Hen dying. What could it be??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by merryreader, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. My 3 year old rir is sick. It started about 5 days ago. She was alittle"off". 2 days later, I dewormed the whole flock. I hadn't done that since I got them and they are a little thin. Each day she regresses alittle more. It's like watching an Alzheimer's patient who stops eating and slowly gets less responsive every day.(I'm a nurse and have seen it in people, but not chickens). At first her crop was large and squishy, then went down to normal.I hadn't seen her "poop" in a while. She may have though.I gave her yogurt, and I gave her oilive oil(by syringe.) She picked at food, dropping most of it, listless, really not interested. When she did (or I saw her poop, it was small, formed, a slightly runny poop)(she hadn't eaten and had olive oil) Nothing in her mouth to see. I started her on Terramycin but hasn't helped. She was able to move around at first, then she just wanted to sit in the sun with her head down. I've brought her in the house the last 2 nights and put her in a cage out in the sun during the day. Once in a while she opens her eyes and raises her head like she enjoys the sun. She doesn't seem to have any pain even if I pick her up which is rarely now. Could she have anemia? Any suggestions are welcome. I know it's too late to save her, but I am curious as to what it could be. I treated the rest of the flock with antibiotics just in case. Thank you Merry
  2. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Hi Merry - So sorry she's sick. Hen Ellie became extremely lethargic, droopy - clearly very compromised - early in September. I quickly took her to the vet and blood work revealed signs of infection and/or inflammation. She was immediately treated (before the blood work came back) with antibiotic (baytril), fluids, and also tube feeding. Later, antiinflammatories were added. She turned around and today looks the picture of vibrant health. We (vet, me..) never knew what hit her, only what seemed to cure her. I am pretty certain she would have died without that treatment. As I type this, she is busy removing all the grass from the yard [​IMG], with such energy and vigor it's hard to believe she was having a near death experience 4 weeks ago.
  3. tree_78

    tree_78 In the Brooder

    Nov 25, 2007
    I am in a similar quandary with my almost 4-month old and the same thing happened to a chick last year. She's interested in eating and I get water in with a dropper - she's alert but just lays down. When I pick her up her legs are active and she can push herself around but she cannot seem to stand, she just flops over.... maybe not identical to your situation but similar with the gradual downhill slide. I don't know what to do either and will keep an eye on responses from people in case they have some better ideas than food, light, warmth, and water.

    Much peace to you.
  4. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    Merry, it sounds similar to what happened to my hen, sort of a mystery ailment and if they're weak from something, it pulls them down pretty fast. I hope she improves for you.

    Judy - glad to hear Ellie recovered so well! how's that boy of yours?
  5. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    I sent you a PM
  6. Attack Chicken

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

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    Sorry to hear of your loss [​IMG]
  7. I feel so awful. It's the second hen(my favorites) that I have culled. The first had a wound on her bum and maggots had taken over. I knocked her over the head with a stick of wood and would NEVER do that again!! Don't try this at home!!!So I read that if you pull the neck it will seperate the spinal cord. Couldn't do that and I'm a Reg Nurse,I'm weak . She just seeded to get
    progreseley weak and didn't seem uncomfortable. So......I gently grasped the neck of Lucy and squezeds and shut off her carotid artery and in no time, a few seconds, she was gone. This to me is the most humane way to kill a chicken. I hope I never have to do it again. but would do it this way if I have to. Merry
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Merry, Lucy is the hen you were seeking advice about here in this thread? [​IMG] I was really hoping she could be helped....RIP Lucy.

    Ginny, thanks about Ellie. She is such a bundle of energy since getting those meds. I've concluded that she was already brewing with something when I got her in July, after Annie's death. Gathering this because I noticed right away when I got her that her comb wasn't quite red and having never had a chicken of her kind before, I thought the color was perhaps her normal, especially when weeks went by and it stayed exactly the same. But.....ever since she's finished her meds, her color is a bright happy red, so now I'm convinced something was off for weeks and then finally on Labor Day she was too weak to act normal, too weak to hold her head up, poor thing. The day before she had seemed just fine - they endure so much before it shows... BJ roo - thanks for asking - seems okay except for that odd larger area on his upper left chest. Watching him closely..... Been thinking about you and hoping the rest of your feathered friends are doing great. RIP Gertie.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: