Hen not eating well, HELP ***update, she's improving!!****

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kimberliegbisho, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. kimberliegbisho

    kimberliegbisho New Egg

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    Dec 13, 2016
    Hi all,

    I have a 3.5 year old BO hen that has been off for almost a month. I have 4 other chickens that are all acting normal. The BO is usually first in line for food and treats, but has been off her feed. She acts like she wants to eat, and even picks up bread or other treats that I throw to the flock but often doesn't actually swallow them. At first I could just separate her from the rest of the flock and she would eat a few bites, but now she will not eat. I check her crop at night and it is empty. Oddly, she acts normally most of the time, I've seen her preening herself, and she will run around scratching when I let them out to free range. At first I thought she might be egg bound, since she stopped laying around the same time that she stopped eating. I did the whole shebang, soaking her in the tub, giving her Tums for calcium. No egg, and clearly not egg bound since she has not gotten better or worse in the months time. Her manure is runny and almost non-existent. Over the past few days, I have brought her in a few times a day and basically force fed her. I tried tempting her with really good treats first, meal worms, cooked spaghetti, scrambled eggs etc but she refuses. We have wormed the flock with Piperazine and also done a round of Corid in their drinking water. Right now I'm syringing her Probios mixed with molasses water. I'm at a loss. She appears normal except the feathers around her head are often fluffed. Her comb is still red. Any help or advice would be appreciated. We recently had another chicken with a comb hematoma that failed conservative management and needed to be removed (I will post pictures of that on another thread as it ended up being quite interesting). Thus, our chicken budget is maxed out at the moment. I asked the vet about the BO, and she shrugged and said it could be cancer due to her age. I refuse to let her starve to death. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Her symptoms fit a lot of things, but cocci is one of them. How much Corid and how long did you use it? I recently had a hen with a gizzard blockage who essentially starved to death, and ran around normally until she dropped dead overnight. When her gizzard became obstructed, she still ate,and the crop then became impacted as well. That could cause wanting to eat, but not being able to. At her age she also could have an reproductive disorder such as egg yolk peritonitis causing her weight loss.I would separate her at least part of the day to offer her some chopped egg or tuna, and try making her feed very watery to get fluids into her. Have you wormed them recently? That can be another cause of blockage in the crop or intestines. I might have tried using a tsp of mineral oil or castor oil on my hen if I had known what was happening. Here is some reading about egg yolk peritonitis in case her symptoms fit:
    http://scoopfromthecoop.nutrenaworld.com/tag/laying-issues/
    http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx
     
  3. kimberliegbisho

    kimberliegbisho New Egg

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    Dec 13, 2016
    Thanks for your reply Eggcessive. Those are definitely good thoughts. We did the Corid dosing we found on the website, I believe it was 9.5 cc per gallon of the 9.6% Corid. No change in her. We also did a dewormer in their water, Piperazine. We could try a little oil and see if that might help. I'm sorry about your hen - how did you find out it was a gizzard problem? I wonder what the options are for treating that. I've been wondering about empirically treating her with antibiotics in case it was peritonitis. Any ideas about the symptoms are of thrush? Think that might be her problem? I hate not knowing. Should I keep forcing feeding her if she refuses to eat? I don't want to hurt her or make her aspirate. Thanks so much for your help!
     
  4. kimberliegbisho

    kimberliegbisho New Egg

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    Dec 13, 2016
    The BO is improving! She went downhill the day after I posted, was not eating, walking around much, had bright green diarrhea, and was too weak to get up on the roost at night. She would just sit with her eyes closed. I thought she was going to die. As a last ditch effort, I decided to try injectable penicillin. I used an insulin syringe and injected her with 0.25 cc, and by that evening, she was slightly better. Each day she has improved, and today, day 4 of the penicillin, she is normal! Eating like a horse! I could stand and watch her wolf treats down all day, it seems like a miracle. She is still very thin and weak, but she's scratching, preening, and dustbathing again. I still don't know exactly what was wrong, but obviously she had an infection somewhere. I hope she continues to improve. Does anyone have any idea what might have been wrong with her?
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I'm really glad that she has gotten so much better after the penicillin. I usually am reluctant to suggest antibiotics unless I know what is wrong, but it was a good call on your part. I would give her some plain cultured yogurt for probiotics especially if her feed doesn't have them. My hen who had the gizzard blockage was only diagnosed after she died when I opened her abdomen to look for a possible cause.
     

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