I think my chicken has Coccidiosis, What do I do? And what's this bump??

emily42192

In the Brooder
Oct 29, 2019
2
2
14
I've had this chick for about a year and a half now and she used to have red feathers. She started to molt in the summer and she only started growing white feathers. I noticed she got kind of small compared to the other chickens, I assumed that was normal for her, don't know a lot about chickens.
But now a year and a half later, I brought her inside because she is half bald (it's 18 degrees outside, she was shivering in the coop), she won't grow her feathers back. Just noticed her poops are really watery. I am listening to her breathe for the first time, and she's breathing very heavily like she's got a stuffy nose or something. She's walking kind of funny, one foot in front of the other and kind of crouched down the whole time. I've been doing all this research and I think it's coccidiosis but it says it's easily treatable if caught early. It's probably been like a year though since she started to look like this, with her decreased growth and terrible looking feathers. Is is still treatable? Or should we just put her out of her misery like my husband suggest? I feel bad, I don't know what to do! And I'm also not sure what this weird looking bump on her butt is, it looks weird
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Shezadandy

Crowing
Sep 26, 2015
1,666
1,895
307
Portland OR
I've had this chick for about a year and a half now and she used to have red feathers. She started to molt in the summer and she only started growing white feathers. I noticed she got kind of small compared to the other chickens, I assumed that was normal for her, don't know a lot about chickens.
But now a year and a half later, I brought her inside because she is half bald (it's 18 degrees outside, she was shivering in the coop), she won't grow her feathers back. Just noticed her poops are really watery. I am listening to her breathe for the first time, and she's breathing very heavily like she's got a stuffy nose or something. She's walking kind of funny, one foot in front of the other and kind of crouched down the whole time. I've been doing all this research and I think it's coccidiosis but it says it's easily treatable if caught early. It's probably been like a year though since she started to look like this, with her decreased growth and terrible looking feathers. Is is still treatable? Or should we just put her out of her misery like my husband suggest? I feel bad, I don't know what to do! And I'm also not sure what this weird looking bump on her butt is, it looks weird
The weird bump is just her oil gland. When she grooms herself, she rubs her head against it to distribute in her feathers.

Right now it appears she is molting and is regrowing those feathers - the short ones with just the fluffy edges are "pin feathers".

Usually chickens don't molt their first year, then molt in their second year. Until they molt, if they've had feather damage, you're stuck with it until they do, which is why she looked like that for so long. I had one whose tail was gone, the neck and chest were bare, then she FINALLY molted and looks like a new bird!

Within 3 weeks or so she should finish up. Support her with high protein snacks - mealworms- there are feeds specifically for molt, like "feather fixer" (nutrena, I think). Lots of us feed Flock Raiser, which is a 20% protein food -- regular layer feed has only 16% protein, the minimum laying hens need to produce eggs.

So NO don't put her out of her misery. Just give her good nutritional support, keep your handling of her (picking up, petting, that kind of thing) to a minimum until she's done molting.

Molt can be really hard on some birds, as they're using so much of their resources to regrow feathers -- and they get to be very uncomfortable, especially as those pin feathers poke through and grow out.
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
Sep 26, 2015
1,666
1,895
307
Portland OR
Forgot to address the breathing. Does she have any discharge? It's also possible that the change from inside the coop in cold air and being in your house, much warmer air, might have caused some congestion, much like when you walk out of a nice warm building into your cold car, or vice versa. If there's discharge or other symptom, that would be helpful for others to give advice.
 

emily42192

In the Brooder
Oct 29, 2019
2
2
14
Forgot to address the breathing. Does she have any discharge? It's also possible that the change from inside the coop in cold air and being in your house, much warmer air, might have caused some congestion, much like when you walk out of a nice warm building into your cold car, or vice versa. If there's discharge or other symptom, that would be helpful for others to give advice.
I'm not sure how to tell if a chicken has discharge. I just know her poop is really runny and white and clear. When I brought her inside, I just started looking at her and noticed her breathing so heavily. The molting thing though, I thought she did it last year. she used to have red feathers then molted and regrew smaller white feathers. Now she's just been getting worse and worse. I hope she grows them back. I'll run to the store tomorrow and pick up some higher protein food and more meal worms. Thank you so much for your reply! I was getting really worried.
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
Sep 26, 2015
1,666
1,895
307
Portland OR
I'm not sure how to tell if a chicken has discharge. I just know her poop is really runny and white and clear. When I brought her inside, I just started looking at her and noticed her breathing so heavily. The molting thing though, I thought she did it last year. she used to have red feathers then molted and regrew smaller white feathers. Now she's just been getting worse and worse. I hope she grows them back. I'll run to the store tomorrow and pick up some higher protein food and more meal worms. Thank you so much for your reply! I was getting really worried.
Watching her comb is a good way to monitor whether she's doing OK in the oxygen department - if she starts having bigger issues, it will darken and can even go purple-ish.

By discharge, I mean her nose and eyes. If there's a respiratory issue, the eyes can run (as can the nose) and you might see small bubbles in her eyes. If it's a passing thing, like adjusting to the temperature difference, hopefully it clears up. Someone else might have better guidance for you on that part of things.

Poop wise - she might have just had a bunch of water. White excretions are the equivalent to urine - on 'normal' poops, you'll often see a white area which is their version of pee. If you can keep her on a surface that allows you to see what she pooped out overnight - like paper towels or a really old towel ready for 'retirement' - that will give you more clues in the morning.

In the picture, it looks like her crop (the "pouch" at the right front of her chest, circled in red below) appears to have stuff in it. Overnight, just give her access to water, and then when you get up in the morning, check the crop to see that it's empty. Chickens use their crops like grocery bags, they gather food - then digest it overnight and out it goes. The reason to withhold food (tonight only) is to be sure it's emptying. Compare how it feels tonight to how it looks/feels in the AM.

upload_2019-10-29_23-3-47.png


As far as the feathers go, is she a "frizzle" of some variety? I don't have personal experience in this realm, but have read that their feathers don't hold up as well and aren't always as thick and lush as other chickens, more prone to damage. Feather color wise, I don't know what to tell you - chicken feather genes are funny things! Maybe someone else will know more about it. Edited to add- like the photo in my avatar. Both my frizzles turned out to be boys, so I only had them a short time, but their feathers were definitely not as dense, i.e. not as many feathers per section of skin. I didn't have them long enough for them to molt- just as chicks.
 
Top Bottom