Help! I have a traumatized Silkie pullet...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AriadneCastro, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. AriadneCastro

    AriadneCastro Out Of The Brooder

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    Greetings everyone! The situation: I have a young rooster, who started to crow just a week ago, living together with 14 chicks. Ages of the chicks must be between one and two months but I can't be sure, since they all arrived recently (my first flock!) without background information. One thing is certain: no hens are laying and most of them are still making those cute baby noises... Now, the trauma: among the pullets is a Silkie hen, who used to be very proud and outgoing, showing all sings of good health until, two days ago, she was sexually attacked by the rooster. She is obviously too young to mate, and the experience has completely changed her behavior, to the point of rejecting food and hiding in a corner of the coop. I checked for physical injuries but found none. I was really pleased by her temperament and and hoping to make her my incubator for the future, and now I'm starting to fear the worst... will she get over it? They are apart for the time being, but I have limited space and cannot keep them separated for long. Please, any help will be deeply appreciated!
     
  2. AriadneCastro

    AriadneCastro Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok... I'd really appreciate an answer to this, ANY answer, please!! I'll try to give you all information I possibly can:

    - The Silkie was bought on a market, in the beginning of this month, along with 14 other chicks. Some are laying breeds, some are meat birds, but all approximately the same age - maybe a few weeks apart, at the most. The lady told me they were around 2 months old. The Silkie, as far as I can guess, was the oldest of the flock to this point, because she was the only bird with an adult voice. She acted dominantly, with energy and curiosity about the environment, spending many hours hunting for insects and always at the top of the pecking order.

    - Some chicks showed signs of a "cold", as soon as they arrived: sneezing, running noses, some developed noisy breathing and looked sleepy all the time. So, I went to the pharmacy and bought antibiotics for them, have been putting the recommended dose into their water for about one week. Meanwhile, some improved but three of them died, including the one I mentioned in this thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1116529/diseased-chick-is-swollen-and-transparent-help

    - The Silkie, however, didn't look sick at any point, until the trauma (4 days ago). She is drinking the medicated water, though, as they all are, just in case.

    - A couple of days after I bought the chicks, a family friend gave me another 3 birds, namely, a rooster with around 4 months plus two hens, slightly younger.

    - The rooster, being the biggest in the coop, soon became the dominant male but was never too aggressive. I never saw him chasing any chick or using excessive force for any reason. He's also very respectful of me, never pecked one finger.

    - The trauma, as said before, was a mating attempt. I didn't see it the first time, but heard the screams and saw the plucked feathers all over the coop. The poor hen was terrified and also very dirty on her back. No visible injuries, though. Meanwhile, during the moments I spent trying to create a second enclosure out of nothing, he tried to mate with the Silkie again, twice.

    - Since the first attack, Silkie is depressed, almost lethargic. She eats and drinks but everything else is gone. Yesterday I let her out of the enclosure and free-range in the veggie garden, just to see if it would cheer her up. She pecked at a couple of flies but soon went back to being still. I brought another chick out to join her, that seemed to work but only for a while...

    - Besides being introverted, she is showing one more symptom: when she goes into her stillness, she shakes her head in a strange way, as if she had a nervous tic. It is not a steady shaking, rather a more erratic one. When she resumes normal activities like eating, drinking, looking at flies, etc. the shaking stops.

    I need to know if there is anything I can do to help her. I've been combing the entire internet for clues. For the time being, I've managed to divide the enclosure, keeping the rooster on one side with his favorite pullets and the Silkie on the other with her best friends. I have placed an opaque curtain between the two clans, so they won't stress about each other. She is still very depressed, even though I've done everything I could think of...
     
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    The "nervous tic" almost sounds neurological/developmental try some poultry vitamins or Poly Vi Sol (no iron), also vitamin E and Selenium. Offer her wet feed and add a little egg, tuna or meat in with it.
     
  4. SueT

    SueT Overrun With Chickens

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    After reading many posts, and studying articles in The Learning Center on this site, I have learned the best thing to do is to separate the birds don't get along, or to prevent that from happening in the first place when introducing new birds to each other, by putting dividers in the pen(s). They can see but not touch each other.
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I am sorry about your baby. [​IMG] I saw your thread in our New Members section and posted on that before reading this. However I did bring up a few good points you might like to read... https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1116805/greetings-from-portugal#post_17205035

    She may have been injured internally by the Cockerel, however he is also a bit young and may not have figured out how to use his equipment yet. He wouldn't have spurs at this age, so he obviously didn't get her with his spurs. Mating too early in life for pullets can damage the Cloaca which is just inside the vent of the bird. It is the flap, if you will, that opens and closes to release waste or an egg, is the part of the bird that transfers the semen during mating. Young pullets that are not ready for mating don't know how to accept the male and can become harmed. He may have just put too much pressure on her and she has a sprain or a tendon pull. Rough handling by a Cockerel or a Rooster on a young bird can even damage organs...the kidneys are back there and air sacs are on the back up behind the neck.

