HELP - Silkie suddenly has no balance, just lays on side & vomits when picked up

Blueeyez

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Nov 19, 2016
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We are in Texas and about 3 days ago a cold front came and it began raining non-stop. It's been terrible outside so the chickens have mostly stayed in the coop even though the door has been open to go out. Last night when I went out to put them to bed, one of my silkies was just laying on the floor. I set her on a perch several times but she kept falling forward. I sat her on the ground to see what's going on and she wouldn't walk or stand, just fell forward. I was worried maybe she was just too cold and she felt damp so I brought her inside and put her in a kennel. She just layed in there all night. This morning she was on her side and looked dead but was still breathing so I picked her up and when I do lots of water/brown vomit came out of her mouth. I sat her upright and she stayed that way for a second, then flailed around but keeps just laying there almost unresopnsive. I don't know what could be wrong or what to do to help her?!?
 

lilmillefleur

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I’m no expert but some more background may help.
How does her crop feel? Is it squishy, hard, soft or empty? Does her breath smell?
Check her over for mites and lice in the feathers.
What has she been eating? Is there anything toxic she could have gotten to?

@casportpony @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock
@ anyone else who might have an idea?
 

Wyorp Rock

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one of my silkies was just laying on the floor. I set her on a perch several times but she kept falling forward. I sat her on the ground to see what's going on and she wouldn't walk or stand, just fell forward.
This morning she was on her side and looked dead but was still breathing so I picked her up and when I do lots of water/brown vomit came out of her mouth.
I'm sorry to hear about your Silkie.
Is she pooping?
How old is she?

Since she has liquid coming out of her beak, she has a crop problem. Feel the crop - what is it like, hard, soft, air or liquid filled, sour smelling, doughy, etc.

Try to keep her upright and massage the crop to see if you can get what's in there broken up.
This may help https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/

She does need to stay hydrated, but if she is not responding well, don't force fluids on her. Don't worry about feed right now - she can go for a day or two without it, you need to get the crop functioning first.
 

Blueeyez

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Nov 19, 2016
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She's about 6 months old. They usually free range so it's almost impossible to know what they may eat.... I picked her up and she just started quivering all over and still seemed pretty unresponsive, her crop feels totally flat or like she doesn't even have one. When I put her back down, she tried to stand but fell forward again. After I got her situated she opened her eyes and looked around for a few seconds but then went back to being sorta unresponsive again. I did also notice she is beginning to molt but I don't know if that has anything to do with what's wrong with her
 

Eggcessive

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Sorry about your silkie. How old is she? She says critically ill, but hard to tell if it is just a crop problem or something that has caused an illness and for her to lose her crop contents. I would try to give her a few drops of Poultry NutriDrench or Poultry Cell to give her electrolytes and vitamin. Offer fluids with a small cup, but let her drink on her own. The link that Wyorp Rock gave is good to look at. Many other problems can lead to a crop slowdown or a blockage further down in the gizzard or intestines can be possible. If you can get her to a vet right away, it might save her, but she might be too far gone. Let us know what happens. If you lose her, you may want to get a necropsy by the state vet, or do one yourself at home and tske pictures of organs to post here. Here is a link for contacting your state vet:
http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
 
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Wyorp Rock

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She's about 6 months old. They usually free range so it's almost impossible to know what they may eat.... I picked her up and she just started quivering all over and still seemed pretty unresponsive, her crop feels totally flat or like she doesn't even have one. When I put her back down, she tried to stand but fell forward again. After I got her situated she opened her eyes and looked around for a few seconds but then went back to being sorta unresponsive again. I did also notice she is beginning to molt but I don't know if that has anything to do with what's wrong with her
She may be suffering from a neurological disorder or even gotten into something toxic if she is quivering.

Interesting that the crop is empty now, she may have expelled everything the first time when you picked her up. Often a crop issue is a symptoms of an underlying condition or illness.

Seeking vet care is best. Otherwise, all you can do is keep her hydrated, get some vitamins into her and see how is goes. If you feel that she is suffering or in pain, it may be kinder to put her down than let her linger. Getting a necropsy to find the cause of her decline is always a good idea.
 

Zoo Lady 88

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May 5, 2018
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Hi there! Sorry about your Silkie.
I'm in Texas too and am thankful for the rain, but tired of the mud now.
I have chickens who are about the age of yours and recently my accidental rooster was not eating and looking very sick with a sad pale comb. He also regurgitated food when I picked him up, so my first thought was crop issues, but as others said, crop issues can be a sign of underlying illness or issues too. So I decided to go ahead and treat for Coccidia since the potential side effects from meds are low and it has been so wet out, it was likely the cause. After I started treating I saw the tell-tale blood in watery droppings. I treated with Corrid in the water and he's back to his old self.

If a vet isn't possible and your Silkie is drinking on her own you might try treating with that along with electrolytes. Best of luck!
 

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