Hypothermia vs. Dehydration vs. Unknown

XanderWiFi

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Aug 6, 2017
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Central Virginia
Found our Rhode Island Red "Red" (not very imaginative, I know) laying under the coop doing the drooping eyed head drop. Doors were open for free range time so her being here is very strange. Eventually, we sent our son in to scoop her out as she would not be moved otherwise. She moved a little when he started nudging her but didn't seem to want to be on her legs. She was shaking and trembling as we brought her in. Inside the warm bathroom her eyes sharpened and we were able to get some electrolyte water via syringe in her gullet.

Fearing egg binding, I did the finger test and didn't feel an egg. Everything was quite clear and empty in the backside. A little urea came out with the finger but nothing more. With food, water, a warm blanket we let her relax for the rest of the night.

Woke up, went down, she was standing and clucking, 2 healthy piles of poop present. Still keeping the tail tucked down though. She attacked the food bowl when I held it up to her. Not much interest in water and definitely not interested in the syringe. We decided to give her a pampering and washed her legs/feet and slathered them with coconut oil. She has some looser leg scales and some hefty dandruff but I don't see any obvious mite infestation. Each foot has a very small bumblefoot bruise/patch we are going to revisit after this episode.

We deep bed the inside part of their coops with DE mixed in. The coldest it has dropped overnight is into the 20s but we keep their chicken sized coop door open so there isn't any reason she could not get inside. They have definitely experienced colder. We carry out a gallon of hot water to pour in to melt anything that is frozen so there hasn't been any lack of access to food/water.

I'm honestly baffled as to what it could be. Any ideas or places to look now would be greatly appreciated.
 

Wyorp Rock

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How old is she?
Is she molting?

I would check to make sure her crop is emptying overnight. Feel her abdomen below the vent between her legs for any bloat/fluid.
Hard to know what's going on with her, she may be having trouble with a soft shelled egg, crop issues or ? I would continue to work on encouraging her to get hydrated and see that she eats well.

Photos of her, poop, legs/feet are always welcome.
 

XanderWiFi

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Aug 6, 2017
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Central Virginia
@Wyorp Rock
-About 4 years old
-Light molt last month
-crop and all along the front of her neck feels normal. Or don't feel any overpacked spots at least.
-All along the belly and backside it feels pretty firm (I did have another chicken pass from some kind of organ failure that caused rear end bloating/swelling-seeing none of that).

I'll work on some pictures. She was quite indignant about the inspection lol. Just stands in the same spot wherever she is left though. Really thinking something is going on with the legs.
 

XanderWiFi

Songster
Aug 6, 2017
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Central Virginia
We turned her back to the flock today. They are out free ranging so all kind of spread out. They saw her, she saw them. She wandered into the coop and is just kind of hanging out. She seems slow, cautious. But she is eating, drinking, pooping and wide eyed and bushy tailed. Posture is normal again. Can't find any reason to keep her in the hospital room.
 

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