    I would read through my suggestions in your New Members thread. Obviously she is too young to need worming, so ignore that suggestion. However the rest of it that recommended should be followed. Hard boiled, chopped and warmed eggs are wonderful emergency food for sick birds. Eggs contain all the building blocks of life and can sustain a bird for very long periods of time. Try to get her to eat this. Get her to eat anything she will eat. She may be in shock and shock kills fast. Put a tablespoon of sugar in a quart waterer and fill with water. This will help her with energy and stableize her blood sugar. Keep her inside and in a low lit room. No bright lights noises or commotion. You might put on some quiet music or even a ticking clock to comfort her. I have seen sick birds curl right up to a ticking clock in hospital cages. They love those things.

    Definitely vitamins. The ones I suggested in your other post. Not only do Silkies need them anyway, but she needs them more now than ever.

    All you can do at this point is give her supportive care in the form of quiet, warmth, food, water and more quiet. I sure hope you can bring her out of her funk soon. [​IMG]

    Keep us posted!!
     
  6. AriadneCastro

    AriadneCastro Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you very much for your reply! I don't think the incident caused any serious physical damage, let alone neurological. Even though the rooster is twice her size, he wasn't rough: he's just big and clumsy. I've checked Silkie for injuries and found nothing. Meanwhile, I followed your advices and I'm happy to say that Silkie had a good evening meal. I gave her clan some wet food, added vitamins, egg, tuna and also a bit of yogurt and boiled veggies. They chomped everything down with gusto, especially the tuna. I had no idea they were so crazy about fish! She is still not herself, but your recipe certainly cheered her up!
     
  7. AriadneCastro

    AriadneCastro Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for you reply! I've already separated them into two groups, trying to put together the ones that get along well. However, letting them see each other seems to be a bad idea for the time being. The rooster keeps jumping over the fence if he sees the hen and, on the other side, Silkie hides in the smallest corner at the mere sight of him. When I put up the curtain, she finally relaxed a bit and ate. I intend to leave it like that until she recovers.
     
  8. AriadneCastro

    AriadneCastro Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you very much! [​IMG] *** As stated above, I followed your advices and the kids had a good evening meal.

    To be honest, it is very visible that the rooster doesn't know what he's doing. There are two older hens (the ones that first arrived with him) who already squatted a few times - why on earth doesn't he go after them?! He has never tried anything with any other chick... Even at feeding time, when he is making it clear that he's the boss, I never *ever* saw him pecking anyone with excessive force. He doesn't seem to be a bully, at all.

    Let's see how tomorrow goes... Meanwhile, I've taken a few photos and I'll be posting them, as soon as I figure out all the buttons on this page.
     
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    If you are on a pc or lap top, posting pics is easy. Click on that icon that looks like a scene, two icons left of the smilie face. That will take you to your pc and can upload pics.

    If you are on a mobile??...I am mobile challenged when it comes to uploading pics to BYC. [​IMG]

    At the Cockerel's age, he probably didn't hurt her, being he doesn't know how to "do" what he does. But he could have still caused some sort of internal bruising and such. He is too young to be mating with anything and is probably afraid of the older hens. Cockerels aren't really mature until they are about 6 months of age. Until then they are crazy teenagers. LOL

    Just keep her comfortable for a few days. And when she is ready to go back out to the coop, only put her out with those her age and gentle ones at that. Silkies have a disadvantage as it is, reintroducing birds to a flock when they have been gone for a while is challenging enough. Birds need to be reintroduced slowly. Silkies really need to be kept with their own kind. Rarely do they fit into standard flocks with large breed birds. They fit in better with other Silkies or Bantams.

    You might separate this Cockerel until he is 6 months of age and is a bit more mature. He shouldn't be bothering young pullets, as I mentioned, he can hurt them in many ways.

    Good luck with your baby! I hope you can upload pics. I would love to see her! :)
     
  10. sandychi218

    sandychi218 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dear best of luck, but as a silkie lover, please keep the roo away from the babies. Keep your little pullet in a carrier for a few days with some extra TLC... Some vitamins and even warmth of a heat lamp periodically. Please update!
     

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