How long is too long without eating and drinking?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Knucker Hatch Farms, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Knucker Hatch Farms

    Knucker Hatch Farms Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    We have an injured chicken from a predator attack per an earlier post. She is neither eating nor drinking, no matter what I put before her. I know these gals can go a good many days with very little food and water when they are broody. She's quite alert, but I'm sure dealing with a fair amount of shock and pain. Any thoughts on when I should get really concerned? We are on day two following the attack.

    Anyone ever had one not eat for a few days and then turn around? (grasping for straws of hope)

    Warm Regards,

    Mama Knucker Hatch
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I would say that you need to get nutrients into her immediately. Have you tried dribbling vitamin water into her mouth with a dropper or something? Are you feeding her her regular food or something easier to absorb? Try boiled egg yolks and yogurt to try to get them to absorb some nutrients and eat a little.
     
  3. Sunflower

    Sunflower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2007
    Berryton, KS
    My sick hen wouldn't eat or drink either, but when you put a teaspoon up to their little beak and dribble a little in a few times, and then offered her a little water, she might try it. I put a blade of hay in it so she could tell where the top of the water was. I also tempted her with the egg and she did try a few bites of that, but was not interested in her regular food. Good luck.
     
  4. skyedobb

    skyedobb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2009
    Quad Cities, IA
    Not sure how you're keeping her (someplace dark and quiet?), but if you're already doing that, I'd suggest the same things as others: eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, maybe a mealworm for protein? I'd add vitamins too. A dropper of water may kickstart her into wanting to drink on her own. Water (which you could supplement with vitamins/electrolytes) would be my #1 priority.
     
  5. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

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    Morganton, NC
    When the possum about killed big Sammy we had to force feed him for over a week. The possum had the birds head in it's mouth and was dragging him. Sam's head swelled to the size of a small orange. He had no way of seeing. I made a mush out of applesauce, starter grower, minced mealworms, and poultry vitamin powder. I used a plastic eye dropper and cut the end off to make a larger hole. I would take a full dropper and put a little in his beak. Took a few times, but he got the hang of it and started it. He lost an eye, but otherwise fully recovered. At least till he fell in the pond and drown.

    I did the same thing with caramel after the hawk attack. She is a bantam and that made it a little more difficult. She also recovered, but lost an eye also. It has been just over a year and she is still here.

    After I got a good tablespoon worth in a standard or teaspoon for a bantam I would give a dropper of just water. You just have to do everything slowly so that they don't choke. They were fed every 2-3 hours so that they could rest in between. It was very stressful for them.

    Matt
     
  6. strawberryfields

    strawberryfields Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 9, 2010
    If you do nothing else, water is essential. They can die from dehydration faster than they will die from the attack or the illness.

    All of the suggestions here in this post are excellent. Really excellent. Vitamin water is great as are electrolytes.

    You can give them water via a syringe or just with a small dish and dip her beak in it or dribble it from your finger to the birds beak. They will take water usually if they can feel it in their beaks and they swallow.
     
  7. Knucker Hatch Farms

    Knucker Hatch Farms Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks for all of your encouragement to hunker down and get serious about getting water and food into her. She was having none of a finger droplet of water earlier which is why I asked. But sitting down with a syringe worked much better once she got the hang of it. Started off with water and electrolytes. I'll try yogurt after shes had time to rest. She's not going for the eggs or oatmeal.

    Thank You!

    Warm Regards,

    Mama Knucker Hatch
     

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