Hot to Treat Distended Crop and Leg Mites?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by OlyChickenGuy, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Run-Down:

    Yesterday my house mates went out to look at houses to buy, as they are looking to move. The story my house mates gave me is that on one property was a dilapidated hen-house with bones and carnage, but as they were looking they found one lone hen. They said it looked as though everyone had just up and left. There was one tiny blue egg that was frozen solid and split. When they found her her crop was massively distended and squishy, but other than the leg mites ( which I saw for myself when she came home ), she is in wonderful condition - her feathers are all silky-smooth, and it looks like none are missing or broken, with a full tail and wings. She is also a fairly healthy weight. Upon arriving home, one my house mates gave her a handful of food ( layer feed would be my guess ) but nothing more, and I gave her some water last night when I put her in an isolation chamber, but nothing else. Her crop feels more or less normal as of last night, but I haven't checked her yet this morning. She also had lice when she first showed up, but I powdered her since I didn't want her spreading her lice to my chickens since I had JUST dusted them a few weeks ago. She had no visible nids, but when I was holding her after awhile I started feeling things crawling on me and eventually picked off a small, round louse. She produced one stool sample last night after sitting in my lap for about an hour - it was long, dark, and solid with the usual gooey white end. Her vent is not messy with faecal matter - just a little bit of uric acid.



    Physical Description:

    I don't have a camera immediately available to me, and I don't know when I'll get one so I'll describe as best I can. She is somewhere between the size of a bantam and a standard chicken - very similar in size to the Campines I raised awhile back. My best guess in breed would be a cross between an Ameraucana and black Australorp. I can't, however, rule out Auracana as a base breed, either. She has no ear tufts nor does she have beard and muffs, but she has no wattles and a comb that is small and squiggly like a pea comb, but it is a single flap of flesh like a single-comb without the points ( is that a "bladed" comb? ). However, just behind her ears her neck feathers floof very similarly to my Ameraucanas. Presumably, under the circumstances she was found in suggests she lays small blue eggs. She has two itty spurs, but they're very, very loose. She is broad-breasted and a little heavy with a black beak and legs like an Australorp with the intensely vivid blue-green sheen that Australorps tend to have, but like my Ameraucanas, many of her feathers have a light-coloured quill. She also has some flecks of brown around her face and upper neck, but she's black on all the rest of her body similar to my house mate's Black Stars. Tail and wings aren't very note-worthy - they are fairly normal with no distinctive colourings or shape.



    Behaviour:

    When my house mates found her, she ran away until they cornered her and brought her home. They said that she screamed and screamed the first time she ran away. When I met her, I took her from my house mate and she squirmed a little bit, but only a little. I set her down on my lap and my house mates and I watched a movie with her there. She only tried to get away once, and it was a quick trot across my lap before I caught her and put her back. It took over an hour before she was comfortable enough to close her eyes and go to sleep. She would occasionally go, "cluck, cluck, clu- KOK!!" with the last bit being very, very loud. She would continue unless I gently encouraged her to sit back down and rest her head against her breast. When dusted, she squirmed and clucked, but not too loudly and she never escaped. When I would set her down, she would just sit where I left her, and though she might duck when I went to pick her up, after the first attempt to run off my lap, she has not again tried to even take a step. While watching the movie last night, she eventually became calm enough to groom herself some and then sleep. In my room, in the isolation tank, I introduced her to a small cup of water and put in with her the towel that she sat on my lap on so that she would have something soft to sleep on. She has not yet drank on her own, but when I awoke it was still quite dark out and she was still asleep, so I have not observed her since I went to sleep after isolating her last night - shortly after obtaining her. I did dip her beak into the water twice, though, just to introduce her to the water. Upon being set in the tank, she stood where I put her for a few minutes before pecking at the ground a couple of times, and then she headed over to the towel to sit down.



    What to do?

    So... where to from here? Should I continue feeding her small amounts at a time and just making sure her crop is full, should I give her a full feeder and assume she can feed herself and judge how much is okay and how much isn't, or should I withhold food? I have never found a situation with birds in which withholding food is the appropriate option, but with the distended crop I am wary about just giving her a full feeder. I know she needs water no matter what. Also - how should I treat scaly leg mites?

