Help! My Buff Is Feeling Puny...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Barry Natchitoches, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Songster

    Sep 4, 2008
    I have 3 buff orpingtons and 3 Rhode Island Reds. I used to have 4 Reds, but a pack of dogs got on our property yesterday and scared the chickens into flying around hysterically within their cage. The dogs could not get to the birds, but while they were frightened, one of the RIRs flew right into the roof of their cage, broke her neck, fell down and died.

    That was bad enough.

    Then today, I noticed that one of my buffs was panting when it was not hot and lacked the energy she normally has. She normally plays vigorously when allowed her hour of free range time in the afternoon, but today, she hardly moved at all. Also, I noticed that her crop is kind of floppy and alot paler than the other two buffs.

    I have segregated her in an extra chicken tractor that I have, so that if she is infectious that she will not pass the problem along to the other birds.

    I have also started her on vitamins & electrolytes in her water, as well as terramycin. It's not that I know this is the right thing to do, it's just that I needed to do something, and this is about all the veternary "tricks" that this newbie chicken father has up his sleeves.

    Should I put vitamins & electrolytes in the water in the other chickens pen as well? They normally eat layer feed with a little bit of scratch right before bedtime, and they get plenty of grass and bugs during their hour of free range play in the late afternoon?

    Should I give them antibiotic too?

    Can you eat the eggs of chickens that partake of antibiotics?

    I hope my questions are not too dum. This is my first experience as a chicken father.

    Thank you in advance for your help and insights.
  2. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    is it possible the hen was injured during the scare?
    could she be egg bound from the stress and fright?
    or been injured with an egg inside?
    panting can indicate stress, and/or discomfort.
    the flopped comb could also be a symptom of being egg bound.
    but also could be she's not eating.

    is she showing any other symptoms, such as wheezing, or drainage or mucus in eyes or from beak?

    crush up 1 TUMS into her food.
    continue to give electrolytes and vitamins.

    check vent for any drainage, or evidence of an egg, or if she seems trying to lay and egg..
    describe her droppings..color and consistency..

    feel the "belly" area for any heat or swelling...go ahead and check her whole body in case she is injured.

    put her in a dim safe place on a heated towel..
    sometimes this helps relax muscles to expel egg..
    some people put the hen's bottom in a sink of warm water..

    if symptoms continue with no egg being layed..a vet might be necessary, since being egg bound is an emergency.

    fingers crossed for the hen..
  3. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    antibiotics should only be given if they have symptoms of an infection..
    if she shows signs of a broken egg inside..she will need antibiotic.
    will wait for reply to above post.

    normally eggs should be withheld for 7-10 days (or more) after antibiotics..
    but can be fed back to the hens.

    what ALL do you feed them?
    have you found any soft shelled eggs?
  4. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Songster

    Sep 4, 2008
    A few days before I noticed how puny she looked, there was a soft shelled egg. That is only the second one I have found -- the first one was actually the first egg that one of my gals laid, and I figure that one was soft because she was inexperienced.

    She has not looked puny for two days now, and her comb is getting redder. By this afternoon, she seemed to have all her old energy and color completely back.

    I let her free range with the other birds during their free range time, then put her back into her isolation cell (a chicken tractor) for one more night. I think I'm going to let her merge in back with the other birds if she is still feeling and looking good tomorrow.

    Funny thing is -- she has not laid an egg since I isolated her three days ago. But I think she is the little lady that lays the small eggs (and possibly that soft shelled egg).

    I'm pretty much going to HAVE to merge her back in to the other chickens unless she is sick because I had to remove a duck that can only limp out of that tractor to give it to her, and beginning tomorrow night, it will dip into the lower 40s. That little duck has no where to sleep but out in the elements right now with no protection from wild animals or the weather.
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    you can not combine meds in the water. I see no indication here to give terramycin.
    Whenever your birds pant or are visibly stressed (in this case from the dogs0 you should give electrolytes.

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