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Hen with apparent Allergies

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by CornflakeAcres, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. CornflakeAcres

    CornflakeAcres Hatching

    Feb 6, 2014
    I have a new issue that I need some input on! In my 40 years of raising chickens this is a first for me! I have a hen who recently had a bout of sour crop. We treated her with the usually remedies and she seemed to rebound. After starting her back on moistened feed she relapsed. After a trip to the vet, some antifungals and gastoral stimulating meds she rebounded again. Started her on scrambled eggs, a bit of yogurt, vitamins and probiotics and all was well. Added a bit of wet cat food all is well still. We then started giving her runny oat meal and she crashed and burned again! It was bad and I decided we had nothing to lose so I started giving her "Magic", a concoction we give our goats when they are "off" and, well, they don't call it Magic for nothing! Went back to scrambled eggs and probiotic in her water and Magic twice a day and she's was good again. Made the mistake apparently of offering moistened feed after a week and she relapsed again. It has been almost a week since we put her back on scrambled eggs, Magic and wet cat food and she is doing really well. Talked to my vet and he agrees that there might be an allergy issue.

    Here is the 6 million dollar question, what do you feed a gluten / grain intolerant chicken during the winter when there isn't "pasture"? I thought about cooked rice or cracked corn, I know my other chickens love it but am a little gun shy with this little girl. I'm concerned about getting a good balanced diet for her. What do y'all think?

  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Hmm... That is a new one. Corn is one of the main grains in most feed so I don't know if that is the best option. You could see how she does with rice supplemented with scrambled eggs periodically? With allergies they recommend introducing one food at a time so it is easier to monitor the reaction to the new food.
  3. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Welcome to BYC :) Sorry to hear about your poor bird. I'm fairly new to raising chickens but have learned a few things about digestion over the years.

    How old is the chicken? I mean, how long has she been fine and now this is an issue? Is she laying? Have you tried sprouted grains? Any grains in the wet cat food? If so, you could probably rule out a grain issue. And perhaps her GI system just isn't up to speed yet after only a week or two on the special diet...perhaps keep up the diet for longer and then start to add in teeny-tiny bits of other food (such as something grain-based) for a day, then back off on the new foods and continue a bit more with the special diet, then add in a teeny-tiny amount more of other food...don't add too much "trigger foods" at once and slow work up to her ability to digest more and more easily...you get my idea. Take a longer term approach to healing her gut and see if that helps more.

    I get that you're nervous about triggering her crop issue again, but this recipe digests SO much more easily for us than your standard oatmeal:

    In the morning soak rolled or steel-cut oats in plenty of non-chlorinated water a couple tablespoons of ACV at room temp for 8-10 hours. Before bed, drain oats and place in a slow-cooker on low with a bit of salt and slightly less water than you would use for a normal recipe (about 1-1/3c water per cup of soaked oats) and let it cook overnight. In the morning, scoop some oatmeal out, let it cool a bit and top with a good dose of yogurt. I bet the soak, long cook and yogurt will help your bird, but let us know what you find out.

    Note that if you really think it's a gluten issue, there is gluten-free oatmeal available, but it's fairly more expensive than the regular stuff.

    And I'm curious, what is this stuff "Magic"?
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014

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