Head scratcher....need more ideas...


In the Brooder
6 Years
May 12, 2013
Milton, ON
Hey all, I'm a fairly experienced keeper and this one had me stumped. My one year old Silkie/D'uccle x and cherished pet of the children started acting 'off' a few days ago. Normally she's a fantastic eater, runs to greet me, vibrant and vocal. I found her huddled up with her tail down, feathers fluffed. I brought her in for the night. she was so lethargic, falling asleep in about 5 seconds like a newly hatched chick. I noticed she was bone thin.
For the last two days I have been pureeing nutritious vitamin/egg/fruit slurries, alternating with water, about a tbsp or two at a time. I firmly believe this is the only reason she's alive because she is refusing to eat and drink. I started giving her a .5 mL of baytril too just in case it's a sickness though I see no outward signs.
Here it is in summary:
1 yr old small hen not eating or drinking. Huddled, feathers fluffed, tail down.
Isolated and syringe fed for 2 days along with .5 mL of Baytril.
What I have checked: her vent with a lubed gloved finger (went in about an inch, no egg), her crop, small and I can feel the rocks in her gizzard. No impaction, I can smoosh the rocks around like a hackysack.
10 ml of olive oil to clear impaction, if that were the cause.
Pooping: matches intake, small and infrequent, but pureed spinach green and the odour will clear a room...doesnt smell like normal poop at all.
She lives in a 'condo' well off the ground with a few d'uccle henmates. They eat lay crumble and the occasional scoop of scratch grain.

what more is there I can do? I can't see/feel anything wrong but she won't eat/drink??

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.
Also, no smell coming from crop. Forgot to say that. But the poop, seriously???!! Whooof!!
Last edited:
It is possible that she could have Mareks disease from the wasting symptoms, but I would go ahead and treat her for coccidiosis with Corid or Amprol for 5 days. Has she been wormed? Once your treatment for cocci is finished treat her with some probiotics (or buttermilk) and vitamins for a few days.
Last edited:
Great ideas. It sounds like we all believe its something gastro/digestive. I will say that she is living with 4 other hens, none other have symptoms of coxi, and there is no blood in her poop, or anybody's. Also, she has been in a breeding cage 4 feet off the gound her entire life, so worms seem an impossibility. Thats why I was leaning toward something crop related.
She is isolated to protect her from any and everything the 'big girls' get. Now I will gladly try sulfa, but I wonder if I should finish the baytril first? Or stop the baytril and start the sulfa? I have that idea in my head that all courses of antib's bust be finished...don't want to mess around with baytril, that's a big one!
Stranger yet she's as right as rain today, perching, still won't touch food or water.
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom