HELP, I have a sick chicken!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mrcush, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. mrcush

    mrcush Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 18, 2012
    Southeast Michigan
    Hello Everyone! It has been probably a couple years since I've been on here and I'm looking for some help. I got home from work early this afternoon and noticed my Road Island Red was in the coop kind of slouched over and her feathers were all fluffed up. I didn't think nothing of it but she is still there hours later. I did pick her up and take her out once this afternoon and massaged her belly and butt and she let me do it which is highly unusual. No runny nose, her eyes and everything else look fine except for what I explained above. She was out free ranging yesterday. Does anyone have and advice, suggestions or thoughts on what could be wrong with her?

    I just went out and checked on her again and she is still breathing but barely. She is on the floor of the coop, head tucked under a shelf. Can anyone help? I think at this point although I'm horribly sad, that I'm more worried about the rest of my flock.

    Thanks
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    How old is she, and has she been laying eggs? Can you stick a finger inside her vent an inch or two to check for a stuck egg? How does her crop feel--empty, full, hard, or puffy? Can you see any tiny bugs around her vent, under wings, or around her neck (lice and eggs or mites?) It is nighttime, but when you can, can younoffer her some water with some SaveAChick electrolytes and a little chopped egg? Check her breastbone to see if she has lost any weight lately. Have you added any new birds recently, or have you had any illnesses in your flock?
     
  3. mrcush

    mrcush Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She has lost weight for sure. I isolated her last night but she is doing the same thing today. She has not been laying eggs for a while. I massaged her yesterday in the belly and I don't feel any eggs. I did check her crop.
     
  4. mrcush

    mrcush Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is around 4 years old
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Since she no longer is laying and is older, it could be internal laying or egg yolk peritonitis. Sometimes we can only guess at the problem by looking over any obvious symptoms, and we may not discover the actual problem until after they die and a necropsy is performed. Many people do them at home to look for egg masses or fluid in the belly, abnormal looking liver or other organs, looking at the inside of the gizzard and crop, and taking a look at the intestines inside and out. The state vet or poultry lab can do a professional necropsy with laboratory tests.
    Hopefully she will perk back up with a little TLC--I have had a couple near death who have recovered well enough to enjoy life with their flocks, but not lay eggs.
    I have chickens from 2 to 6 years old, and I am starting to see more cases of hens not laying and losing weight. I haven't necropsied many who died because they have tended to die during blizzards or other inconvenient times. The one I did do died from an impacted gizzard. I have suspected egg peritonitis in a few. Here is some reading about reproductive disorders and a link about necropsy:
    http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx
    http://scoopfromthecoop.nutrenaworld.com/tag/laying-issues/
    http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
    http://vet.uga.edu/oldvpp/programs/afvet/attachments/how_to_necropsy_a_bird.pdf
     
  6. mrcush

    mrcush Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. It's been about 24 hours since I noticed this and I can verify that she is not eating or drinking. It's just so strange that she was out the day before free ranging with the rest of my girls.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Sick chickens can be tube fed water and baby bird feed while sick to keep them alive to help recover from illnesses. Feeding tubes can be fashioned out of plastic tubing or bought from a vet, and large syringes may be purchsed at feed stores. KayTee bird feed is used commonly, but I would start with water treated with vitamins and electrolytes (SaveAChick or other brands) first to get her re-hydrated. Here is a good thread about that if you want to try that: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/805728/go-team-tube-feeding
     

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