Help for sick hen- desperately need to get her to eat!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HandfulOfHope, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. HandfulOfHope

    HandfulOfHope New Egg

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    I am relatively new to chicken keeping but have always followed along here on this site and now I am in need of some advice myself...
    I have hen (lowest in the pecking order) who developed sour crop- I caught it because she was acting extra lethargic- but not before she had apparently lost a terrible amount of weight (which I didn't catch because of all her feathers!)
    Initially I brought her in, emptied her crop and she perked up a bit- then after some time I fed small amount of scrambled eggs (which she initially ate) and yogurt (which she wouldnt touch) Since she was already so skinny and had stopped eating I decided i couldnt wait to take her to a vet- who does treat birds but I didn't feel too confident about his knowledge- he agreed that she had sour crop- he gave her a steroid injection ( I'm not clear on what that was for) and sent us home with Nystatin which I have been treating with for three days. I am also giving her vitamin water, and vegetable broth with probiotics but I figure the Nystatin probably doesn't discriminate and will likely kill the good bacteria too.
    She is slightly less lethargic than she was before but not much and she is barely eating- she will eat three pecks of eggs and a little water and that will be it for the day and so she is also barely pooping (although what there is looks a LITtLE healthier) but no matter what she has (a few sips of water, meds, etc.) her crop just bloats up with gas which I have to massage away over the next few hours. She is so thin I am terrified that if she doesn't get some more nutrition in her soon she will get too weak to go on.
    I am wondering if there is any product ( I know there is for dogs and cats and other mammals) that I can get that she will eat no matter how poorly she is feeling that has crucial nutrients in it- or else if anyone has any feeding suggestions of something that chickens are crazy about. I don't want to feed her anything very fibrous since she's not digesting well bit I need to get something into her - and hopefully something that won't create a lot of gas.
    I am pretty afraid to try and tube feed her since i haven't done it before and I don't have anyone to help me.
    Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  3. HandfulOfHope

    HandfulOfHope New Egg

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    Thanks, every bit helps! i will get some electrolytes at the pet store...I think there may be some in the vitamin mix but best to be sure!
     
  4. Klutch

    Klutch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can force feed her night crawlers. There something worms that perk them up.
    Good luck!
     
  5. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NO to the night crawlers. Sounds like her sour crop has not been resolved. Sour crop can be either bacterial or fungal. Search forum for other suggestions regarding sour crop as there are several.

    she needs food and the best way is to tube feed. Here is a link for tube feeding.

    www.backyardchickens.com/t/805728/go-team-tube-feeding

    You can also use aquarium tubing,slightly melt one end of tubing,this help tube slide in easier.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. HandfulOfHope

    HandfulOfHope New Egg

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    The vet did do a crop swab and said there was yeast present- if it was bacterial and fungal I'm wondering if that is why he gave the steroid shot as well? but it's not working maybe? I guess I will have to muster up the courage to tube feed her but will this even help if her crop is still sour and she can't digest? Her crop definitely feels smaller than it did before treatment but she's still doing the twitchy neck thing I think from the gas but also now sort ofsmacking her beak as though it's sticky in her mouth...should I keep up the nystatin and should I be doing something more if it is bacterial too? I thought nnystatin covered fungal and bacterial...she is still so sweet through everything I have to do to her....so sad
     
  7. ChickEngineer

    ChickEngineer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been fighting a similar problem with one of my girls for about two weeks now.
    It started out when I noticed a small piece of egg membrane hanging out of her vent. Removed the membrane piece and checked inside for possible broken egg, nothing there. The feed store gave me some antibiotic which I gave her for three days. She has been very lethargic and is not eating anything but grass and drinking some water. Will not eat meal worms or yogurt, both her favorites.
    Crop has been getting smaller, she has been passing a clear, yellow & white liquid.
    Now that the rain is over, put her out on the lawn and she is eating grass and pecking around, still not interested in meal worms.
    Just don't know where to go from here?
     
  8. HandfulOfHope

    HandfulOfHope New Egg

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    I hear you... I guess experience is the best teacher which is why this site is great- it's just a hard way to learn when you're worried about your birds...
    Let me know how it goes for you!
     
  9. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Delete
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  10. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Poo pictures.......

    http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=17568.0
     

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