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HELP! Found chicken splayed outside and not in coop at night

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sunshineyarns, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. sunshineyarns

    sunshineyarns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2011
    I have an almost 4 year old, white Americauna who I found outside of the coop tonight! I was reading to my baby in our bedroom, and heard chicken noises out back (at around 7:30 pm tonight). Of course I ran outside to see what was going on, and our girl Luna was splayed out on the ground by the waterer.

    I had a screaming baby I had to attend to first, but did get the chicken inside in a box in our bathroom. I just did a good overall check of her and this is what I can find:

    She is breathing crazy heavy and can't stand up. Her legs almost seem paralyzed?!
    Her pea comb is damaged (I'm thinking the other chickens were curious and picked on her some??) There is some blood around the comb and blood around her beak. But, that seems like a separate issue here.
    She seems distressed. She kind of lays there for a few minutes and then gets unhappy and thrashes a little and makes some noise. I know she is mad she can't get up. She is HOT too.

    I need to do more digging on the threads here, but wanted to put out the info ASAP!! Please HELP!!
     
  2. sunshineyarns

    sunshineyarns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2011
    A little more info too:

    I am dropping some water along her beak, which she seems okay with. I was trying to see if she wanted yogurt as well. No dice.

    It doesn't appear as if she injured anything as far as I can tell.

    And, she did molt late this year. All her feathers have been in for at least a few weeks now. No eggs from her yet of course. Her vent area seems normal as far as I can tell. Its not hard at all.

    We did do some vitamins in the waterer for all the girls a few weeks back, and they all get oyster shell added to their layer feed. They get a mix of no corn no soy, and regular corn layer feed, plus scratch each day. And, they do free range in our yard from time to time in addition to their closed in 40 ftx12 ft space. We also give them kitchen scraps -- mainly fruit and veggie, seeds and yogurt.
     
  3. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    is it possible she has a broken/sprained leg? That would be my first suspision....I would also check for bite marks from a predator, and check in on the other girls...as far as her being hot, it is possible that she is just stressed, but I am no expert...hopefully, someone with similar experience can chime in quickly...for now, check her legs, see if there is a break/sprain...try to keep her from thrashing around too much. wrap her (gently) if necessary.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  4. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    okay, your update just posted. I would wrap her gently in a kitchen towel (preferably one without loops of fabric that she can get her toes caught on), with her legs tucked under her in a natural position, perhaps even cover her eyes to help her calm down...you could run cool water over her if you think she is overly hot, but I would be careful not to send her into shock...sounds like potential predator attack, or at least startle. Do you think she could have spooked and flown from the roost, and banged into something (leg injury + heavy breathing...perhaps she "knocked the wind out" of herself)? I might go check the coop to see if there is evidence of predator interest.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  5. sunshineyarns

    sunshineyarns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! My husband will be home soon, and we can check the legs out better. They both seem to be doing the same thing, so it doesn't appear to be a sprain.

    Also, no bite marks or anything. We have them in an enclosed run with an 8-10 foot electric fence. Nothing to date has gotten in there. So, I can probably rule that out. I did just go check out the coop and the other birds all seem happy and content and the run seems secure.

    I am seriously concerned about her breathing. She could have just worked herself up so much being apart from the other girls (and outside at night). We had 8 chickens but have lost 2 this year (one due to crop issues we think, and another with a tumor).

    Anyways, I can take her to the vet tomorrow... but I'm just concerned with where we are tonight. I do have some Duramyacin on hand. Would that be helpful? Can chickens have a fever??
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  6. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would wait on antibiotics until there is good reason for them. Antibiotics are not a go-to triage treatment as much as calming her down and keeping her stable. It sounds to me like she banged into something, and potentially injured her pelvis (if you say her legs are BOTH affected) or spine...the heavy breathing COULD be from stress (but it is also possible in this situation, that she fractured her spine, which would also increase her rate of breathing), and the high body temp would be a natural reaction to an injury (unless she was already sick, and it just wasn't noted...chickens are prey animals, and with all prey animals, showing signs of illness is a death sentence in the wild. They wouldn't show visible symptoms until there is a SERIOUS problem). So, it's possible the high body temp is an underlying illness [not serious yet], or a reaction to a sudden stressor. I would just wrap her, keep her calm, and wait till you can get her to the vet as opposed to administering oral antibiotics when she is already stressing. In fact, with your concerns about her heavy breathing coupled with her tendency to thrash around at the moment, I would not administer ANYTHING orally...the risk of aspiration is too high right now imho.

    I hope it is nothing too serious...I want to know what the vet has to say when you can get her there! good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  7. sunshineyarns

    sunshineyarns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you!! Yeah, I wrapped her up and turned off the light in the bathroom and am just letting her be. She could have injured herself out there somewhere. She is the crazy one who comes flying out of the coop in the morning.

    My husband said she was 100% fine this morning and was jumping at him for food. OY! I love having chickens but this is the hard part. I was a mess when we lost our first girl on New Years Day. We felt so bad, as we had been out of town the week before, and got home to a crazy cold snap. It took us a few days to catch on to her being sick. And, by then it was too late. I'm just sad tonight... I'm going to just let her be and will check on her before bed tonight.
     
  8. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sending good thoughts your way! It is always tough when they get ill...by the time we are able to tell something is wrong, they've usually been ill for a while. Too bad we can't convince them we are there to help, so they don't need to hide symptoms from us! Keep us updated, please!
     
  9. sunshineyarns

    sunshineyarns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2011
    I really appreciate your help. Its just been one of those days...
     
  10. sunshineyarns

    sunshineyarns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so, so sad to say that our Luna girl just passed away. I was here in the office and heard some flapping... I went in and literally pet her while she took her last couple of breaths. I'm just hysterical, as this was so sudden.

    That is my white Luna girl below :) She was an amazing layer... with these gorgeous and delicious blue eggs. I'm going to miss her so...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014

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