Hen with darkened nostrils, diarrhea, stunted growth

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Maia, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Maia

    Maia New Egg

    Jan 21, 2011
    One of my 7 Buff Orpington hens has some dark crude in her nostrils, making them look big, black, and swollen compared to the other hens. This is the same hen who has had bouts of diarrhea on and off for the last 3 months (I obtained all the birds at the same time; they are probably around 9 months of age at this point). Her diarrhea tends toward a rusty brown color, rather than a yellow-green color. Overall, she is the runt of my chickens, much smaller and paler (in feathers and comb) compared to the other birds. However, she has been very active and laying well...at least up until now. The discolored nostril thing is new as of today.

    I tried to catch her earlier today so I could get a closer look at her nostrils, but my chickens are not very approachable and I wasn't able to grab her or get a closer look/smell at the discharge. (The chickens reside mostly in a large fenced-in coop except when I let them out a few afternoons a week). So, she is still healthy enough to elude me, but seems a little listless compared to normal. All the other birds seem healthy and well.

    Does anyone have any insight or suggestions about these symptoms? I will probably try to isolate her from the other hens this weekend and monitor her, but other than that, I am at a loss for what to do. I'm new to chicken illnesses and overwhelmed by all the possible diseases and treatment options.

    Would appreciate any help I could get! Thanks.....
  2. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Hi, first of all , welcome to BYC. It sounds like this is just one of multiple problems that have assailed this pullet, as she sounds stunted. I am not much at fixing chickens, but it sounds like you should start by separating her, perhaps a dog carrier or cage. I would start by checking very well for external parasites and cleaning nostrils with salt water. If you haven't wormed your flock, you could start by worming her with piperazine. Some people recommend adding yogurt to their diet or kefir for the probiotics. There is also a thread on here about chlorinating your water if you have well water. Hopefully someone else will come along and give us a hand here.
  3. Davidisinaband

    Davidisinaband Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2011
    Upstate, SC
    Hi and welcome!

    I've dealt with (I think) what you're dealing with now. Start of with this: If your coop is all plasticked up for the winter with or without a heat lamp inside, remove both. As long as they're dry they're ok down into the negative temps. They need a lot of ventilation and being cooped up with the fumes and humidity is bad and will produce what you're experiencing. Also, totally change out all bedding/nest box material and put new in. If it's been a while, that's also a problem. If this rings true, or is even a slight possibility, remedy those issues, and put them on electrolytes in their water for a week or so. If that doesn't help things, then it's time to search for secondary causes.

    With only having 7 chickens, you're not really risking that much by not isolating the one with the issues. Personally, I would, but it's a toss up with that few chickens. Also, if you don't have an isolation area built, take this incident as fair warning and build one asap. There will always be a need for a way to separate them for one reason or another, and you may not have time to rig something up in the case of a major incident.

    You need to handle your chickens more often! Mine were flighty at first as well, but after a few times of grabbing them, holding them, and petting them, they walk right up to me. I'm talking only having to corner each one two or three times. You're going to need to pick them up and check them regularly anyways. It's better if they know you're not there to eat them. Plus, mine let me hold her and scrape the crud off her beak with my fingernail. Yes, it's going to be that compacted on there and you'll never get it all off, you'll just have to do your best!!

    If the upper suggestion doesn't work, get some Aureomycin feed and see if that helps. If you do so, keep in mind there's no testing for egg laying chickens. Personally I use a 15 day moratorium on the eggs after their treatment is done. Again, antibiotics are a last ditch effort unless you have a 100% diagnosis. If you go this route, I would suggest following up with a worming of all your chickens if you haven't done so yet.

    Hope this helps!! [​IMG]
  4. Davidisinaband

    Davidisinaband Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2011
    Upstate, SC

    Double post.. [​IMG]

    BTW, I didn't address the diarrhea because chicken poop varies so much. Normal vs. not normal is hard to tell. Rusty red sounds natural and Ceacal.. these happen about every 8-10 droppings. When I first got my rooster I seemed to always catch him doing ceacal excrement for the first few weeks and it made me pay him slightly more attention to make sure it was just random luck of when I observed. Turned out it was. lol

    As far as the stunted growth, I have three red sexlink hens, two from the same batch, one from a different. The two same batch ones are slightly smaller at full grown than the other, and I accredit that to genetics or just plain bad vs. good nutrients at a very young age..
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011

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