-time right now, to keep tabs and do whatever needs doing.

    Advice? Is the crisis passing and I should just keep her warm and contained, with access to food & water? Use the Sevin or whatever the pet store comes up with for bird mites/fleas? Should I give her any more Sulmet? Vitamins? Pedialyte or something?

    **Sigh**

    Ticked that the guy took her to the show in that state, ticked that I ended up with such a high-maintenance bird, embarrassed that I didn't realize the state she was in before I took her on, but it's not her fault, poor girl, so I guess I'm glad to have the chance to nurse her back to health.

    And so very glad that you are here to tell me what you think about this!

    Thank you,
    Regina
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  2. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    First of all, get her back on that sulmet right away.

    By starting her on it and taking her off right away you can make whatever form of respiratory bacteria resistant to the medication in the future..... She should be symptom free for 7days before removing the sulmet.

    For any mites/lice/fleas....I prefer Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE)...but in the absence of that a fowl mite powder will do. If the feed store can't get that right away, you can use sevin dust from your garden store---but I would only do that as a last resort.

    As far as the diarrhea- it is possible that she also has worms--if it's a bacterial problem - the sulmet will take care of that too. I'm not sure I would treat her with a wormer before the sulmet was done though. In the meantime, feed her some plain yogurt with active cultures--that will help here digestive system while you're giving her antibiotics. I also use DE in their feed yearround....but that's another topic for later.

    Don't beat yourself up for not knowing...Those chickens are fortunate that you are willing to look after them the way they should be!

    Sandra
     
  3. reginak

    reginak Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, Sandra! I will put the Sulmet in the water again, and feed some yogurt too, I have it in the fridge. Food grade DE? I only know of DE for gardening, is it the same stuff sold to spray on fruit trees as "Surround"? Wait, that's kaolin clay, is that the same thing? Um..... whatever it is, where do you get food-grade diatomaceous earth? And you put it in their feed too, i.e. they take it internally as well as using it externally for fleas?

    I have so much to learn! I wanted to wring her little chicken neck a couple of times today, for being so needy and maybe endangering my other chickens. But it's not her fault -- the neck I'd really like to wring is her previous owner's!
     
  4. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Gardening DE is NOT the same...and often has things added to it.....

    I use DE as a worm preventative....although I personally believe it works as a wormer as well, but many disagree. Let's leave this part until your chicken is well though...you don't want to introduce too much stuff on a sick chicken!

    The DE also works well for fleas/mites. I use it on all new chickens and it's also in my coops bedding, in the nest boxes and sprinkled over their favorite dusting areas. In the olden days they used to use wood ashes--but not everyone has access to it. I do know when I throw my wood stove ashes in the garden, they will bathe in it!

    I used to get DE on line, because I couldn't get food grade locally, but that recently changed.... (yeah).


    Don't wring her neck!!!! You'll look back on this later and see how much you've learned, and thus be thankful that you can handle just about anything else that comes your way in the future---it's almost always a blessing in disguise--in one way or another.

    Sandra
     
  5. reginak

    reginak Out Of The Brooder

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    Sandra, what kind of store do you get the DE at locally? Feed store? So I have some idea where to look.

    Thanks so much for your patient replies. I will not wring her neck. Hopefully she and I will end up great friends after such an intense bonding experience [​IMG]
     
  6. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well she WAS polite enough to wait to poop til she was out from under your sweater. Good birdie! [​IMG]
    She might have actually held it. I have one bird that will NOT poop on me, she is a sweetie.
    Yea, wring her PREVIOUS owners neck!
     
  7. reginak

    reginak Out Of The Brooder

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    Lord, td, I wonder if that might not actually be true. My little roo I think sometimes holds it. She was clearly enjoying snuggling up under my sweatshirt. If she is still the same tomorrow, wanting to lie around and sleep all day (like me when I'm sick) I will have to insist on her waking up from time to time to drink water (with Sulmet) and eat (at least yogurt)

    Poor sick girl. I HATE being sick!
     
  8. GloriaH

    GloriaH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I have one that isn't feeling well I like to take some quick cooking oatmeal and mix in in with a scrambled egg. Then cook it up in a little cannola oil. Birds seem to love it.
     
  9. reginak

    reginak Out Of The Brooder

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    All right, I could try that, too. Thanks, Gloria. Nobody's laying these days, not even Bebop (the original Pole) (no surprise, she's gotta be stressed with the new girls around), but I still have an egg or two in the fridge.

    Awesome forum. Y'all are the bomb. So glad this is here, I used to belong to a couple of yahoo chicken groups, but -- well, my opinion of yahoo is ..... not all that. This is a much nicer site.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Regina
     
  10. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    molt, seasonal changes all are stress factors which will have the consequence that your bird is eating less and it is advised to give a good supplement in these periods (Avia Charge 2000 is one of the few complete supplements I know of and it can be ordered online from McMurry or Strombergs)... Also your birds will be remaining indoors more and therefore will be more sensitive to dust and ammonia levels...
    You can buy a spray againt external lice / mites at your petstore especially for birds (some feed stores will have for pigeons)...
     

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