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Hen has swollen eye and discharge from nose

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lorable, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. lorable

    lorable Hatching

    Dec 28, 2008

    I just got three hens for my parents for Christmas, and now one of them is sick. She is a Rhode Island Red, about 6 months old. She built a nest in the coop the second day we got her, so I think she is laying. Now she just sits on the roost with her head tucked down while the other two hens are outside scratching around. We moved her into a box by herself but she is active enough to be worried about her new surroundings, although she wasn't too interested in eating some of the feed I gave her.

    We live in Houston, and the temperature did drop significantly last night (from 70F down to 50F) with rain. Her diet has been scratch feed, crushed oyster shells (well, pellets), and bugs and worms. The coop is pretty small, 2ft x 2ft for three hens but it is temporary until we build a bigger, permanent one. We put a roost in that all three chickens can sit on, and the floor is bedded with leaves.

    Any suggestions?

  2. brooster

    brooster Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    northwest Ohio
    I would get a hold of "The Chicken Doctor" Peteer Brown, he will tell you whats wrong and how to fix it. You can call him 800-950-8387 or e-mail him his e-mail addy is on his site. www.firststatevetsupply.com
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  3. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    please say what "scratch feed" is?
    if the hen is not laying, she should be on chick or grower feed.
    if laying..she should be on layer feed..

    here is a link to Peter Brown's treatment suggestions for swollen eyes and infected sinuses.


    whenever a chicken is sick.,.extra protein can help..(such as cooked egg) and should be kept warm and out of draft.

    what bedding do you use?
  4. spook

    spook Songster

    Have you felt her crop or bottom? Perhaps giving her some real feed would be best, scratch is a treat food for cool weather.
    I'd question if she had a egg problem, tip her over and see if she is swollen, warmer around her bottom and note if she has pooped or drank anything. Could be egg bound or impacted crop- or sour crop. I'd get in touch with a veterinarian. Good luck!
  5. lorable

    lorable Hatching

    Dec 28, 2008
    Hi all,

    Thanks for your responses!

    First, I contacted Peter Brown and he said the following:

    - mix the Terramycin at the rate of 1 Heaping Tablespoon to a
    gallon of water and see what that does for her. terramycin is quite weak and that concentration should help her. If you dont see much improvement I would consider Gallimycin Powder available in the online store.

    - Once birds in lay have received medication it is not
    advisable to eat the Eggs as no withdrawal times have been established for any Medications.

    - I would not medicate the others if you intend to eat the Eggs.

    He reiterated that the eggs are not fit for human consumption once we give them the Terramycin after I asked about the 10-50 day withdrawal times I have been seeing posted on backyard chicken. He said withdrawal times have never been established for any drug given to laying birds producing eggs for human consumption.

    Do you think it would be better to follow the regimen listed on his website (see sammi's post) instead of using the Terramycin? I'm not sure where you draw the line with antibiotics...

    Second, to answer sammi's question -- the scratch feed i have is a mixture of grains ~ 8% protein concentration. I know this is not adequate feed for them, but the only laying feed the feed store had was primarily animal scraps. I am hesitant to feed my chickens animal by-products, as getting away from such feeding is one of the reasons I wanted to raise my own chickens in the first place. Any suggestions on alternatives?

    Initially they had leaves as the coop bedding, now it is hay.

    Finally, spook, I have not felt her crop or bottom but I will go check that out now...

    Thank you for all your help!
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  6. spook

    spook Songster

    I am glad that you are thinking twice about antibiotics. Now, something that has been a subject on BYC, there is a link that claims 7 days after last dose of Terramycin. I disagree because my veterinarian said that meat birds 30 days after last dose, egg layers, 50 days after last dose. I am not an expert, but because I want to keep my hens, pets and will not be leaving my home due to reasons you can read on my link, address below, I will give the medication to the one bird, not all of them, unless others are showing signs of illness. If any of the antibiotic companies claim its out of their systems, you get ill from trace amounts of the antibiotic, then you can place a lawsuit against them.
    I am not allergic to any antibiotics and I will toss a few of the medicated birds and then not worry about it.
    BUT remember you are doing this to save a pet or let her work through the illness, cull. These are your choices being an animal/poultry owner, life gets messy.
    Sorry you need to make these choices.
  7. Badhbh

    Badhbh Songster

    Nov 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    I ate eggs from my chickens 2 weeks after i'd stopped giving them Tylan, and i'm not dead yet [​IMG]
  8. spook

    spook Songster

    Quote:I too eat mine before "clean" BUT telling people that they can or suggesting that with children or anyone who is allergic to that family of antibiotics is slightly irresponsible.
    The antibiotics that are frequently saying to not eat their eggs again, its mainly due to the lack of information that these companies want to test for. Where poultry are such a easy cull, replace that no one needs to bother with the findings.
    Also, like in the poultry barns, most birds (I think) are fed Terramycin crumbles through out their short lives and then culled.
    We eat those eggs too, so my personal thought is to why bother with the time that is recommended not to eat them, but to tell someone to eat them is another story.
    If you have allergies to antibiotics don't chance it, who knows which family these antibiotics belong to! (Badhbh this is not to hassle you, but just my thought like you had a thought.)
  9. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Quote:The respiratory problem may have nothing to do with the diet, but the diet is certainly not helping. You are trying to get away from feeding your perception of un healthy food, but you are left with feeding an inappropriate diet. RIR hens are egg laying machines- they need a diet to support this. If their diet is primarily scratch grains with occasional bugs- this is a french fry diet, they will not live long or lay well on this. Buy a good commercial layer pellet, organic if you can find it, if not- get commercial Layena (purina) or Manna pro, there are many brands. If you have a feed store nearby, if you do not like what they stock- they will probably order it for you- just ask- I am sure they want your business. You can also have food drop shipped directly to you if you are willing to pay for shipping. If you do not want to buy a commercial diet at all, you need to at least try to create a better diet at home- rich in dark leafy greens, vegetable and animal protein sources, and some carbohydrates.

    The respiratory problem if mild, may take care of itself if you provide a nutritious and appropriate diet so her body can fight. Antibiotics, if the right spectrum, and she has a bacterial infection, would certainly speed up her recovery- but I agree- antibiotics are a mixed bag. There are no approved antibiotics for hens laying for human consumption. Sure, people give them all the time- often inappropriately, but no one will come after you if you are only eating the eggs yourself. It should not be done if you are sharing with friends and neighbors, or selling eggs.
  10. lorable

    lorable Hatching

    Dec 28, 2008
    update: she now appears to be trying to throw up...just opening her mouth and extending her head forward. if I get her to take a sip of something it seems to bubble back out of her mouth kind of mucousy. She will not eat or drink anything. HELP.

    Thanks for your responses. We have Layena feed now and they are enjoying it. We'd been feeding a lot of misc veggies and fruits, oatmeal, etc. and are still offering that too.

    The chicken that was sick got better after taking the antibiotics in that her eyes are no longer swollen at all and she's not congested like she was, but now she is just listless. She has no interest in food, but will sometimes take sips of water for 30 minutes straight. When we let her out in the yard, she just stands there with a drooping head looking pretty miserable. She has diarrhea too. We are at loss for what else we can do for, just kind of seeing what will happen now unless anyone has any insight... [​IMG]

    Today, she has fairly labored breathing and there seems to be some kind of mucus or spit coming from her mouth. She will not eat and has not drank hardly any water/pedialyte. She is sometimes alert looking like she wants to eat but doesn't. She has wretched diarrhea. Any ideas?
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009

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