Help! Dying Bird! Not eating/drinking; watery, white/yellow diarrhea.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bosmatthews, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. bosmatthews

    bosmatthews Hatching

    Oct 28, 2007
    Help!!! My six month old Barred Rock (named "Slate") was acting normally on Saturday but on Sunday I noticed she was listless; standing in the yard, sleeping with her head tucked, while my other three chickens were busily running around and foraging. I then noticed that she was producing watery, yellow or white "diarrhea", although some of her poo also looks normal. Her vent area and rear feathers are very messy with diarrhea stuck to the feathers. I don't see any sign of blood in her poo. Her only other symptoms appear to be loss of appetite and thirst. She doesn't seem to want to eat or drink at all. [​IMG]

    I've separated her from the other birds, put her in a large plywood box with a light bulb for warmth. I've tried to tempt her to eat by preparing a warm mash with some yogurt mixed in. A couple of times she's taken a little, but I'm REALLY WORRIED SHE'LL DIE OF DEHYDRATION. [​IMG]

    Up till now she's always been a healthy, robust bird. I have no idea what could suddenly have made her become so ill. A couple of my four birds, which I raised from chicks over the summer, have just started laying, but I don't think this one has. COULD SHE BE EGG BOUND? I'm afraid to try to check, because I'm worried about traumatizing her and killing her from stress.

    Even if I knew of some medication to give her, I'm not sure how I would get her to take it, since she's not eating or drinking much. Any suggestions?

    I CAN'T FIND A VET THAT WORKS WITH CHICKENS. I live in Central Vermont. Does anyone else happen to live in Vermont and know of a poultry-experienced Veterinarian?

    ANY HELP ANYONE CAN PROVIDE WILL BE MOST APPRECIATED!!! We really don't want to lose our beloved Slate, or any of our other birds, for that matter.

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2007
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    If she is eggbound you will usually see straining...could it be cocci?? Are there any other symptoms (It would be very wise to get a faecal asap to the vet to have examined)
    You need to add electrolytes to the waterer if you are concerned about dehydration (while you are concerned about this then wet the feed or add cooked oatmeal to it) ...if you do not have proper electrolytes then you can give some pedialyte (childrens ORS) or Gatorade will do in a pinch till you can get some.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2007
  3. bosmatthews

    bosmatthews Hatching

    Oct 28, 2007
    Thanks so much for your help, Unicorn. Is straight Gatorade OK or should I dilute it? If she won't drink it, should I try to force her? As far as I can tell, she hasn't had anything to drink in 24 hours. It's not warm here, but still, I wonder how long she can life without taking in fluids?

    Not sure about Cocci. I don't see blood in her poo, but her rear area is red and maybe a bit bloody. I've never seen the other birds pecking her, so I'm not sure how it got that way.

    In the meantime, I'm trying to find a vet who can diagnose her, but the vets around here don't seem to be interested in chickens.

    Thanks again...

  4. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    When Phoebe (our Barred Rock) broke her beak and wouldn't drink (or eat) on her own, I hand-fed and hand-watered her. I used an eye dropper for the water/electrolyte mix, just dribbled it along the side of her beak and she would open to let it in and drink. (At the time she was sitting on my lap and my left arm was around her holding her still.) For food I used a baby-medication syringe in the same manner, with soft food like yogurt, as well as pushing small balls of soft bread on the side of her beak till she opened and ate them. Of course this was probably all easier since she was perfectly fine with being held and really in fact seemed to take comfort in it, didn't struggle to get away. But maybe you could do something similar just to get her strength back? Other than that I have no idea what to do. Good luck, my heart goes out to you, having just been there!
    Best wishes
  5. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    I just want to add that there doesn't have to be blood for cocci to be present. Usually when you see blood, damage is occuring to internal organs. Also, any vet can diagnose cocci and you can buy cocci meds at any farm/feed store or Tractor supply. Call a vet and ask them if they will look at a fecal sample for coccidiosis. It shouldn't cost more than $20 in most areas. Dogs and cats can get cocci too, so no reason they should decline the look for you. Just tell them you have a suspicion and would like it confirmed.


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