Had to take my hen to the vet today, still don't know what's wrong with her.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by das Huhnchen, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. das Huhnchen

    das Huhnchen Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2012
    Fort Collins, CO
    She's an Ameraucana, hatched out on 4/20/12 with 3 other chicks of various breeds. She's always been the largest and most aggressive of the 4. For the last month or so, she's been slow, not hanging out with the other hens. I thought maybe she's been knocked down on the pecking order for not laying an egg yet.

    Today she was just standing there with her tail down and her eyes closed. Sometimes she'll just hang by herself inside the tractor when the others are out free ranging. She has very runny poo and a dirtier bottom than the rest of the girls. Seems to eat and drink well. They're housed in a 3x5 sq. foot tractor with a 3x8 sq. foot enclosed yard, free choice lay mash, good fruit/veggie chicken treats, and water. They get out nearly every day. My other 3 hens are laying nearly every day and seem happy and healthy, energetic and very attentive. Especially if I have Cheerios. She was, however, quite a challenge to catch and acted like a chicken when we needed to crate her for transport!

    Vet did an extensive exam. And found nothing unusual except that she's a bit under weight. No parasites in the fecal. Looked down her gullet, heart and lungs sound good. Vet didn't feel an impacted egg and palpated her pretty well, enough to move urine out. Her vent looked normal. She gave her 200ml of fluids, penicillin g, a calcium supplement and tube fed her something, not sure what it was. Suggested I keep her in where it's warm so she's in the house. I got her some spinach and creamed corn and oatmeal to add to her lay mash. See how she feels over the weekend and go from there.

    $131+ later, and I'm wondering if I'm nuts and so is my husband! Can anyone give me some help on this poor hen. I need ideas on getting her weight back up, too. Evidently I'm not feeding her right if she's underweight? Could the other hens be pestering her? Do hens get depression? She's just standing there with her tail drooped and head down and eyes closed. I just want to cuddle her, but she hates it.

    Thanks, in advance, for any insight and advice.
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    You're not nuts. I spent $265.00 on one of my roosters last year. [​IMG] And he died a couple of months later from something else. [​IMG]
    thing is, not even vets know all there is to know about chickens, they're a mystery. Just feed her as well as you can, and do what the vet says. Maybe she'll pull through for you. Good luck, idk what she could have, sorry.
  3. Susanjoans

    Susanjoans Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 23, 2012
    I'm sorry. I had a vet visit today too, and am trying to decide what to do next, so I feel for you. It's hard!
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Stop feeding your birds fruits/vegetables, Cheerios, spinach, creamed corn, oatmeal and whatever human foods you are feeding them. No wonder why the Ameraucana has diarrhea and losing weight. I'm surprised the others arnt doing the same.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    It may sound harsh, but Dawg is right. This trend of feeding birds human foods, or an abundance of things that can hinder health, can cause many problems. If you ever watch chickens picking and scratching on range, they are selective about what they eat. Chickens are omnivores but that doesn't mean they can benefit from some of these foods people give them.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    A few questions

    1. Is she vaccinated for Marek's?
    2. When was she last wormed and with what wormer?
    3. Did the vet do any lab work?
    4. Did the vet recommend antibiotics?
    5. Can you post a picture of her poop?

    And no, you're not nuts, just lucky to be able to spend the money on your hen. That's not an option for many people.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  7. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 10, 2007
    BC Canada
    Also check her for egg bound.
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    The vet checked her for that.
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop

    This is a cut and paste from another post of mine

    When mine get sick, this is what I do:

    • Thorough exam which includes inserting a gloved, lubed finger into the cloaca, check for cuts, bruising lumps etc.
    • Dust for mites/lice with poultry dust even if I cannot see any. DE does not work.
    • Weigh on digital kitchen scale (see avatar), record weight and weigh daily. any weight loss is bad.
    • Place bird in a warm, quiet place on towel with food and water that it can't drown in.
    • De-worm with Safeguard or Panacur, liquid or paste 50mg/kg by mouth and repeat in 10 days.
    • Once warm, if not drinking, and crop is empty, hydrate with warmed Pedialyte or lactated ringers with a feeding tube - 30ml/kg every 6-8 hours.
    • If not eating after 24 hours and crop is empty, tube feed baby bird food mixed with Pedialyte
    • Inspect poop.
    • If I suspect a stuck egg, treat for egg binding.
    • If I suspect a bacterial infection, treat with antibiotics.

    From: http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/avmed/cam/07_emergency_and_critical_care.pdf
    Supportive Care
    Sick birds are often hypothermic and should be placed
    in heated (brooder-type) enclosures

    b (Fig 7.7) in a quiet
    environment (see Chapter 1, Clinical Practice). A temperature
    of 85° F (29° C) with 70% humidity is desirable
    for most sick birds. If brooders are not equipped with a
    humidity source, placing a small dish of water in the
    enclosure will often supply adequate humidity. A moist
    towel that is heated and placed on the bottom of a cage
    or incubator rapidly humidifies the environment, as indicated
    by the fogging of the acrylic cage front.

    Oral Administration
    Oral administration is the ideal method of giving fluids.
    This method is more commonly used in mildly dehydrated
    birds or in conjunction with subcutaneous (SC)
    or intravenous (IV) therapy. Oral rehydration (30 ml/kg
    PO q 6-8 h) also may be used in larger birds (eg, waterfowl)
    that are difficult to restrain for parenteral fluid
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop

    False negative fecals for parasites are possible, I think you should worm her. Talk to your vet!

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