HELP Hen sits on floor and only stares upwards

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Gulfvet30, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Gulfvet30

    Gulfvet30 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2012
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    Hi everyone,

    i have a young hen (6-8)months old. Since yesterday morning all she does is sit on the floor not moving all day and stares up at the ceiling. She is so lethargic, she lets me pick her up, stroke her etc. even though she is one of the nervous/shy ones. Does anyone have any ideas what could be wrong. I´ll add a few pics shortly.

    Thanks in advance

    Mark
     
  2. Gulfvet30

    Gulfvet30 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2012
    Waldheim, Germany
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  3. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, Mark ... most probably a thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, but there's also the possibility of toxins (botulism, algae, aflatoxins, etc.).

    :: edit :: forgot to mention ... I'm differentiating from other deficiencies, and leaning toward thiamine over intoxification, based upon which muscles in her neck that appear to be paralyzed. Once you've treated her, and read up? You'll see why :: /edit ::

    As soon as you get this far? Go immediately 'n change out the water for an astringent solution of Apple Cider Vinegar at the rate of four teaspoons to the gallon (but not in galvanized metal containers). Don't even finish reading yet, unless you've gotta run to the store. In that case? Pick up some chicken-safe foods that are high in thiamine if she's still able to eat, or a thiamine supplement that you can dose her w/ as soon as you get back.

    >> peck here << for Cornell University's overview of thiamine metabolism, which is coincidentally an excellent bookmark for you as well, as it's a database of plants that are toxic to livestock ...
    >> peck here << for Merck Vet Manual's explanation of Polyneuritis (the fancy name for thiamine deficiency ~'-)

    Now, back to the ACV ... most of the credit goes to the tannin it contains, as it serves to reduce the viscosity of mucus, and 'cuts through' the coatings in the mouth, throat and intestines. This is a treatment for toxic substances, but also an excellent way to improve the uptake of nutrients/vitamins, which helps correct this problem most quickly. For certain -- it won't harm a single feather, no matter what's goin' on w/ your bird, and it might save her.

    As for the foods/diet? First off, you're gonna wanna consider all your birds as deficient at some level, and you need to stop the amprolium (medicated feed) if you've been usin' it. Most commercial feeds are somewhat deficient on the soluble vitamins, and thiamine is what amprolium blocks -- the coddicia are fifty times more sensitive than their host, but over time? It can sorta starve the chicken, too.

    Ironically? Eggs are normally a great boost for chickens, but dairy products (esp. yogurt, or cheese) would be better. Crushing up sesame or sunflower seeds will help. But, way up at the top of every list: Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite) provide 0.5 mg of thiamine in each teaspoon full, and it's really high in riboflavin as well (which is most probably low as well). Initially, supplement throughout the day, since these are water soluble vitamins. Adding a supplement to the water as well is an excellent idea, under these circumstances.

    >> peck here << for Merck's general section on deficiencies, which is another good one to read, while you're watin' for your bird to improve. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) might be another concern, as diet are normally borderline deficient on it as well ... from this same link: Thiamine deficiency is most common when poorly processed fish meals are used, because they contain thiaminase enzyme. In such situations, adding extra thiamine may be ineffective. In regular diets, deficiency is prevented by supplements of thiamine at 4 mg/kg. <-- but this one needs considerably more.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
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  4. P-Funk

    P-Funk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry, Gul. My favorite girl Penny (also a RIR) had the same problem. Cowcreek seems quite educated, but my 'bird' vet thought she was eggblocked. He 'cleaned her out' with some rubber gloves and pumped her full of fluids. Two hours later I buried her in the yard. If you ever wanted to see a grown man cry that would have been your day. If I had to do it again, I would try to get on her feet and moving, stick her in a nesting box and pray. Wishing you the best of luck, P
     
  5. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I try 'n guard my heart by logically accepting that the individual chicken is fragile by God's very design, so that the flocks they form can be most resilient and quick to adapt to their environments, but it still breaks when I see folks so hurt by their loss ... that's what compels me to constantly study.

