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Hen seems "off". Help me speculate on what could be wrong!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by welovechickens, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. welovechickens

    welovechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My SLW, Betty, has been "off" since Monday.

    Monday morning, I went and let her out as usual so she could run around the yard. I noticed she was unsteady on her feet occasionally. Since she has been molting, she hadn't been eating much at all. The last two times she has molted, she would almost stop eating and get very skinny, but it only lasted a week or two until the new feathers started coming in.

    I noticed she was still very skinny, so I thought maybe she was starving herself. I also noticed there were almost NO droppings in her cage. She wouldn't touch her crumbles, but she would eat anything else. I loaded her up on scrambled egg, plain yogurt (with baby vitamins added), and a little milk. She ate everything with gusto, as if she really was starving. For the rest of the day, I would take her some kind of soft food every hour or two, and she would eat it hungrily.

    We repeated these steps Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Today, she desperately wanted out of her cage, but wasn't interested in food. She is unsteadier today than yesterday. She is still terribly skinny, so it looks like all the food she ate the last 3 days didn't help her at all. She seems to be having a normal amount of droppings now (and the consistency is normal), but they have a sour odor. I was holding her earlier today, and it seems like her entire body has this weird sour odor.

    Her crop was flat this morning before she ate, so I don't think she has an impaction or sour crop. The unsteadiness + sour odor + unwillingness to eat now have me stumped.

    Any suggestions? She is a 3.5-year-old SLW.

    Elisabeth
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    It seems like she is wasting. Eventually she may get that bright green stool. There could be many reasons for wasting, like tumors or cancer. I wish I knew something about a sour smell in a chicken. The unsteadiness could have alot of reasons too, it may involve some nerves.

    Have you gotten any new birds in the past few months?
     
  3. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would start with worming her.
     
  4. welovechickens

    welovechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nope, no new chickens. It's been the same 3 this whole time.

    I wondered about worms, but her droppings don't look like that type, and I haven't seen anything unusual mixed in. My other two chickens are perfectly healthy and perky.

    I also wondered if she might have eaten a toad or lizard that poisoned her. When she felt well, she would eat ANYTHING, dead or alive. [​IMG]

    What type of worm medicine do you use? She's not laying right now obviously, since she was molting, so the eggs won't be an issue. She seems kind of weak/unsteady at times...do you think the worm medicine would be pretty hard on her? I guess it's something you just have to do and see if it helps.

    Thanks for the ideas. :)
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Round worms are the most common and Wazine is good for that, you can find it in feed stores. It shouldn't bother her. You can use a wormer that covers more when she's feeling better. And I would keep giving her anything she wants to eat.
     
  6. welovechickens

    welovechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! I will look for that.

    She has not been interested in eating treat foods today (eggs, yogurt, wet food), yet she is acting perkier. I put her dry food back in her cage and removed all the dainty little treats...they are getting wasted because she won't touch them, then the ants get in everything. I could tell she got into the dry food, so maybe she is still in the molting-no-appetite stage.

    I will look for the wormer and probably dose her before she starts laying again.

    Thanks again!
     

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