Help- my favorite hen is very sick!

thechickenweirdo

In the Brooder
Oct 1, 2021
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Do you have anything with lead in your garden? For example maybe in old paint or soil?
Not that I know of... I am currently renting and they have half an acre to free range within a fenced in area. I live in a very rural part of North Carolina where people used to just bury their trash in the ground. Sometimes the girls dig up trash but I remove it immediately. The trash they find is usually plastic wrappers or beer cans and tops. I have never found anything that I was worried was a big contaminant. I also did a soil sample test that I sent to the state lab before I put them in that area to make sure it was safe. No contaminants came back.
**I care deeply about the environment and my hens-- I would never put them in an area with a harmful amount of trash, and they are not regularly surrounded by trash. Sometimes when they dig a deep hole to dust bathe that's when they'll dig up the trash and I remove it immediately
 

thechickenweirdo

In the Brooder
Oct 1, 2021
19
11
28
Each morning it would be good to feel of her crop to make sure that it empties overnight. Some young chickens can have reproductive infections or disorders that may not be treatable. The way she stands is common for a sick chicken. When she was still laying in August, did you ever notice any shell-less eggs? When you have a sick hen with an unknown illness like this, and cannot see a vet, it might be good to worm her with the Valbazen, and perhaps give her an antibiotic such as Aqua Mox fish amoxicillin 125-250 mg twice a day for 10 days, in case of a reproductive infection.
This hen was the first of my flock to lay-- she laid every single day for a couple weeks before the other girls did. They were always very strong shells and often were double yolks at the beginning but then were normal. She always laid really tiny eggs though, and my other girls laid tiny eggs to start that eventually got bigger, and hers stayed small, then she stopped laying. I had another easter egger who laid shell-less/goopy eggs for a couple months before starting to lay hard eggs, but now she lays totally normal eggs.

I did take her to the vet last week but it was $150 and the vet recommended I euthanize (the vet wanted to euthanize even though they didn't know what was wrong with her), which I didn't want to do before trying anything to make her better. So the vet gave me an antibiotic to try which my hen finished yesterday (7 day dose). I would love to be able to take her back to the vet (and try a different vet for another opinion) but I can't afford it :/ I am going to get the Valbazen to try today. Can I start that directly after doing the antibiotic? I'm worried about overloading her system
 

thechickenweirdo

In the Brooder
Oct 1, 2021
19
11
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This morning I was really surprised to see my hen alive when I checked her wire crate. She immediately hopped out and starting scratching around (I haven't seen her do this in a couple weeks). It rained last night so the ground is very soft. She looked very normal and I was happy to see her looking for bugs and moving around normally. However after about 2 hours, she's now sitting in a shaded spot and is hunched over again... :(
 

thechickenweirdo

In the Brooder
Oct 1, 2021
19
11
28
Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 8.52.38 AM.png Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 8.52.50 AM.png
Her pupils are constantly dilating-- I wish I could post a video to show, but here are two screenshots. They are fluxing from large to small every half second or so.
 

thechickenweirdo

In the Brooder
Oct 1, 2021
19
11
28
I fear this girl is on the brink of death. Sorry to sound so grim. In an attempt to buy her some time while you try to figure it out, if her crop is empty, would you be willing to try tube feeding her fluids?
I appreciate the honesty... I had a lot of hope at the beginning of all of this and have had less hope as the days go on. I just want her to be comfortable and not in pain, and if her passing on is the only way for that to happen I will accept that. I want to do everything I can to try and help her though. I don't care if she never lays an egg again! She's my "pet" of the flock- I just want her to be well, or be at peace. I have been feeding her some electrolyte/sugar water, which is really the only way she's been getting liquids.
 

Chicken poppy

Songster
May 9, 2021
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Connecticut
I appreciate the honesty... I had a lot of hope at the beginning of all of this and have had less hope as the days go on. I just want her to be comfortable and not in pain, and if her passing on is the only way for that to happen I will accept that. I want to do everything I can to try and help her though. I don't care if she never lays an egg again! She's my "pet" of the flock- I just want her to be well, or be at peace. I have been feeding her some electrolyte/sugar water, which is really the only way she's been getting liquids.
Im so sorry, :hugs i have my emily as my “pet” one aswell, shes very lucky to have a owner like you to be patient and care for her needs.
 

thechickenweirdo

In the Brooder
Oct 1, 2021
19
11
28
The turquoise colour of her poop makes me suspect tht she might have ingested some rat/mice poison.

Did you or your neighbour put out some rodent poison lately? If so, she would need vitamin K to stop the effect of the anticoagulant.
I do not use poisons/sprays/pesticides/etc. of any kind. I am very strong in my values of using all natural things, even in my garden I'd rather lose an entire crop than spray some toxic chemical. I live in a very rural area and my closest neighbor is a quarter mile away. Unless it could've been a residual amount of rat/mouse poison from someone who lived here years ago?
 

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