Hen ate a bunch of styrofoam-very sick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by greenroofhill, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. greenroofhill

    greenroofhill New Egg

    Dec 9, 2014
    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
    Rhode Island Red Hen, over 2 yrs old, normal weight

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    Hen started chewing on a piece of styrofoam insulation. I can feel the tiny styrofoam balls in her crop. She got out yesterday, found her huddled in a corner. She appears to have frost bite on her comb from being out. Is hunched, laying on my lap, barely moving.

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    Since yesterday

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?


    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    Signs of frostbite on her comb

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    See above

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    Does not appear to be eating

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    Not sure

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    Would like to treat at home

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    Coop with straw bedding
  2. WDFlock2015

    WDFlock2015 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 26, 2014
    First of all, treat the frostbite with neosporin or other triple antibiotic.

    I noticed nobody had responded to you so even though I don't have much experience with chickens, I do have plenty with other animals, as well as some medical background.

    The bird may not be eating because the styrofoam is making it feel full, so, for the moment I would not be too worried about that. The goal would to try to get the bird to pass the styrofoam "balls" or particles, so water is extremely important. If the bird isn't drinking normally, I would try to syringe feed water to her. If the stool is watery and slightly bloody, but contains styrofoam, you're probably ok. If there is a significant amount of blood in the stool, the foam is causing tears in the intestine...get her to a vet. If you have watery stools, but no styrofoam particles by morning, the foam is causing a blockage...get her to a vet. I would not feed until there is some passage of the foam, then, small amounts, slowly increasing as more foam is passed. If foam stops passing before you believe it is mostly gone, it's causing a blockage and needs immediate attention before intestine ruptures.

    Hope this is helpful, keep me posted.
  3. WDFlock2015

    WDFlock2015 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 26, 2014
    I just re-read your post. If the foam was eaten yesterday and she has not passed any in her stool as yet, I would give some water (if not drinking itself) as well as some moistened food (wet enough to syringe feed) then examine first stool for foam particles. If none, take her to a vet. If particles are passing, then proceed with my suggestions in previous message. If behavior worsens, go to the vet.

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