HELP! Really Sick Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by stevejr, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. stevejr

    stevejr New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Nov 6, 2009
    I noticed a bare spot and scab on the backs of one of my 3 RIR's. It first appeared about a month ago and it looked as thougn she had gotten pecked. I put ointment on it a couple of times to help it from drying out but it remained. Now this morning, after a week or so of feeding at night I finally got good look at the 3 of them and this poor chicken is in bad shape! Please see the pic. She has lost a lot of feathers, has trouble walking and standing and looks as though worms are growing out of her back. Can this be cured???

    Thank you!
     
  2. stevejr

    stevejr New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Nov 6, 2009
    Here is the link to the pictures. I can't figure out how to upload it to my post.

    Thanks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,833
    21
    181
    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Hey Steve,

    From looking at the second picture, it seems to me that the bird is molting, and those "worms" are actually new feathers growing in. The feathers start out in a strange-looking shaft thing, then the feather itself pushes out the end as it grows. Now, I could be wrong about that. Maybe there's something else there that I'm not seeing.

    As far as her having trouble walking and standing, well, molting really wouldn't explain that. Mine sometimes seem a bit lethargic and out of it when they molt. I was just commenting on one of my ladies not being able to compete for treats this morning because of her molt. She's not in bad shape or anything, just a little slower on the draw than her sisters.

    I really hope that someone else will be able to advise you on that.
     
  4. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    Can't really see the wound in the pics, but make sure it is closed, dry and there is nothing in it, like maggots or dirt.
    Looks like she gas new feathers growing in. Do you have a rooster? If so, is she his favorite?

    If not, make sure she is eating & poop looks normal. Some extra protein will help or poultry vitamins.
    Check the bottoms of her feet, make sure the pads are pink and soft. Check her vent as well.

    Also check for lice or mites - lift the feathers and look at the skin, see if you can see anything moving.

    That's all I can't think of........... hope she recovers for you.
     
  5. stevejr

    stevejr New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Nov 6, 2009
    Thank you both so much. I do not have a rooster and have only had chickens for a few months and never experienced Molting. Now that I think about it, "lethargic" is a better way to describe her behavior. I immediately took that deviation from her normal self as being sick. The wound itself is no worse than it was, and is dry. She is eating and drinking, though isn't really active. I will check her for mites and also inspect her feet this evening.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,833
    21
    181
    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Well, if "lethargic" is a good description of her behavior, then it's probably just a normal molt. I really hope so! Just keep an eye on her as much as possible, to be sure. I try to give my girls extra protein when they are molting. At my house this comes in the form of meat. Some folks don't feed their birds meat, and that's cool. To each his own. [​IMG] But mine love it! Raw, cooked without salt, big tasty grubworms, Mmm Mmmm...
     
  7. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yep, looks like molting to me too. They get grumpy when they're molting, sometimes they sort of keep to themselves and 'hide' as if they know they aren't pretty and they stop laying. She'll get back with the others as soon as her feathers come in more and she'll be more social.
     
  8. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    641
    2
    143
    Feb 12, 2009
    NW Florida
    She might need a little extra protein to help those feathers come back - feed her some yogurt and maybe some scrambled egg (fully cooked so she doesn't get a taste for raw egg). Your roo might be "overmating" her, too. Good luck!
     
  9. stevejr

    stevejr New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Nov 6, 2009
    You all have made me and my wife feel so much better! I never realized molting would look like that.

    How long does this usually last for?
     
  10. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    about 2-3 weeks for her to grow out her feathers and look nice again, her pin feathers are about 1/3- 1/2 out already.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by