Hen has washed out comb, not eating, thin, no energy

Missinasworld

Songster
9 Years
Mar 24, 2012
21
40
109
I have a bantam hen that was born in may of 2020. She has never laid an egg. She is kept with 3 other female bantams in a small coop during the night and a 10x10 dog run during most of the day. They have sand flooring except in their night area and then there they have pine and hay. She gets fed fresh veggies and fruits, freeze dried meal worms, and nutrena nature wise layer feed, and are fed back the crushed egg shells from the other 3 that lay plus those from my quail. She also has access to oyster shell but to be honest I have never seen her touch it past the first time I offered it to her.
She is thin and her kneel bone is easily seen when she is flipped over. She has almost no energy. She will not eat but is drinking. We cannot feel an egg or anything other than her bones. Her vent is clean but she has old poop stuck on her feathers. Her comb is pale, clear eyes, no breathing problems, hardly pooping..in 3 days she has pooped 1 time and I have attached a photo. This is the 2and time this has happened to her. I have been doing her with vetrx poultry aid for a few days now but no improvement. I dont want to give her anything stronger yet without getting other opinions. I'm worried this is reproductive related as she has never laid an egg and is so thin. She has been dewormed but I have not seen parasites in her or any of the other girls poop. Other chickens or birds are acting off. This happened to her during another cold snap bit she bounced back with the vetrx and me keeping her indoors for a few days..but she was never her true normal self..she was the head of the flock and always 1st out of the coop and to eat. Now she always hangs back and is way to placid and that's not her.
Thank you for your suggestions and help ahead of time! Below is a video I took and it shows her poop and her isolation cage.
 

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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,346
38,349
1,142
Colorado Rockies
She sounds like she may have cancer tumors from an avian virus. The pale comb can be from that or simply because she hasn't come into her laying hormones yet. But the weight loss points to cancer and not pre-spring hormone levels.

If you euthanize her or she dies, you can have your state lab do a necropsy to find out what is making her sick or do one yourself by just opening up her abdominal cavity and look for signs of small tumors like white peas on her tumors.
 

Missinasworld

Songster
9 Years
Mar 24, 2012
21
40
109
She sounds like she may have cancer tumors from an avian virus. The pale comb can be from that or simply because she hasn't come into her laying hormones yet. But the weight loss points to cancer and not pre-spring hormone levels.

If you euthanize her or she dies, you can have your state lab do a necropsy to find out what is making her sick or do one yourself by just opening up her abdominal cavity and look for signs of small tumors like white peas on her tumors.
Thank for replying. I have asked at the feed store and people who have had chickens their entire lives and no one seems to have seen *this* before. I am afraid she will die if she doesnt star eating. I had already planned to open her up if she died..if it comes to that I will look for tumors. I was just hoping that maybe it was something curable, my other 3 hens are doing great. Well we shall see!


Missina
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,346
38,349
1,142
Colorado Rockies
You can try her on an antibiotic in case she has an infection. You can also try tube feeding her. These are things you can do to ease you mind that you've tried to save her. It can't hurt and there's always a chance it can help.
 

Missinasworld

Songster
9 Years
Mar 24, 2012
21
40
109
I have baytril and doxycycline for birds on hand..but not sure which to try. If its viral then giving them to her is pointless...same with its its cancer. I do have crop needles coming in soon so yeah I can try to feed her directly into her crop. Thanks!
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,346
38,349
1,142
Colorado Rockies
When I don't know what is making a chicken sick, I will try an antibiotic, and both of yours are suitable for this purpose, as a last resort on the outside chance it might help. I do it knowing that I have an avian virus in my flock that is likely behind the illness. If that fails, I know then that it's probably the virus.

What are "crop needles"? I've never heard of feeding though a needle into the crop. I got a tube feeding kit from my vet for $3. The tube is inserted into the esophagus directly into the crop. Then liquid food is syringed into the tube. Finding the esophagus is easy and eliminates any danger of liquid aspirating into the airway.
upload_2019-3-15_10-22-30.jpeg
 

Missinasworld

Songster
9 Years
Mar 24, 2012
21
40
109
When I don't know what is making a chicken sick, I will try an antibiotic, and both of yours are suitable for this purpose, as a last resort on the outside chance it might help. I do it knowing that I have an avian virus in my flock that is likely behind the illness. If that fails, I know then that it's probably the virus.

What are "crop needles"? I've never heard of feeding though a needle into the crop. I got a tube feeding kit from my vet for $3. The tube is inserted into the esophagus directly into the crop. Then liquid food is syringed into the tube. Finding the esophagus is easy and eliminates any danger of liquid aspirating into the airway. View attachment 2471101
A crop needle is not really a needle..its a metal or plastic tube that you use to put it down into the birds crop to feed or give meds to it, I ordered a lot for my baby green cheek conures and the kit has sizes up to those large enough for bantams and other small chickens..was just good luck I guess.
 

Missinasworld

Songster
9 Years
Mar 24, 2012
21
40
109
Still not sure what's wrong with Red but she seems to be improving. I have had her on doxycycline for almost a week. She is still drinking and is not kind of eating. Shes scratching and pecking at the food..eating very little. Her crop is NEVER full..not even half full. I still have her in isolation. She has normal poo now and is very vocal. I talked to other chicken keepers who suggested maybe mites parasites, but I checked her from top to bottom for mites and I dewormed her when she first started to act odd. So still no clue. Here is a video of her the other day
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,346
38,349
1,142
Colorado Rockies
Glad she's showing improvement! She might respond to some probiotics to replenish the good bacteria in her gut that the antibiotic is killing off. Get the tablets at the vitamin section.
 

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