Help me diagnose my sick chicken!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by skatcatla, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. skatcatla

    skatcatla Chillin' With My Peeps

    451
    0
    139
    Jun 26, 2007
    I have a 5.5 year old Black Sex link. Until about 3 days ago, she seemed to be perfectly fine. Then on Monday morning, I went to feed and water my hens and I saw she was sitting on the perch in the hen house (instead of running out to the run for treats like usual). I stroked her and she spoke to me, but I didn't see anything unusual. The next morning, I found her in the corner of the henhouse, really looking miserable. She wasn't moving much, and when I felt her with my hands, her abdomen felt warm and squishy, like a water balloon. I also noticed a lot of yellow discharge from her bottom, which I cleaned.

    By midday, my husband went home to check on them and found that she was up and around, and even able to eat some of the yogurt he brought, although she was still walking stiffly.

    This morning she seems to be the same; she was able to again jump down the ladder to the run to get some leftover noodles, but she is moving slowly and her abdomen still looks distended. As I watched, she let out a stream of diarrhea.

    I've been trying since yesterday morning to get her into the only Avian vet in the area, but the soonest they can see her is Saturday morning.(!)

    I thought at first this might be Ascetis (sp?) but wonder if the diarrhea means something else? Anyone have any ideas?

    I should also say that none of my three hens have laid in some time now,I want to say since last summer? They were all molting but I also suspect they are just getting up there in age..they will be six this June.

    Thank you!
     
  2. skatcatla

    skatcatla Chillin' With My Peeps

    451
    0
    139
    Jun 26, 2007
    Anybody?
     
  3. Sandstorm495

    Sandstorm495 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,384
    35
    176
    Dec 2, 2012
    Darwin, Australia
    Put her in a bath of warm water for 10-15 mins. How is she now?
     
  4. Nutcase

    Nutcase Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,440
    107
    198
    Dec 2, 2012
    Australia
    My Coop
    Sounds like shes egg bound to me. Keep her hydrated and keep updating!
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    548
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Based on what you said, diarrhea is a symptom of many diseases. It could be botulism/bacterial enteritis from something toxic she ate, like mold or fungi, or it could be coccidiosis. Is the bird's crop swollen at all? If the bird is eating and drinking, I'd run Sulfadimethoxine in the water for 3 days, then give 3 days of vitamins in the water, then 3 days of Sulfadimethoxine in the water, and see if there is improvement. If you see no improvement in 3-5 days I'd do what I'm about to mention.

    If she isn't eating, you'll need to hand feed. You can use a syringe to give watered down yogurt and see if you can get her to eat small portions of scrambled egg. Make sure the crop is emptying. If she isn't drinking you will keep her hydrated by feeding as I mentioned with a syringe. You need to get some LA-200 to treat her for possible enteritis (the greens). Time is wasting so you need to get antibiotics as quickly as you can into the bloodstream. Injections do that.

    Get a 25 gauge needle and draw 1cc (.5 cc for Bantam)into the syringe. You will inject this into the bird's breast muscle. Find the breast bone and move your finger to the left or right and feel the flesh and muscle for point of injection. Part the feathers and swab the injection site with an alcohol soaked cotton ball. Don't go straight in but at a slight angle when injecting. Then give another 1 cc (.5cc for Bantam) down the throat. Do this morning and night for 3-5 days. You should see improvement within that time frame. Let us know how it goes.
     
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    548
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    The thought of that crossed my mind, but when scatcatla mentioned the abdomen felt "squishy", I thought of swelling. If an egg breaks, can't it cause a secondary infection in the abdomen like what sometimes happens with egg peritonitis? That's why I thought antibiotics would be the best route to take and perhaps the hen could pass the egg remnants.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  7. TravisE

    TravisE Chillin' With My Peeps

    295
    6
    101
    Mar 27, 2012
    fayette county wv
    x2. great info michael apple
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  8. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Chillin' With My Peeps

    408
    30
    166
    Nov 14, 2008
    Lynn Haven, FL
    I've had experience with ascites in hens and although a squishy abdomen is a sympton, I doubt that is her problem as it happened so quickly. Ascites is caused by fluid build up due to circulatory problems like congestive heart failure or fatty liver disease, either of which take some time to develope. Have you tried taking her temperature to see if she has an infection/fever? It should be around 103-104 deg F.
     
  9. skatcatla

    skatcatla Chillin' With My Peeps

    451
    0
    139
    Jun 26, 2007
    Thanks all. Oh my Gosh, Michael, that all sounds beyond me. I don't have any of the items you mention on hand! I better get her to the Avian vet. It sounds though like you think it's very treatable which is great. I did notice that her comb and face are red for the first time in a while so maybe she is just egg bound.

    This morning when I checked on her, she was up and moving but slowly and didn't want to jump down into the run with the other hens. She did peck at some fresh grass I offered..and I'll try to get some more yogurt and water into her tonight with a dropper. I do also have a heat lamp set up in there since its a bit chilly today (mid-50s) Her vet appt is tomorrow morning.

    Thanks!
     
  10. tmayo

    tmayo New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Aug 11, 2015
    I just read your post, and I know it's a couple of years old, but I was wandering if you were able to determine what was wrong with your chicken? I have a hen that is exhibiting the same symptoms, she's about 4 years old, she hasn't eaten in days and now has stopped drinking. Thank you very much.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by