Help sick chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by poulchick, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. poulchick

    poulchick Just Hatched

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    Apr 5, 2017
    Hello. We have 3 chickens, Rhode Island Red, mendelshom blue and Coucou. They are 1.5 years old and have been together for this whole time (established flock). We had a 4th medelshom blue that was removed and put down in September last year. They have a run about 10metre square as well as the coop with roosts and nest boxes. All cleaned regularly. Access to fresh water and layers mash, as well as regular greens and safe scraps, rice etc. They are let our to free range while we're in the garden.
    The Rhode Island is very sick. She has always been bottom of the pecking order. Just after the 4th mendelshom was removed from the flock, she started to loose her feathers around tail and vent. It gradually got worse and she stopped laying. I thought it was her moult as the other had recently gone through this to a greater or lesser extent. We then noticed the other 2 were pecking and pulling at her feathers around this area. Over the last week she has gradually become less lively, not foraging as much when let out, not appearing as interested in food. 2 days ago the pecking increased and she was not moving away, she also went into the coop in the daytime and stood on the floor not moving, they never do this. I separated her out into a dog cage inside the run with fresh water food and treats. She just stood there with the occasional peck at food and not drinking. Yesterday I also felt her abdomen and couldn't feel an egg, but bathed her lowere half in warm water, tried to massage and put olive oil on her vent. I put her on the nestbox and she just stayed there stood up in the nest all night. I've brought her out in the dog cage in the run this morning, but she's just stood up and often closing her eyes. She ate a little food but no water. If I lift her out into the run, the other 2 immediately start pecking her and pulling her feathers out and eating them. She makes no effort to get away. I don't know if she's sick, and because she's the lowest in the pecking order they are attacking more as she's weakened, or if the pecking has made her ill. I'm worried she's going to die and don't know what else to do, any advice please? The other 2 are healthy, eating and laying with no missing feathers.
     
  2. MissNutmeg

    MissNutmeg Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi there, poulchick. Welcome to BYC.

    I'd definitely keep her separated from the rest of the flock. Since she is the lowest in the "pecking order" I wouldn't be surprised if she was malnourished/vitamin deficient.

    So, I would crush 1/2 tums to put in you hen's water. You could give her some scrambled eggs, blueberries, etc. Also, there is something called Poultry Nutri-drench, which is a molasses based, full of great electrolytes. You could probably find it at a local feed store, ie: Tractor Supply CO.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Welcome to BYC. While she may be weak from not eating or drinking, she also could be ill with internal laying or egg yolk peritonitis. Those can cause similar symptoms, and are very common in hens after the first year or two. How long since she has laid an egg? Can you feel of her crop to check if it is empty or partly full, soft, or firm? Look her over for signs of lice and mites, especially under vent area. Try offering her some chopped egg or canned tuna to eat. Fill a small bowl with a little feed plus water to make it soupy. Add poultry vitamins to her water, or crush a 1/2 human B Complex tablet into her feed daily. A tsp of plain yogurt twice a week will give some probiotics. Watch her droppings for any egg colored droppings or diarrhea. Here is some reading about EYP:
    http://scoopfromthecoop.nutrenaworld.com/tag/laying-issues/
    http://www.theveterinaryexpert.com/backyard-poultry/egg-yolk-peritonitis/
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  4. poulchick

    poulchick Just Hatched

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    Apr 5, 2017
    Thank you for the replies. I've kept her separate from the other 2 since yesterday. I tried putting her in again this afternoon and they went straight for her back end, pecking and pulling feathers out worse than ever. I'm wondering if it's possible she's been so bullied it has made her stop eating and drinking.
    Anyway, this afternoon I had her out and she ate quite a bit of layers mash mixed with water and soupy as suggested. I also gave her yoghurt with oyster shell sprinkled on (I'd read this was a good idea to get calcium in) and she ate some fresh tomato and foraged a bit. She also preened herself briefly. I'm keeping her in the cage on the roost with food and water overnight and see if she's improved at all tomorrow. Her droppings look normal and I've checked for mites and no sign of anything. I dust their nest boxs and the chickens themselves occasionally for mites. She seems to want to lie on her side and expose the bare area near her rear from the pecking to sunlight.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    She might benefit from being fed separately for a few days. I will sometimes separate in a dog crate with food and water inside the coop so that everyone stays aquainted.
     
  6. poulchick

    poulchick Just Hatched

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    Apr 5, 2017
    Just as an update to everyone that kindly replied. She didn't improve or get any worse. I took her to the vets today and she has started a course of antibiotics.
     
  7. MissNutmeg

    MissNutmeg Overrun With Chickens

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    Okay, keep us updated!
     

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