Hen quarantined for 3 weeks (respiratory?) now laying down a lot and closing eyes

KimmieSue

Hatching
Nov 9, 2021
9
5
8
Hello! I'm a newbie here, but have read the forums for a few years. I just started raising chickens (mostly silkies) as a hobby about 6 years ago. We currently only have hens.

The hen in question is about 4 years old. We got her as a 2-3 day old chick and were told she's a silkie, but she isn't. She appears to be maybe a d'uccle cross? Her tail shape reminds me of one. She is smaller than our silkies and weighs maybe a pound or so. At the moment she seems thinner than usual.

About 3.5 weeks ago she started keeping to herself and wasn't as peppy as she usually is. Her comb also seemed a bit pale and her eyes weren't as round and bold as usual - as if she's squinting. Her nostrils also seemed really clogged up and she was holding her tail down a little bit. I thought it could be a respiratory issue, so I brought her into the house to quarantine. She is currently in a big plastic rubbermaid tub with her usual food. We added a hay and straw mixture for bedding with a heating pad underneath one side so she can move away if she gets too warm. I started alternating electrolytes and vitamins with garlic and ACV in her water.

For the first week or so, she would move freely around this tub, spent most of her time away from the heating pad, and even perched on the side of her food bowl. She seemed to not be able to see her food or water bowls, but once I "showed" her where they were every morning, she would gobble up food and water. During this time period, under the impression it was a respiratory issue, I was flushing out her eyes with a saline solution 1-2 times a day and then rubbing VetRx under her chin, on her beak, and on her comb. She was also making her usual chicken noises and her poop appeared relatively normal.

For the past week she has been spending more time on the heating pad.
Also about a week ago, I put a humidifier next to her tub because her nostrils didn't seem to be clearing up at all. Since then, they seem to be a little bit better.
Five days ago I started flushing her eyes with Vetericyn Antimicrobial Pink Eye Spray 1-2 times a day. Please note that she hasn't had any discharge from her eyes, but she seems to be squinting all the time.
Also five days ago I gave her a bath with a mixture of tea tree oil castile soap, peppermint oil soap, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide diluted about 30% because I found lice on her. I blow dried her completely. Unfortunately, this seemed to stress her out a lot and she didn't seem to bounce back in terms of energy.
She seems to be getting quieter and holding her tail down almost all the way to the ground, as well. :(
Three days ago I started giving her Duramycin 10 in her water (instead of electrolytes, garlic, and ACV), but she doesn't seem to be drinking much. Her poop has also been less frequent and smaller (appears to be completely white).
Today she is laying down with her legs tucked under her body and her eyes closed. A lot of the time she tucks her head away like she's sleeping.
I have stopped applying VetRx to her head and I no longer run the humidifier (stopped both of these about five days ago).

I don't mind taking her to a vet, but I worry that the stress of a vet visit could kill her. Also, I'm not aware of an avian vet within two hours of me.

All of our other birds seem to be doing fine, although we did lose one about four weeks ago for unknown reasons. She was sick this past winter and my assumption is she never entirely recovered.

What else can I do? Should I risk taking her to a vet and stressing her out even more? Should I ride it out at home? Is there something else I am missing? I raise rabbits, as well, and am pretty well versed in treating their ailments. I know chickens are much different in some ways, but are just as fragile as rabbits are when it comes to stress and dying just for the heck of it.

I'm so sorry this is a novel, I just wanted to make sure I included everything I've done so far. Thank you so much for sticking around this far. :)

I have attached photos:
(1) She has been laying in this position much of the day today
(2) Her eyes are squinty when they're open, which isn't a lot
(3) Her poop is a little smaller than a dime

thumbnail (1).jpg
thumbnail (2).jpg
thumbnail.jpg
 
Last edited:

Crazy Maizie

Crowing
Jul 3, 2020
3,034
5,454
431
Poor thing. It sounds respiratory and it seems you're doing all that you can. There might be antibiotics that would be helpful, but I'm not versed in using them, so I'm not sure what to recommend. Hopefully someone with knowledge can offer some advice.

@Wyorp Rock
@Eggcessive
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
41,750
61,102
1,412
Southern N.C. Mountains
Welcome To BYC

Is her crop completely emptying overnight?
Are the lice/mites gone?

When is the last time she laid an egg? When you feel her abdomen below the vent between the legs do you note any swelling or feeling of fluid/bloat?

No canker or lesions inside the beak?

Your giving Duramycin10, so if she's suffering from respiratory illness like MG, then this should treat symptoms if she's drinking enough.

Hard to know what's going on with her. Does she seem like she can't see every day or was that first time the only time?
 

KimmieSue

Hatching
Nov 9, 2021
9
5
8
Thank you so much, Crazy Maizie! I hope we can get this figured out.


Wyorp Rock - Thank you for your reply!

It’s hard for me to say when she last laid an egg since I have 13 hens and they all share four nestboxes between them. 😕 She hasn’t laid since she’s been quarantined. My first thought was that she was egg bound and I thought I felt some swelling about the size of a small egg between her legs when I brought her in, but it’s so hard for me to tell. Would there be any part of their anatomy I could mistake that for? She was also pooping pretty regularly at the beginning. She’s also about four years old if that makes a difference.

