Guys I need some advice!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CooperCreekFarm, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. CooperCreekFarm

    CooperCreekFarm In the Brooder

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    One of my Black Swedish Hens was broody a couple of weeks ago. She was fine up until this week. Her head has lost all of her feathers and is bleeding. She is eating & drinking. I dusted her with DE this week thinking it might have been mites. She looks aweful & is very lethargic. I am giving her antiobiotics today & will continue this for a week. I can't see any mites on her. She is emaciated! Could she have internal parasites causing this? I am going to put some vaseline on her poor head. I isolated her from the flock & am keeping her warm. Any good advice is appreciated!!!
     
    chickenmeadow likes this.
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    Hi

    I'm sorry your hen is sick.

    Feather loss and bleeding from the head is almost always caused by other chickens, either pecking order issues, mating damage or the chicken is sick and the flock have set upon her. It sounds to me like the latter and your girl is sick.

    Was she definitely broody 2 weeks ago or just staying in the nest box overnight. What other signs of broodiness did you see? If she is emaciated, she has been losing condition for some time and I would suspect that she was ill 2 weeks ago. What did you do about her "broodiness"?

    How old is she? Has she shown any signs of lameness or wry neck or a dropped wing in the past few months?

    Wasting/loss of body condition is often associated with crop impaction. Have you checked her crop function? Is it going down overnight? Check at bedtime and remove access to food and then check again first thing in the morning.... when it should be empty. If it is not, then you need to start massaging it to try to break the contents down. Coconut oil is beneficial in helping with this process.
    You are right to provide heat for her if she is skinny. A heat source is one of the most beneficial things for a sick bird.
    Personally I am not a fan of using antibiotics unless there is a known bacterial infection. They damage the gut flora which is not helpful in an already sick bird and overuse has lead to an increase in antibiotic resistance, but I appreciate that everyone has their own ideas.
    If you are concerned about possible internal parasites, get a faecal sample examined for worm eggs. This can be done by any veterinary practice or there are mail order lab service options. Again, putting unnecessary chemicals into her body when she is already sick is not beneficial, so it is important to assess whether a wormer is required and if so, which one.
    Talking of faecal samples, what does her poop look like? Can you post a photo of her poop and the hen herself?

    It is good that she is eating and drinking. Do you have some Poultry Nutri Drench or Poultry Cell. These vitamin rich tonics can give them a boost and help support their immune system. I would also give her some quality treats like meat, egg, fish, insects. Liver is relatively cheap and full of good nutrients..... only feed these if her crop is functioning properly though and make sure she has access to grit in her infirmary cage.

    Other common things that can cause emaciation are being bullied from the food station, cancer and in extreme cases, parasitic burden.

    Good luck with her.
     
    ChickNanny13 and micstrachan like this.
  3. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    Hold up...don't just jump to antibiotics.
    They are not a cure all.
     
    ChickNanny13 and Spartan22 like this.
  4. CooperCreekFarm

    CooperCreekFarm In the Brooder

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  5. CooperCreekFarm

    CooperCreekFarm In the Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2018
    Thank you for advise. Her crop was empty. She is a year old & yes she was broody. Sat on eggs nonstop! I have nutridrench & will give her some of that. Since I have isolated her she is eating like a little pig! So, I suspect the other girls were picking on her.
     
  6. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    This is actually great news!
    I hope she continues and gets better for ya!
    WOOT!
     
  7. chickenmeadow

    chickenmeadow Crowing

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    Happy to hear that your young broody is isolated & doing well. My first instinct is to go for the easiest possible problem & act on that first (until it becomes clear that the problem is bigger & more drastic).

    That broody instinct is so strong, they are willing to put up with a lot just to keep setting. It's amazing, right! My 1st time broody hatched all 4 viable eggs & she did everything that a good broody would do to raise healthy chicks. It was so cool to watch the stages they went through. My only job was to keep her & the chicks safe from the other "jealous" hens, by maintaining a separate area. The pic is of "Blue" & her chicks on a temporary outing in the coop & out of their protected area in the coop. She is swinging her head at the jealous Black Australorp that ended up pecking 2 of them severely a few minutes later. I didn't know what was going to happen, then I had to do heavy supervision after that. Now at about 7 wks old, the chicks get out alone twice daily inside the coop gaining with more & more acceptance by the flock. Have fun with yours, you have a lot to look forward to. Best wishes. Jan 2018 BLUE & 4 chicks out for a stretch in coop.jpg
     

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