Hen listless and unresponsive with watery stool: please help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dustbath, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Washington County, NY
    I have a hen who appears very unwell and need some advice. She seemed fine yesterday although she was sitting around more than usual. This morning, she didn't move off the roost. After a couple of hours, I moved her to a pen outside, separate from the others and she is just standing there. She is not very responsive and her eyes keep half closing. When I put water right next to her, she drank it and has pecked occasionally at grain but isn't really eating.

    I also put some grit right next to her and gave her some greens but she isn't interested.

    She produced some extremely watery diarrhoea.

    She is about 3 years old and has no signs of trauma. Her feet do seem to be darkish in color and she has a dark spot on one of her toes but I'm not sure how this compares to usual.

    The coop has pine shavings as bedding. She also has access to an outdoor run.

    I added some gatorade to her water. What else can I do? What is this?

    HELP!!!
     
  2. brownfarms

    brownfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2008
    San Diego Area, CA
    How is her crop? Is it hard or soft?
     
  3. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2008
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    I have to confess that I'm not sure. Where exactly is the crop? I do feel a hard area of on her throat, where her neck curves under toward her breatbone. Is that it? Her abdomen, at the breastbone area, is soft.

    Thanks!
     
  4. brownfarms

    brownfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2008
    San Diego Area, CA
    By the neck bone but more off to the side. You can actually kind of squeeze it and move it around. If it becomes blocked, they can't digest food. Do a search on hard crop and you'll see some ideas on how to break it down and try to get it to soften up. (If that is what the problem is). I lost 2 chickens that way as a newbie.
     
  5. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Washington County, NY
    She has what feels like a very hard and prominent adam's apple. I assume I found her crop? Based on the search results, I massaged it a bit (she didn't complain) and have fed her bread soaked in olive oil, which she seems to like.

    I called the vet, who refused to see her, but suggested giving her oral antibiotics, so I've added some to her water.

    Is there anything else I can do?

    Does this sound like an impacted crop?

    If so, could the culprit be the pine shavings? They are more like sawdust than shavings. I started using them fairly recently; previously they were on cedar shavings, which were larger (really shavings).

    Again, thanks!
     
  6. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you-all out there think this sounds like an impacted crop? If so, could the change in bedding be the culprit?
     
  7. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    What's the weather like there? Is your hen panting?


    Jen in TN
     
  8. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Washington County, NY
    It's fairly hot: in the 80s the past few days. This is usual for this time of year. It has rained a lot too. It's been hot in general.

    She isn't panting. I was worried that she was dehydrated and when I offered her water (holding the waterer right at her head) she drank a lot. But that didn't seem to fix the problem. I also added gatorade to the water but she didn't seem to like it.

    After reading about impacted crops, I felt hers, which did feel hard and large, like a prominent adams apple. I massaged it several times and fed her bread soaked in olive oil, which she took more readily than her regular feed, or the greens I offered her but she ignored.

    But I'm not sure how much she actually ate. She picked it up and dropped most of it on the ground. She was eating some of it.

    She then seemed better. Her tail was erect again and she moved around more. I felt her crop and it seemed smaller.

    But then she laid down in a corner and stayed there, looking exhausted. I moved her into a dog crate with straw bedding for a nest, to keep her isolated from the others and out of the weather, leaving her with her water mixed with antiobiotics and bread. Last I looked, she was sitting there.

    She is quite thin and light. A year ago she suddenly stopped laying (at between 2 and 3 years old) and at the same time seemed to lose some pecking order status. I thought they were related. But maybe something more serious has been going on that I've missed?

    She has been less interested in food lately than usual.

    What do you think? Is there anything else I can do? Do you think it's a crop problem?

    Thanks for any advice and input!
     
  9. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Gainesville, Fl.
    It could be her crop. I would continue the olive oil/bread treatment for about a week until her crop feel nice and soft and her feed is coming through her normally...meaning...normal poop. It could be the pine sawdust, but usually that's only chicks. Chickens can be very sensitive to cedar shavings...most people get a little wide-eyed and say "stop them immediately...it will kill your chickens for sure". I wouldn't go that far, but if you have a choice, go for the pine ones. Keep us posted! [​IMG]
     
  10. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Washington County, NY
    I really hope it is her crop: that sounds treatable.

    I have had them on cedar shavings (not knowing any better) since I got them 3 years ago when they were very young, with no problems. The pine shavings are new and I thought she may have eaten them because she's not used to them and they look and feel very different. Before I saw your post, I cleaned out the coop, disinfected it in case she has an infectious disease, and replaced the bedding with the cedar shavings I used before.

    She is now on straw over a layer of cedar, in a separate crate.

    I'll keep up the olive oil and bread and the crop massage, and also continue the antibiotics, unless you think that's a bad idea? Can I add vinegar to her water, for a possible crop impaction, with antibiotics? If so, what proportions?

    Also, can I use corn oil instead of olive oil?

    Thanks!!!
     

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