    [This site] suggests dipping the legs in a common cooking oil every day until it clears up. Cheap, but is it effective? Has anyone done this?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  2. ipana

    ipana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good for you to rescue this little thing. Hopefully, you can get her back to shape. There are two things to verify: does her crop return to flat overnight? That is important. It should. If not, she obviously has problems. Second, is she pooping? That, too, is important. Figure out those things and then maybe you can hone in on what to do. If the crop doesn't go flat, she could have sour crop if it is squishy or impacted crop if it is hard. No poop and you know that nothing is going through her system so she is not getting any nutrition.

    Keep us posted and we'll surely try to help.
     
  3. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Accidentally put this under "Physical Description" instead of "Run-Down":
    She produced one stool sample last night after sitting in my lap for about an hour - it was long, dark, and solid with the usual gooey white end. Her vent is not messy with faecal matter - just a little bit of uric acid.

    I have not checked her crop this morning. I assume by "flat" you mean "normal when empty"?​
     
  4. ipana

    ipana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes...although perhaps we're on two wave lengths here. In the morning, the crop description I use is "flat." You are correct, though, that that is normal because it is empty! Now we're really getting confused, eh? Anyway, you know what it should be...flat and/or normal but specifically empty! [​IMG]

    Here's a link for poop descriptions:

    http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0


    Looks like these links are from the uk...right down your way, eh?
     
  5. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh wow! I am so glad all of those droppings I've seen in the past year and a half ( which is as long as I've had chickens ) have been normal!! Except, of course, when my first batch contracted coccidia - only lost three chicks out of nearly thirty in that, though! Looks like the faecal droppings the new girl has produced are entirely normal and solid. Rejoice!

    As for UK - nope, not quite! I'm an Aussie, but living in the Pacific Northwest of the US for the past many years... unfortunately. Too wet for me! My little flock keeps me happy, though.
     
  6. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    UPDATE

    Little Girl had a normal, empty crop this morning when I checked her. I gave her water and had her drink a fair amount before I gave her any food. She now has a clean tank, water, food, and a soft towel. Unfortunately, being a glass tank, I cannot give her a perch.

    Does anyone have any suggestions about how to deal with the leg mite issue? Has anyone else used cooking oil to treat scaly leg mites, or heard of anyone that has?
     
  7. Frannabelle

    Frannabelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Vaseline works great for leg mites. It's kind of messy, but works great. I put it on my two that had the mites, a couple of times a week over a two week period, no more mites.
    It can be gross too, though. The scales come off in chunks, so don't be alarmed
     
  8. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the Scarlet spray you get at the feed store. It somewhat dyes red so watch the clothing (I don't think it's indelible though). I had problems with a hen having sparse feathers for the longest time. I finally started using a few drops of pour on Ivermectin (read up if you're not using it already, okay?), an extra good smathering in poultry dust all over (sprinkle it into the base of the feathers wherever possible, lift feathers, work it in), and then coat the legs with Scarlet spray. It's got some antiseptic properties so it'll take care of any little sores. My little bald hen FINALLY is fully feathered (she had bald head, back, some loss on wings). Another hen that was being picked on is looking superb. One treatment alone didn't seem to cut it though. Not until I did all three did it finally nix the problem. Plus I sprinkled poultry dust and some DE in the coop/run. In the summertime, I'll scrub it out with clorox and spray some insecticide in there in all the crevices and around where the most traffic is. I think the deep litter method has also been beneficial this winter.
     
  9. Frannabelle

    Frannabelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is scarlet spray? I'm familiar with blue kote, but not this
    I've never seen it
     
  10. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Scarlet Spray - ah dangit, I know what that is but I can't think of the name of it! I know it has trace amounts of mercury in it, though. My mum used some on me when I was a kid, and the fact it had mercury in it and she was putting it on a wound freaked me out - but I later learned it's such small amounts that it doesn't do all that much damage - it's more medicinal than bad, if you don't use it in large quantities.

    Anyway, I'm interested in the oil remedy and am asking about that specifically because I do not have much cash, and no job - but I do have food stamps. Also, even though my house mates are asking me to take care of this chicken, they will not spend money on it. Or at least, are very unlikely to. If plain old cooking oil will do the job, I can just purchase some with food stamps, and that'd be great - but if cooking oil doesn't work, then why put her through it?
     

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