Hen with watery diarrhea

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pipersong, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. pipersong

    pipersong Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi! This is my first post...I think I might still have new chicken owner sparkles. This winter, we decided to get into chickens and were just going to get some chicks at the farm store and start out that way. Started to look for equipment, etc., online and ended up rescuing 2 hens (1 barred rock, 1 ameracauna) and 2 geese (embden and embden/toulouse cross) and got all of the equipment, fencing, etc., for a ridiculously low price. We've rescued lots of dogs and have soft spots for animals in need.

    The barred rock had half of her feathers gone from one side, was scabby, and had lifted scales on her legs. Mind you, I have never had chickens before, so this was the immersion method into chicken care. I researched and treated her wounds, and thankfully, they healed quickly and she is beautiful once again. Legs were so bad that the scales will probably not ever lay down, but she is not in pain and walks just fine. The girls were in really poor digs...looked like no cleaning had gone on for months. But with lots of TLC (and singing to them every night), the Ameracauna began laying in 3 weeks and gives 6/week. The barred rock took about a week longer, but gives less (2-3/week). We were told both hens were about 3 years old.

    Last week, something chased the hens in the yard (coop is almost done, whew!) and pulled tail feathers from the ameracauna and sent the barred rock into hiding overnight. We got snow that night (yetch). Honey (barred rock) was out the next morning like nothing was wrong and appeared normal. She hadn't laid an egg in about 10 days, didn't appear eggbound, so I chalked it up to the snap of every day rain and 35 degree weather. Then 2 days after it snowed, she laid an egg about 1.5" in diameter with a sandpapery thin shell. She hasn't laid since and has had diarrhea (watery with bits of white and sometimes yellow) since. She is eating and drinking. I gave her greek yogurt (by hand, spoiled thing), washed her poo-caked feathers in warm water, gave her a slice or 2 of olive-oil soaked bread, and we are putting electrolytes in her water today. She is now outside grazing, but doesn't stay out long and goes back into the temporary coop (garage) and lies under the nesting boxes with her head to the corner. What's left of her comb (looks like it froze off poor thing) and wattles are nicely red and normal, eyes seem fine although not perhaps as bright as usual. No hunching, and tail is up when she's outside. Prior to giving the "sandpaper egg," she was sitting in a nesting box for a couple of hours, clucking like she was going to lay an egg, and then would stop, repeating the behavior like 15 times. Now she won't even get into a nesting box.

    I don't know what to do. I asked the farm store about worming and they looked at me like I grew antlers. I have heard to give wazine, but I have no idea how much to give or if I should give it. There are no visible worms in her poo at all. We have 20 meat beasts (cornish x) and 22 laying chicks also known as the meaties and the sweeties. They are almost 6 weeks old and neither they nor the ameracauna show any issues at all. Can someone please help? I love Honey already and I've spent so much time nurturing her, I'd hate to lose her if there's something I can do. BTW....nobody told me how much "butt stuff" there was with chickens! (but I still love my girls!) Thanks for any help...I'm worried sick!
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    What do you feed your hens? do you offer extra calcium in the form of oyster shell? they could probably use a good worming, and the best one on the market now is Valbazen, it will kill all known worms of chickens. it's actually goat wormer i believe but very safe for chickens. you also want to give yogurt which you are that will help with gut trouble and after you worm continue with the probiotics. your doing all the right things like the yogurt and electrolytes. Try worming and see if that perks her up. And I'd try to see if and when she lays again and keep tabs on it for a while to make sure she isn't having problems there. Taking these hens and geese in was a wonderful thing and you will be bleessed for it. If you decide to worm be sure to repeat the worming in 14 days.
    dosage: LF 1/2cc/ml ,1/4 cc/ml SF
    please keep us updated on her and what you have decided to do. thanks and [​IMG]
    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...k8cZso&sig=AHIEtbQjrfmGRxDw5B_UrnbGKxNg1QMpTQ
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Yes, I recommend you worm both your rescued hens with valbazen, as Miss Lydia stated. Valbazen dosage is 1/2cc given orally to both your hens. Your Barred Rock hen, Honey, has scaly leg mites. I recommend you liberally apply vaseline to her legs and continue with vaseline treatment til the scales flatten and look normal. The vaseline will smother the leg mites. You also need to visually inspect them for lice and mites, especially around the vent area. If you see any, dust them with sevin dust and repeat again in 10 days. The next time Honey tries to lay an egg and cant (as you basically stated) it is possible she could be egg bound. In this instance, place her in a container of warm water covering her underside, gently massage her underside for about 15-20 minutes, remove her from the water and dry her off. Next, put on a disposable plastic glove and lube the glove with olive oil and insert your finger into her vent, gently feeling for any obstructions. Remove your finger and apply olive oil around her vent area. By soaking her in warm water, it expands her innards. Massaging her underside helps the egg move along in the expanded tract. The finger insertion and olive oil lubrication helps expand the area inside the vent for her to lay the egg much easier. Good luck.
     
