Help!! First timer has a sick chicken!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by fishinwife, May 18, 2010.

  1. fishinwife

    fishinwife Hatching

    May 18, 2010
    I just got 5 chickens less than two weeks ago. We have been keeping the three slightly older chickens and the two younger pullets separate. Just today I noticed that when we let her out in the yard, the Americauna pullet (6 weeks old) is not pecking, is acting lethargic and does not make any noise when she is trying to chirp. I have quarantined her and am going to watch her. Do I wait for her to get better, or take action by putting her down? How do I know if she is suffering? I cannot seem to figure out what may be wrong from my research. Do I assume she is really sick or will bounce back? Is she just stressed?
  2. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    I'm a first timer too so I have limited knowledge. Was she doing well in her cage/pen? If so, then I'd say it's stress.

    Here's a bump hoping that someone else can give you some guidance.
  3. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    [​IMG] Glad to have you aboard!

    My expertise is questionable, but I can share what I do. I have one hen that gets lethargic from time to time. I used to take the lethargic one in the house to put her in the dark to give her a rest from egg laying. Some will advise this. It may be a good move. For me, I have taken the position to leave her be and after a few days she seems to perk up. I do add ACV (apple cidar vinegar) to the water. That seems to help. 1 tablespoon per gallon. Many folks like to use ACV. Most will tell you it must be organic with a "mother" (grey cloudy mass) in it. I just use the kind at the normal store. It works. They do better with it.

    In terms of what may be the real problem with her, I have no idea, but others may. Other things that I see recommended are to feed scrambled eggs, oatmeal and live culture yogurt to get them to eat. I haven't tried this though.

    Good luck and again [​IMG]
  4. AndreaS

    AndreaS Songster

    Mar 5, 2010
    Hurdle Mills, NC
    Without any other obvious symptoms it may be hard to tell. The organic apple cider vinegar in her water is good. I would seperate her and give her a dish of very finely scrambled eggs. Get some poly-vi-sol baby vitamins WITHOUT IRON. Dribbled a few drops along her beak line twice a day. Make sure she eats and drinks. Watch out for other symptoms......get a good look at her poo. Check for blood/worms. Also, check her vent for pasting up. I have heard of this happening once with older chicks, although its not common.

    Is her crop full? Check tomorrow morning to make sure it empties. Also, check her nostrils for drainage and crustiness. Hold her chest to your ear and see if you hear any crackling in her chest. Make sure she is breathing okay. Has it been hot where you are? Has she been panting?

    If you notice any other symptoms. Post them. Maybe someone will know what's going on with her. Let us know how her poo looks.

    I'm no expert, but have spent a ton of time researching chicken illnesses here and elsewhere. I have a lot of articles that I have saved and may be able to steer you in one direction if We can narrow it down.

    Is she vaccinated for anything? What kind of feed are you giving?

    Good luck! And keep us updated.
  5. I just had one of my 10 week old chicks acting this way. I brought her inside. I gave her food and water and added antiobiotic and some sugar to the water. She ate really well when I put the food right in front of her, but she would not walk to it. She was very lethargic and would not even stand up on her own. I use an eyedropper and put it under her beek and slooooowly squeezed water until she started drinking a little. I did this for awhile. I kept her with me for about an hour or so then I made her a box in my kitchen by my baby chicks where she would get a little extra warmth from their heat lamp. It took three days, but she is finally doing better and I was able to put her back outsid with the rest of her friends.

    She had stayed outside of the enclosure in the run one night when it rained and was cold and wet in the morning, so I think she had a cold or something.

    Anyway the stuff I put in the water is the same stuff I use when they are first hatched. It is dyramycian (Sorry, can't spell) and you just put a pinch in the water. Just enough to turn it a pale yellow. It is about $5-$6 at your local feed store and the packet will make lots and lots of doses. The directions are for making like 100 gallons at a time.

    Hope she gets better.

    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  6. babsbag

    babsbag Songster

    Jan 12, 2010
    Anderson, CA
    In my very limited experience with chickens my first thought would be coccidiosis. It seems to be in the soil everywhere you live. If you see any blood in her droppings you will know that is what she has. It is very common, and not really contagious the way a virus would be, but if one chick has it they probably all will get it.

    It is easy to treat if you catch it soon. You use Corid or Sulmet in their water. I would treat all the birds that have access to the soil. It is a 5 day treatment. I can never remember the dosage, but I know it is posted on BYC.

    Even my chicks that have been on medicated food have gotten this.
  7. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
  8. AndreaS

    AndreaS Songster

    Mar 5, 2010
    Hurdle Mills, NC
    I would hesitate to use any medication or antibiotic until you have at least some idea of what the problem is. Using antibiotics with caution is underrated I think....there are only so many drugs that can be used on poultry, and they are getting less effective because they are over used. We all want treatment to be effective on our birds when they really need it.

    Great article, cheerfulheart. Thanks!
  9. a2ms4chickens

    a2ms4chickens Songster

    Dec 16, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I would start by giving her some vitamin water, and scrambled eggs, yogurt, and/or oatmeal, if she isn't exhibiting any symptoms of illness.

    If you notice anything wrong with her breathing, or poo, look for mites or lice, runny nose, etc., post it and we can try to help you from there.

    Good luck!!


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