I have a very poorly hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Xtineart, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. Xtineart

    Xtineart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have my poorly baby tucked up on my lap wrapped up in a wee blanket as I type. She's had very runny poo for the past couple of days and she smells pretty bad too, she did lay an egg this morning but when I broke it the white was very cloudy and watery, not like normal egg white. She's breathing quite heavilly, almost like a very quiet snore and her skin is very very red, angry sore looking red. I guess she's pretty ill and she's currently fast asleep on 'mummy's' knees. She is still eating but when I called her over she was walking very slowly as though her wee body was in pain. I dont know what it is or what to do.
     
  2. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since her skin is very red check for mites. Look at her vent and if her vent feathers are dirty look for tiny black dots that move. They will also crawl on you when you hold her. There's a wide number of things that could be wrong. Keep her in the house in a warm quiet spot with water all the time, because she will get dehydrated if she has diarrhea. I wouldn't let her walk around much, it could be stressful for her: when you don't feel good you need bed rest. If you have a veterinarian in your area that sees chickens, that may be the best way to determine what is wrong and what to do. Very important: only take her to a vet that will treat her like a pet, not a farm animal.
     
  3. Xtineart

    Xtineart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    she's definitely not got mites, I've checked for red and black and I dust the hens and their house regularly and poo pick daily. I gave her a warmish bath, dried her off and applied a good layer of baby-bottom cream and antiseptic spray to try to make it a bit more comfortable for her then let her dry off in my lap for the rest of the afternoon. She's such a baby, she just snuggled in and slept there for hours wee poppet. She's out with the others just now and seems OK as I had to go out and didn't want to leave her in alone, have cleaned the coop again well and put in lots of nice cosy straw to keep her warm (she doesn't roost, she nests at night). I hope it's just a wee off spell for her as she's a proper sweetheart.
     
  4. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are taking very good care of her, so maybe the extra babying will help her recover.
     
  5. Xtineart

    Xtineart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thank you JM.

    I think some of it might to the fact that she often gets poo stuck on her backside as she has an odd cloaca where the top lip kind of overhangs the bottom one by quite a distance and so she often cant poop cleanly without dirtying her vent feathers. I do bathe her and keep her feathers clipped to try to help keep her clean and apply baby nappy rash cream to her but I've never seen her as red raw and over such a large area of skin before. she must be in so much pain. Do you think that haemorrhoid cream might help reduce her vent lip?

    the rest of the behaviour, the sleepiness and the heavy breathing I have no clue what is wrong. I did check her throuroughly for mites etc when she was sleeping on me earlier and there is no sign of anything unusual, she even let me check her wattles and feet without any complaint and I soothed them with some 8 hour cream (she is so spoilt she even gets elizabeth arden rubbed on her, daft hen) and gave her some chopped grapes as a treat which made her purr.

    I wish chickens knew how to speak so they could tell us what is wrong and how to help.

    she's such a cutey wee sausage.
     
  6. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Has the top lip always hang over like that as if it's normal for her? If so a wouldn't put a cream on her, as it wouldn't help. But if it's swollen I would try the cream. It may just take some time before the rash heals. Could that be why she feels so bad? I'm sure she appreciates all the extra care.

    I had a special rooster that was spoiled, and he had a treat of cut up grapes every night before bed.
     
  7. Xtineart

    Xtineart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its been like that since she came to live with me, she's a rescue bird and she had some real problems laying when she first came, kept breaking eggs and cutting her bum to ribbons and she had no feathers at all on her back end, she was a scared wee bald baby. She looks like a ball of fluff now but when you look closely there are still large bald patches on her hind quarters and up her breastbone and crop. I'm not sure all the feathers will ever come back. She came in this morning and it was clear her skin was itching her as she kept rubbing herself on the carpet, so I've rubbed her with eurax hydrocortisone cream that I get from the doctor for excema (it also gets used to treat mites in humans) as it might stop the itch and moisturise her sore skin a bit, hopefully that might help ease her discomfort. I just worry that I'll end up poisoning her if she tries to eat all the lotions and potions, though I'm pretty sure it tastes really horrible. The other girls are picking on her a lot just now, it's so unfair as she's in pain and they just think it's a good excuse to bully her.
     
  8. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Was she in commercial egg industry? So she has repeated injuries to her vent. The poor sweetheart. I would suggest to keep her away from the others until she heals. Chickens appreciate being kept in the house when they don't feel well, and get used to being alone some of the time.

    You might want to investigate an all natural soothing lotion. I made a cream for my hands this past week, since the weather is cold and my hands were very chapped and dry. It has been working very well. I didn't measure, just put the ingredients together:

    base is unrefined coconut oil **see note below
    about half the amount aloe vera gel
    about 1 fourth amount of non-gmo vegetable glycerine
    few drops of rose hip seed oil

    After combining the ingredients (I melted the coconut oil in a double boiler) rub it on your own skin first to get the feel of it. It should feel smooth and silky and absorb into the skin. If it doesn't absorb into the skin you have too much oil in comparison to aloe vera gel and vegetable glycerine. Vegetable glycerine draws and keeps moisture into the skin, and lotions will not moisturize without it. Aloe vera is very soothing.

    **The problem I have with using a coconut oil base is that it solidified and did not blend well with the other ingredients. I like using coconut oil because it has antiseptic properties. Olive oil may work better for keeping everything blended, which I have not tried yet. Crushed, raw garlic is a strong antibacterial that also could be added.

    As for itching, I don't know a natural cream for that. When I get poison ivy, I use what is at the pharmacy. To get more ideas search this website: Natural Chicken Keeping Thread, and All Natural Herbal Remedies and Recipes for Chickens.
     
  9. Xtineart

    Xtineart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks JM you are being really helpful, I appreciate it. I cant use aloe as I'm very allergic to it, but I'd almost forgotten coconut oil, even though I've used it on them when they came to me to smother their legs and stop leg mites. (they were all infested so bad when I got them)

    She was a commercial egg layer, I've been told she was free range but looked worse beat up than I've seen battery hens and she clearly wasnt used to humans, or gardens, r free range or grapes, and has blossomed wonderfully.

    I'm not sure about bringing her in unless I really have to as she is already at the bottom of the pecking order and I worry about re-introducing her, especially as one of the others gets insanely jealous of any bird getting more attention than her. The weather is just turning cold too and I worry that bringing her in now will mean she doesn't adjust well to the freezing nights we are due to get soon. I think I'll leave her out in the coop at night and let her spend some good long cuddle time with me in the mornings unless she gets visibly sicker or she starts bleeding. She laid an egg fine today so she's still OK in that respect.

    Is there anything I could change their bedding to that's maybe softer and more comfortable than the straw / chip mix they have now over a base of diatom cat litter to keep it dry? I was thinking of tearing up some old cotton T shirts but worry that they'll only get damp and cold?? I know I wouldn't like to have to lie in straw if my skin was sore. There is no chance of me getting them to roost as they have never known how to.
     
  10. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't bring her in the house either then, unless she was to get really ill. Sounds like a good plan with the cuddle time.

    Commercial hens are bred to lay eggs that are larger than what their body is made to pass without injury. Passing the too large eggs is difficult on their vent, and can cause prolapse, and sounds partially what has started to happen. There may be some threads on this site regarding prolapse that you could search that could be helpful. She's very fortunate to have you to take care of her. This may be something that will need monitoring regularly after she heals.

    I use pine shavings and dry Oak tree leaves as bedding. Don't know if that is softer than straw. Dry Maple leaves maybe. Maybe after she is settled for the night you could put an old t-shirt underneath her to sleep on.
     

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