how do I force feed a chicken?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Dar, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    First off I am NOT a fan of force feeding.. BUT my hubby is more then a little inapt when it comes to chickens... I told him NO MORE.. what did he do?... go get more so I told him he is responsible for them. I have been checking on them to make sure he is not going way off track..

    Last night I found his NN hen kinda lying on her side not lethargic just unable to stand. The rooster is ok. After talking I found out he has not been giving them grit but has been feeding them layer feed. I am thinking that she cant digest because there is no grit in her crop.

    I was going to get some oat meal and layer feed (i dont have any chick starter left) and thin it with a superbooster and "force feed" her ... but I dont know how...

    I have a saline syringe that I can use but I dont want to get it in her lungs.

    will she be able to digest the oatmeal and the layer without the grit?
     
  2. sticksoup

    sticksoup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know about your answer about force feeding- but are you sure the feeding is the problem? Maybe you should give us more info on her condition to help find what is making her unable to stand. Is she not eating at all? Is she skinny? Losing feathers?
     
  3. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    no loosing feathers
    no worms

    yes she is skinny


    I dont know if she is eating... I cant watch her to see if she is or not. I was going to offer feed by syringe and see if she perks up... if she does then it was a feed issue
     
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Do you have a big roo? They can sometimes hurt a hens back when they climb on them...
    I had that happen to one of my smaller hens... i had to put her down.
    As for the syringe feeding... ugh! Good luck! Its SO dangerous and easy to aspirate(sp?) them..
    The vet told me you have to go way back in the throat... beyond the windpipe.... or something like that... [​IMG]
    I would first try to dribble water/fluids down the side of her beak.... she if she even has any swallowing reflex...
    Maybe open her mouth a put just timy drop on the side of her beak or tounge?

    OOh for food... you can try to make a soft mash out of something good... and take a TINY (smaller than pea size) and open up her beak and put the tiny bit of food on her tounge... see if she'll swallow it...
    Maybe you can also try to dip her beak in some water...
    Maybe try something like watermelon... lots of fluid in that... and chickens usually go nuts for it...
    I dont know... good luck!

    OOh and i wanted to add.. my chickens have had the same bowl of grit for 2 years now! [​IMG] They dont even use it... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  5. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    ok its been a few hours and I think I have been successful. my daughter held her and i opened her beak and VERY slowly drop by drop placed the mash water in her beak and she did swallow so we repeated that process until I could see her crop growing but i did not want to over stuff her. that was the water and the vitamin mix.. almost like the run off from the mash.

    I just went back and checked on her in the ICU and she POOPED! [​IMG] and the crop looked empty so my son held her this time and i had a small blob of the feed and placed it in her beak and she ate, swallowed it down no problem once she got the hang of things i was spoon feeding her and heaven forbid if a glob fell off the spoon her lil head was right there chasing it.

    she still cant stand but has movement in her legs so I am hopeful when she regains some strength she will be able to stand again
     
  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Yay!! Sounds like good progress!!
     
  7. sticksoup

    sticksoup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep us updated! Glad to hear she is feeling a little better. Good job feeding her. [​IMG]
     
  8. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    Hubby and I fed her again before bed last night we also rolled a towel and made a ring/nest for her to keep her upright.

    This morning she had wiggled and flipped herself out of the ring and she pooped again. When I picked her up to feed her she was moving both legs and squackin up a storm. No more opening her beak she gladly ate off the spoon

    A question though. I have been giving her layer crumbles that have been soaked with warm water that has meds in it. The meds are called super booster. Its basically gatorade for chickens with penicillin too.

    I don't want to put a water bottle in the crate because she will make a mess. Because I am feeding the slurry of crumbles and water do you think that's enough liquid for her? How much water does a chicken need?

    When she is able to stand again I will put the food and water in the crate but right now if she tips it over she will be sitting in with no way to get out and I don't want to add to her issues.

    What would cause instant paralysis? She still has movement in the legs but can't stand unassisted she was with a roo that is the same size as her. She is only about 10 weeks old and is a naked neck her brother is showing no signs of illness. I don't know if they were vaccinated but they were fed medicated chick starter from about a week old till about 6 weeks old
     
  9. xyresicchick

    xyresicchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i would offer water. especially in the summer.

    if the bottle drips, i would give her a bottom-heavy coffee cup/mug full of water. the weight should hold the water upright, and you could also secure the mug witha bungee cord or some rope if you need to. you can even offer water for a short time and take it away once she drinks her fill.
     
  10. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    She is in an air conditioned house and she would not be able to reach a coffee cup

    I had a hamster type water bottle in there and when she flopped over the blanket pushed the ball of the bottle and dumped all the water out so then she was lying on her back in a puddle on a soaking wet blanket.
     

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