Help with sick hen! constipation???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kelfio, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. kelfio

    kelfio New Egg

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    Hello everyone - I'm new here and I'm sorry that my first post is an emergency...
    One of my little japanese bantam hens is sick - she was moving slow, hunkered down and had her eyes closed. I picked her up (they are usually hard to catch!) and looked at her vent, and it is full up of completely hardened poo.
    I looked all over the forum and found lots of info about runny poo, but not this.
    I got a bucket of warm water and held her in it for a while, and some of it (from around the vent) loosened up and came off, but her vent is still full of it. After the bath, she seems to be able to move her vent muscles a little....
    she's in the house now, on clean warm straw in a kitty-carrier.
    what do i do? how can i help her? she seems really uncomfortable and she hasn't pooed at all today.
    please help!
    thank you!
     
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    I doubt she has constipation...I don't "think" they get that. It's most likely just poo that stuck to her feathers and dried. But, walking hunched and eyes closed is not a good sign; good thing you separated her from the others, as she could be sick, and you sure don't want the rest to catch what she has.

    First, is she eating and drinking? How old is she? What type of feed do you have her on? Tell us about her living quarters - coop, run, barn...what bedding are they on? Is she laying yet? If so, when is the last time she layed?
     
  3. yab

    yab Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2009
    Yakima, Washington
    you said that her vent is still full of it, meaning the poo is still caked on? if the vent is blocked, it is preventing her from going poo.. you should clean that up as soon as possible.. i use warm water and a rag(something that isn't too soft so it can take the poo off without scrubbing).. see if that helps any
     
  4. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    I agree you need to soak her in a nice warm bath and removed all of the poop caked on outside.
     
  5. kelfio

    kelfio New Egg

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks so much everyone...

    She is about 8 months old, she has a sister who is laying, but she is not laying yet. She lives with 7 other chickens in a very spacious area - a coop for them to sleep in at night (i lost a few last year to raccoons so they have to be shut up at night) and during the day the have a run that's about 20 by 10 thats all fenced in underneath a grape arbor. they eat regular chicken feed in pellet form from the local feed and seed and treats that i give them like kale, bread crusts, leftover pasta, etc.
    all in all, they are very happy perky chickens. this particular hen has always seemed a bit slow and not quite as strong and healthy as her sister, but today she was seeming extra slow.... thats when i picked her up and saw the caked vent.
    right now my roomate and i are going to put on some gloves and bathe her in the sink and work on unclogging her vent. she is drinking and eating a little bit, and she has some zest to her, like she is chirping and playing with the straw in her cage.... but she's mostly just hunkered down with her eyes closed.
    i will check back in when we are done washing her.
    any ideas of what could be wrong? are there any diseases that could cause something like this? are my other chickens at risk? is there something i can do to prevent a widespread illness?
     
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Michigan
    Oh, goodness, there are lots of diseases that can cause them to become lethargic; it's so hard to know from descriptions what might be going on with your girl.

    I think if she were mine, I'd start her on vitamins/electrolytes. If you don't have any, they are easy (and inexpensive) to find at your local feed store or TSC if you have one close. It's imperative that you make sure she is drinking and eating. I also think I'd take her off the layer pellet and put her on a general flock feed, such as Purina's Flock Raiser, at least until she's feeling better. If she is gearing up to lay, this will take ALL her energy, and you want her energy right now to go toward getting healthy again.

    You can also offer her some nutritious treats such as yogurt, cooked oatmeal, mashed up fruit...again, the important thing right now is to get her eating and drinking so she has the energy she needs to get better.

    YES, your other chickens are at risk of getting whatever it is this one has, so watch them closely. I swear by Avia Charge 2000; it's a supplement that you put in their drinking water, and it's kelp based. It has vitamins and minerals in it, and it's really good stuff for chickens and other fowl. In winter, I put it in their water every day; in spring/summer/fall, I put it into every 3rd of 4th container of water.

    Keep her warm and dry, and get the food and water down her...that's your first line of defense against whatever this is.
     
  7. yab

    yab Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2009
    Yakima, Washington
    also give her some raw/unfiltered/unpastuerized apple cider vinegar.. it helps with alot of chicken ailments, and may help clear up her clogged poo.. i give it to all my animals(i take it myself) and it really does help
     
  8. kelfio

    kelfio New Egg

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    here are pics of her vent - the dark stuff just wont come off and now she is straining.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. kelfio

    kelfio New Egg

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    and a close up...
    please help!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. yab

    yab Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2009
    Yakima, Washington
    wow that is scary looking.. it looks like it hardened INSIDE the vent.. i don't know much about that - i'd be very leary about pulling it out.. as it might cause damage? but that might be the only way to do it..
     

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