    Now, you can try 'n harden your heart, but there's always gonna be a few that peck their way through, and -- you've still got a flock to attend to, and new favorites to discover. It's almost futile, this tryin' to resist ... but, hopefully, takin' care of them will help you remember that they need you, too ~'-)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  6. Gulfvet30

    Gulfvet30 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the helpful comments, especially the very thorough Cowcreekgeek [​IMG] theres not much i can do at the moment as it is early Sunday evening here in Germany, so all stores are closed.
    As far as diat goes, they are fed proper poultry food mix which i by from a well known store. The girls are also fed fresh food every day, which varies daily, things such as carrot, potatoes, cabbage lettuce cucumber apples/fruit
    I put what ever fresh food they are getting that day in the mixer, then maybe add joghurt or boiled rice or boiled spaghetti and wheat "

    One thing i have been giving them 1-2 times a week is sugar beet (the farmer planted it in the fields in front of my house, so it was free picking) and they love it.
    Every morning when i go to give them their fresh food, the almost rip my arms they love it that much

    Could the cause possibly be in what i´m feeding them
     
  7. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm just one of those folks that clings onto entirely too much of what he reads, and loves to dig around to solve puzzles.

    Even as I was reading, I remembered there's some foods that work very differently in chickens. There are goitrogenic foods, as Dawg53 made me aware of recently, and ... one of those links I just gave you had info on problems w/ the way thiamine is sometimes metabolized. Bingo! Even *I* shouldn't have remembered such an obscure thing as this ...

    Thiaminases are enzymes that cleave the thiamin molecule and render it biologically inactive. Generally there are two types of thiaminases:
    • Type I - the most common form, this type is found in fish, shellfish, ferns and some bacteria. It acts by displacing the pyrimidine methylene group with a nitrogenous base or SH-compound to eliminate the thiazole ring.
    • Type II - found in certain bacteria, this type acts through th hydrolytic cleavag of the methylene-thiazole-N bond to yield pyrimidine and thiamin moieties.
    [​IMG]
    Both types of thiaminase require a cosubstrate - usually an amine or sulfahydryl-containing compound such as proline or cysteine. Once the thiamin molecule is cleaved by a thiaminase the body is incapable of restoring it. Thus, the ingestion of significant amounts of thiaminases can induce thiamin deficiency even though there may be a sufficient amount of thiamin in the diet.
    Thiaminases are denatured by heat, therefore subjecting any of the sources of thiaminases to cooking or other heat treatment will render the thiaminases inactive.





    SoOo ... she's at a point that she needs you to do somethin' but not really an absolute direction to go w/ certainty here ... save for thinkin' you should flush her system w/ a laxative, and start w/ fresh poultry feed -- something w/ lots of iodine, choline, thiamin and riboflavin. A good dash of sea salt could be added, or iodized salt, by barely spritzing the food before sprinkling some over it. But, first -- clear her system as follows:

    Ideally, do this one:
    1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt in 1 fl oz water
    Place the solution in the crop, by getting past the tongue and slightly to the left (towards the bird's right eye), and NOT into the smaller hole at the base of her tongue.

    If you can't come up w/ epsom salt, then giving her 0.5 fl. oz. of caster oil will also work, but the epsom salt aids in the removal of toxins.

    Now, for the disclaimer ... this is what I think is the best course of action, rather than waiting. I could be completely wrong, but I don't think this should cause her any harm either. And, I think it's worth a try. But -- entirely your call (I'll not be offended, whatever course of action you choose, as she's your bird ~'-)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  8. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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  9. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Star Gazing is a thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, called Polyneuritis, which results most often in the paralysis of the anterior neck muscles, which causes them to appear to be gazing at the sky. It happens to animals, too ...

    [​IMG]


    ... but, when hearing what Mark feeds 'em, it didn't make sense 'til the two words 'thiaminase enzymes' clicked. The bird's diet has both thiamine, and high levels of thiaminases, which are enzymes that cleave the thiamin molecule and render it biologically inactive, creating two problems in order to hopefully treat this bird in time: In order for thiamine supplements to be of any use, the thiaminases have gotta go ...

    Two words for you would be 'veterinary medicine' as somethin' you oughta consider gettin' into ~'-)
     
  10. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    Oh ok.

    Im already into it. [​IMG] Im a vet volunteer and Im planning on becoming a vet.
     

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