Hen isn't eating, has loose stool, but otherwise okay?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by purefoysgirl, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. purefoysgirl

    purefoysgirl New Egg

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    Dec 6, 2013
    Hi, all, long-time lurker but first-time poster. I was hoping to appeal to wiser heads than mine since I live in an area where chickens are kept on huge farms and not attended by vets. My Isa Brown - Miss Sally - is currently (and unhappily) hanging out in a bed of straw in my bathtub because I noticed two days ago that she wasn't eating and was shuffling around with her tail down. For the record, we have one rooster and ten hens, and none of the others act ill or unhappy in the least. I brought her inside, made a warm mash with her Nutrena layer feed, got some VetRx liquid into some water, and she's been picking at it but she hasn't really been filling her crop at all. She was drinking quite a bit the first night, but now she is leaning more towards the really wet food. I tried to put her back out once she perked up, but it was an immediate tail-down situation, so I brought her back in because her crop was completely empty once more. So, she isn't eating much, isn't drinking much, has regular bowel movements that are a little more watery and tend to be greenish, but she is alert and looking around and seems pretty interested in the housecats who come up. She is a little over 1 year old and hasn't laid an egg in some time, and before she stopped laying altogether, she was giving me softies. Like the others, she is on a free-range diet supplemented by free-choice Nutrena layer feed and oyster shell. Do her issues sound familiar to anyone? I wormed them last year, but it didn't do anything, and I hate to worm without knowing what I'm worming for. She does exhale like a little old lady whenever I pick her up, occasionally sneezes - and by occasionally I mean I've heard her do it twice since she's been in the house - and she slings her head after she eats, like she's trying to get the wet stuff off of her face. Is there any advice anyone can give me? Should I try to get her to take some grit? As I said, she's only eating wet layer feed, so it's like a thick paste. Any suggestions or comments would be helpful. A vet, unfortunately, isn't an option in this area, and any help would be immensely appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I would go ahead and worm her, and use Safeguard, Valbazen, or one that gets more than roundworms like Wazine or piprazine. Worms can do some great damage to the intestines and cause things like blackhead if it is in the soil. Coccidiosis might be a cause of her illness, although grown hens should be immune to the strain in their home soil by 20 weeks, unless another strain has be brought in by a new member of the flock, or it has been brought in on shoes or tires. Since she is a poor layer, she could be dealing with egg yolk peritonitis. Does she have any swelling or redness around the lower abdomen? Personally I would feed her plain water if she is not drinking well, or put some vitamins and electrolytes in it.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Also check for lice and mites.
     
  4. purefoysgirl

    purefoysgirl New Egg

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    Dec 6, 2013
    Thank you! I'll try worming her in the morning. I do have some Wazine somewhere. As more lice and mites, I haven't noticed anything on any of them. They are dust-bathing maniacs! She does "chew" quite a bit whenever she eats, like she's swallowing a whole bunch after each bite, though.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Just a reminder--Wazine only gets round worm, so you might want to get an $8 tube of Safeguard horse paste or an $18 bottle of liquid. It will treat many chickens.
     

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