She’s pretty feisty and really does not like me touching her face, but from what I can see the left side of the roof of her mouth appears much darker than the rest. Also, I was able to clear out her nostrils last night and the left nostril (same side as the possible lesion) had a lot of hard yellow gunk in it. Reminded me of ear wax impaction in people.

All the lice appears to be gone, but I did see a tiny tiny mite crawling on her face last night. I have Ivermectin that I treated the rest of my flock with, but I wasn’t sure if her immune system could handle that right now. Do you think it would be OK to drop some on her neck? I also have Manna Pro Poultry Protector spray and Y-Tex Gardstar Permethrin dust I could try. I’ve been using DE for years and it doesn’t seem to do a darn thing. 😏

My worry is that she isn’t drinking enough of her water with Duramycin. It’s also expired (2020) and I cannot get anymore since I’m in California. So I can’t be sure she’s getting enough of it. I do have Oxytetracycline injectable on hand, as well, if that’s safe for chickens.

She seemed to not be able to see the food for the first two weeks or so, but once I showed her she would eat and drink just fine. Her crop would be nice and full. The past few days, though, her crop isn’t as full and she’s not interested in food. I even scrambled some eggs and chopped banana and she didn’t want any of it. 😔

It’s a new day today, though, and she’s just waking up so I’m going to check on her! Please let me know if I missed anything and I’ll check back here in a bit!

PS. I was able to give her about 0.3cc of Poultry NutriDrench last night and plan on giving her more today. Hope it will boost her immune system and give her a little bit of an appetite.

PPS. I also have Terramycin eye ointment on hand if you think that might help.
 

KimmieSue

Hatching
Nov 9, 2021
9
5
8
11/10 update:

She was perched on her food bowl this morning when I went in to wake her up. To me that’s a good sign that she wasn’t laying down in the same spot.

Her left nostril has some dried blood in it. 😔 I must have injured her when I cleaned it out last night.

Still not interested in food or water and her crop is empty.

I took her off her “perch” to evaluate her and show her food and water bowls again. But she just laid there. 😞

ETA: I still feel something between her legs like an egg. It's about 1.5" in diameter. Could she have gone this long being egg bound?


79149341-5041-4CDF-AC80-C8D7CDE728FD.jpeg
 
Last edited:

KimmieSue

Hatching
Nov 9, 2021
9
5
8
Photos of her left nostril before and after cleaning. It took me about an hour to get it all out because it was so impacted.

The right one wasn’t nearly as bad. It looked bad at the beginning, but there wasn’t as much waxy stuff as the left.

8AB274A1-2521-47EE-85BF-E62296B6ADAA.jpeg
602EB0EE-2D8B-40FE-AC2B-AA8C4AAE79D9.jpeg


84F67E58-259C-4EC8-8944-F4DD6FEBE162.jpeg
62707BF5-1B52-4209-8421-E119D7F7FF77.jpeg
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
63,192
56,666
1,322
southern Ohio
Can you check her crop early in the morning, to see if it is empty and flat, full, hard, doughy, or puffy? If there is food still in her crop in the morning before she has eaten/drunk, then she may have a crop disorder. At her age a reproductive disorder such as salpingitis, cancer, or ascites can be common. Do the nasal secretions smell bad? You may need to give her some of the medicine orally and more concentrated.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
41,750
61,102
1,412
Southern N.C. Mountains
If you see mites, then either use the Permethrin dust or the Ivermectin pour on. You want rid of the mites, even though they aren't her main issue, the mites drain a bird's energy.
Dose for Ivermectin Pour On is 0.09 ml per pound of weight apply at the base of the neck coming into contact with the skin.

Is there a bad odor coming from the face/head/beak?

You may need to syringe the medicated water into her several times a day to ensure she's getting enough fluids and medication. https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...dications-to-all-poultry-and-waterfowl.73335/

I'm not sure what you are feeling between her legs. It could be the gizzard or she may have laid internally, have a tumor, cancer or other reproductive issue.

I'm sorry she's not improving. Sometimes all we can do is offer supportive care, try to treat the symptoms as they arise and access their overall quality of life from day to day.
 

KimmieSue

Hatching
Nov 9, 2021
9
5
8
Can you check her crop early in the morning, to see if it is empty and flat, full, hard, doughy, or puffy? If there is food still in her crop in the morning before she has eaten/drunk, then she may have a crop disorder. At her age a reproductive disorder such as salpingitis, cancer, or ascites can be common. Do the nasal secretions smell bad? You may need to give her some of the medicine orally and more concentrated.
Yes, I checked her crop first thing this morning before the sun came up. I woke her up to evaluate her so it was definitely first thing. I think I psych myself out because at first it felt half full. But about 30 minutes later I felt again and it felt empty. 🤷‍♀️ She did eat and drink a little bit this morning, though!! 🙌

Her nasal plug was hard and waxy and had no odor that I could discern. I will think about giving the medicine orally. I worry a little bit because I don't want her to aspirate. Any idea what the concentrated dilution rate would be on Duramycin 10?
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom