Help! Sick Silkie!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cohenfarms, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. cohenfarms

    cohenfarms New Egg

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Hi Everyone,

    We have a very sick silkie, who seems to be on her last leg.
    A few days ago she became lethargic, and today she can barely keep her head up.

    I've tried feeding her a water/pedialyte mix in addition to a pureed oatmeal mix through a syringe. She's too weak move, let alone eat on her own.

    Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary except for her poop is much bigger/thicker than normal, about the size of a small kitten's poop. No noticeable loss of feathers. No other symptoms.

    Background: She is about 4 months, and hasn't started laying yet. It's been cold and rainy here in Southern California, so we've been putting her inside at night. We have 2 other silkie chicks, which we introduced to her 2 weeks ago. The others seem to be healthy. She gets to roam outside the coop sometimes during the day, so it's possible she got into something. For her food, she gets a generic and non-antibiotic feed.

    Any help would be great.
     
  2. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,869
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    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    Those are very broad symptoms, it could be any number of things. How's her weight? Is her face pale? Do you have a problem with Marek's Disease? If this silkie were on my property, I would suspect Marek's Disease, but we have a very odd strain of Marek's. How's her breathing?

    Also, oatmeal is relatively useless to poultry. It is high in fiber (chickens cannot easily digest fiber) and not easily digestible. You need to feed her something high in protein. You can crush her chicken feed into a powder, add some warm water, and force feed that. Or you can buy baby bird feed and mix that as directed; it's easily digestible, high in protein, but expect diarrhea (add electrolytes).
     
  3. cohenfarms

    cohenfarms New Egg

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Her weight is normal, and her breathing is normal as well. As far as I know, her face doesn't look pale.

    As for Marek's disease, I'm not sure. This is our first chicken to get sick, so I'll be the first to admit I have no idea.

    When I just checked on her, she showed signs of mites. They were light in color.
     
  4. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    Hmm... give her a bath to get rid of the mites; I wouldn't treat her with a pesticide in her condition. Don't treat with meds until you know what it is. Practice good supportive therapy, that might be all you can do until you know what she has.

    This might help you. Also, if you decide to treat for Marek's Disease, the the MD treatment is on that page too. Shoot, I'm sorry, I forgot to post the link. http://sites.google.com/site/moodysbantams/poultry-health-1/supportive-therapy

    Good
    luck! It's terrible when you don't know what to do to help your sick bird.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  5. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    what color are the droppings?

    could be the mites.. mites can deplete them.
    if you bathe her.. make sure she is completely dry..

    has she ever been wormed?

    what all do you normally feed?

    you can try this mix:

    Feed the bird 3 times a day for 3-5 days this mixture.
    the amounts shown are for 3 feedings for 1 day.
    ½ to 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon honey
    2 tablespoons plain active culture yogurt
    3 to 4 tablespoons rolled oats…. To give substance to the feed, or use chicken crumbles or layer pellets but soften them with some boiling water first.
    also have usual feed and water available.

    get some chick or poultry vitamins..or Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins..Enfamil brand if possible..no iron..give 2 drops on beak once a day for a week..then taper off for another week.
     
  6. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    The mites could be the cause... I would certainly start there. If you can, bathe her in warm water with some Dawn dish soap.... this will kill the live mites. Make sure to dry her well (many folks use hair dryers for this) and keep her away from any drafts or cold.
     
  7. cohenfarms

    cohenfarms New Egg

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the posts. Unfortunately she passed away last night. We gave her a bath, and dried her real well, but I think it was too late at that point.

    Any suggestions on what precautions to take with the other two younger chicks? Since we don't really know what the cause was, we're nervous that it may spread to the others.

    We'll start them on some antibiotics for the next week, just in case, and continue the chicks on a vitamin starter feed. We'll also give them a mite dusting.

    Everything has been cleaned and disinfected.

    Any other suggestions?
     
  8. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    Don't treat the other birds with antibiotics. You could do more harm than good that way. Start boosting their immunity with vitamins and a healthy diet. Offer them small amounts of yogurt, cheese, and other yummy treats. Watch them carefully for a month, after that time it's probably safe to assume that they're not going to get sick.
     

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