  4. Caliphe

    Caliphe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, Dawg, I'm not the OP but your advice even put ME at ease. Very well worded and helpful.[​IMG]
     
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Quote:Thank you Caliphe.
     
  6. pipersong

    pipersong Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2011
    Thanks to all! I got some oyster shell just now and will offer it to the girls. The farm store didn't have the dewormer you mentioned...all they stock is wazine and safeguard. Since I don't know anything about either, I'm going on a search tomorrow!

    The leg mites I did know about. I used toothpicks and cleaned under each scale and washed and scrubbed her legs and feet well. Bless her, she was so patient! I coated them in oil, but will switch to Vaseline if that's best. Already dealt with the mites and had to dust with Sevin. Imagine my horror when I found that little infestation around her vent! But she recovered well and quickly. It has been a real baptism by fire the past 6 weeks since we got them!

    So grateful for this forum (although not looking forward to becoming a chicken proctologist). Thanks again to all for help...I welcome it all with arms thrown open! (and I'll sleep better now too!)
    Jodie
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Quote:Vegetable oil for the legs is good too! Since your feed store has wazine and safeguard, you can go ahead and use them. Perhaps you can get the valbazen at a later time.
    Wazine dosage is one ounce per one gallon of water. OR, cut the dosage in half since you're worming only 2 hens. The only problem with mixing wormers with water is that you never know how much of it a chicken has drank to be effective. This is why I recommend wormers that can be given orally...that way you know they've been properly wormed. Sometimes a sick chicken wont drink medicated water and wont be properly wormed. Let's hope she drinks enough. Remove any other water source for 24 hours. Give her the wazine water for 24 hours straight, then discard after 24 hours is up. Then provide her with regular freshwater. Ten days later, give each hen a "pea" size amount of safeguard equine paste. There is a grand total of 24 days egg withdrawal period. Throw the eggs in the garbage.
     
  8. pipersong

    pipersong Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much Dawg (and all!). I have given the Wazine and marked my calendar for the Safeguard. I really appreciate your telling me dosages, etc. I never knew there was so much that could go wrong! But, I do know the issues inherent in any animal rescue, so I'm not complaining (just anxious!). Just an update: have given the Wazine and am continuing electrolytes today. They love yogurt and don't make a mess at all...they are proper ladies who wipe their beaks after every two or three bites [​IMG] They do like to be outside for the most part, so I'm letting them out to enjoy the sunshine and good ol' Vitamin D. They are at least happy. I am glad I wormed, because now Queen, the Ameracauna, hasn't laid in 2 days but seems fine otherwise. Tails up, eating fine...just runny poo.

    I am still on poo watch, and things aren't changing much. When should I expect to see an improvement (as if poo could look good haha). Don't want to have unreasonable expectations!

    Again, thank you! (Now I've gotta go get my hives ready for tomorrow's bee arrival!!! yay!!!)
     
  9. pipersong

    pipersong Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks to all for the help. Worming seemed to do the trick and all "systems" are going fine with the girls. The ameracauna is back to laying 6 days out of 7 (has killed me to not eat them during the withdrawal period) but the barred Rick hasn't laid a good egg since April 10. Going to keep loving on her anyway, eggs or not. She is a good friend to the ameracauna and is a good, although strict, teacher to my 22 laying babies, now 9 weeks old. Thanks again to all for making me feel so much better!
     

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