How can my pullet be starving to death?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Plain Old Dee, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DH went out to the henhouse this morning and found one of our OEG mixed breed pullets dead on the floor. She was still warm and had not shown any sign of being sick at all. When I got home he told me there were two more dying.

    The pullets are about five months old or so. We had had a bout of some sort if URI, but I haven't had any sick ones now for over a month - no sneezing or wheezing. I walked into the henhouse and sure enough, one of the OEGs was laying on her side. I thought she was dead - the other hens were just stepping all over her. I threw a few pieces of banana around, and the other pullet my hubby thought was dying earlier beat off some of the much larger hens and grabbed herself a couple of pieces. Somehow, I don't think there was anything wrong with her - she may have been indulging in a dust bath... I hope.

    The one that was laying on her side moved her head a bit - she wasn't dead yet. I picked her up and examined her as closely as I could. Crop is empty - she's nothing but skin and bones. No sign of mites - checked her head, under her wings and her vent very carefully. Vent was nice and clean. She's not wheezing - but she's definitely weak - she pecked at me a little, but not much.

    I've never tried nursing a chicken - until I got these recently there was no need to - didn't have any problems with disease before. I offered her a bit of water in my hand - she slurped it up. I thought - it can't hurt to try. If I do nothing - she will die. If I try and she dies anyway - I tried. I brought her in the house (got some wierd looks from DH) and put her in the bathtub. Got her some warm water to drink and turned the heater way up in there. I don't have any yogurt, but I read in some other threads about feeding them cat food. I only have dry cat food, but I do have a can of dog food. I got her a spoonful of that, and she practically attacked me!. She ate it all and drank some more water. No poop yet, but it's only been a few minutes.

    She's still standing all fluffed up and looks miserable and depressed. Poor baby! Is it possible that the larger hens are keeping some of the smaller ones away from the food to the point that the smaller ones are starving? I know some of my smaller ones are meaner than the big BO hens and have no problems putting them in their place, but I have a few OEG pullets that are a little more timid.

    Any advise will be appreciated!
     
  2. Godsgrl

    Godsgrl Ostrich wrangler

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    That was my thought, that the bigger hens are bullying the smaller ones away from the food. You might want to separate them and see if the OEGs improve. Sounds like you are on the right track with nursing the sick ones. Also, try spying on the henhouse to see if you can see anything going on. Good luck.
     
  3. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know the BO's tended to pick on the three smallest OEG pullets. I have one that the literally scalped when they were first introduced. She has pretty much recovered, but her feathers haven't grown back in. She looks weird because she's solid black, and the crown of her head is stark white! She's the smallest of the little OEGs, but she's also the feistiest - so she is doing okay. I checked her tonight and her crop is full. The little pullet that DH thought was dying also has a full crop. It wasn't easy catching them, either. I didn't want to chase them too much, in case they were in bad shape.

    I noticed a bit of bubbling coming from the nose of the one that I have in the house. I did dribble a bit of water on her beak when I was first trying to help her out. Hopefully, I just got some water in her nares? [​IMG]
     
  4. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    I had trouble once introducing younger pullets into the flock. They were constantly chased away from the food in the hanging feeder. So I put up a trough style feeder up on the wall. Now they jump on the perch waiting for me to fill it daily for them. Everyone is happy now. Maybe a second feeder will help.
     
  5. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She finally pooped in the bathtub. I really don't like the looks of it. It was like the poop on the poop site that said the bird was very sick. I fear I will wake up to a dead chicken in my bathtub. DH isn't real happy that she's even in the house. He was just going to put her in the burn barrel, the old meany. I had to try... [​IMG]
     
  6. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    No chance of (internal) parasites?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
  7. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Anything is possible. I haven't seen any worms in anybody's poop. I'm more afraid the URI is trying to make a comeback. I'd try worming her just to make sure I've covered all the bases, but right now she's just too weak.
     
  8. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The dog food is ok for now, but if she makes it thru the night try to get some cat food. Cat food has more protien in it. I would also try some scrambled or chopped up hard boiled egg, it's another high protien food that they usually like. Poly visol (no iron) is also supposed to be good. I haven't used it myself, but seems to be very popular and give good results.

    You've got her in a warm place and that's going to help alot. Also make sure (you prob. already are) that she has food and water in front of her 24/7.


    I totally understand about the dh and chickens in the house. I had one in here for almost 2-weeks. It was a good thing he went on a hunting trip for the last week because he was NOT happy about a bird in the bathroom--I actually moved it into my son's room for a few days--out of sight almost out of mind! I kept mine in a large dog crate and used rag towels for bedding. I changed the towels 2-3x a day and that kept the smell under control.

    Good luck with her and please keep the updates coming.
     
  9. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    Quote:Anything is possible. I haven't seen any worms in anybody's poop. I'm more afraid the URI is trying to make a comeback. I'd try worming her just to make sure I've covered all the bases, but right now she's just too weak.

    I understand. I give my chicks hard boiled eggs that have been mashed/ cut up with a fork to strengthen them up. You might try that. They go crazy for it, too.
    I know that there are some natural "wormers" out there (that are just plain-out good for them). I've heard of pumpkin and some sort of pepper. Those don't work for an all out invasion, but they help. If anything, it would be good nutrition for the hen to get her on her feet.

    Best of luck! Keep us updated. [​IMG]
     
  10. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have lots of dry cat food. If she makes it through the night, I may try soaking some of the dry cat food and mash in warm milk - will that hurt her? I'll also give her some of our scrambled eggs. DH likes cheese in his, but I don't think that will hurt her, will it?

    Crimenetly - this is worse that taking care of a human baby or a puppy or kitten. I'd know what to do for them! [​IMG]
     

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