Is my hen sick?

Sarah2020

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
Dec 26, 2020
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63
86
As a background, we had planned on getting chickens in February from a local hatchery but we were asked if we'd rehouse three chickens that needed a home and we agreed. The three chickens came to our place almost a week ago and they seem to have warmed up to me well and I already know quite a bit about their personalities. Sadly, one of them seems to be acting strange but maybe it's normal chicken behavior - I've never owned chickens so I have no idea.

1) What type of bird, age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
A 9-month-old Amerecauna hen. I'm not sure her weight, she's a bit smaller than the others but she doesn't look like she's lost weight since she came to us.

2) What is the behavior, exactly.
She won't leave the coop to come out into the run. After she finally came out into the run she wouldn't come out to free-range with the rest of the flock. Instead she stands on both legs and seems to be napping (closing her eyes). Also, she's camped out right next to the water dish and won't move.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
Two days

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
No, the other two seem completely fine.

5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
No

6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
The only thing I can think of is stress from being rehoused or not enough water. I had them with a 5-gallon nipple setup and while I've watched all of them use it, when they'd free range they'd all run to drink from puddles and other places where the water had gathered. So, today, I changed the nipples out for water cups instead.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
Only water, layer feed, oyster shell, some scratch, a little bit of apple, and a little banana.

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
Her poop appears to be normal although we've got another one in the flock that has intermittently runny stool.

9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
I've placed her back in the coop for comfort so the others aren't crowding her, added more straw for warmth, I put a heat lamp out for a while which she seemed to enjoy (she nestled next to it and after about 10 minutes came out into the run).

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird until you can get to a vet?
I'm hoping to understand if this behavior is normal or if it's something I should be concerned about. And if so, I'd like to try to treat her myself.

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use

A mix of a thin layer of pellets and pine shavings with a thick layer of straw on top. There's shredded crinkle paper in the nest boxes.
 

hayley3

Crowing
14 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,072
1,956
446
Southern Indiana
As a background, we had planned on getting chickens in February from a local hatchery but we were asked if we'd rehouse three chickens that needed a home and we agreed. The three chickens came to our place almost a week ago and they seem to have warmed up to me well and I already know quite a bit about their personalities. Sadly, one of them seems to be acting strange but maybe it's normal chicken behavior - I've never owned chickens so I have no idea.

1) What type of bird, age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
A 9-month-old Amerecauna hen. I'm not sure her weight, she's a bit smaller than the others but she doesn't look like she's lost weight since she came to us.

2) What is the behavior, exactly.
She won't leave the coop to come out into the run. After she finally came out into the run she wouldn't come out to free-range with the rest of the flock. Instead she stands on both legs and seems to be napping (closing her eyes). Also, she's camped out right next to the water dish and won't move.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
Two days

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
No, the other two seem completely fine.

5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
No

6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
The only thing I can think of is stress from being rehoused or not enough water. I had them with a 5-gallon nipple setup and while I've watched all of them use it, when they'd free range they'd all run to drink from puddles and other places where the water had gathered. So, today, I changed the nipples out for water cups instead.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
Only water, layer feed, oyster shell, some scratch, a little bit of apple, and a little banana.

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
Her poop appears to be normal although we've got another one in the flock that has intermittently runny stool.

9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
I've placed her back in the coop for comfort so the others aren't crowding her, added more straw for warmth, I put a heat lamp out for a while which she seemed to enjoy (she nestled next to it and after about 10 minutes came out into the run).

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird until you can get to a vet?
I'm hoping to understand if this behavior is normal or if it's something I should be concerned about. And if so, I'd like to try to treat her myself.

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use

A mix of a thin layer of pellets and pine shavings with a thick layer of straw on top. There's shredded crinkle paper in the nest boxes.
Where are you located? Temps?
Can you take a sample of poo to the vet?
 

Sarah2020

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
Dec 26, 2020
70
63
86
Where are you located? Temps?
Can you take a sample of poo to the vet?
I’m in Oregon and the lows are between 30-40. It doesn’t usually get below 27 in the winter. I could take a sample to the vet but her poops have been pretty normal.
 

hayley3

Crowing
14 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,072
1,956
446
Southern Indiana
I’m in Oregon and the lows are between 30-40. It doesn’t usually get below 27 in the winter. I could take a sample to the vet but her poops have been pretty normal.
A chicken standing and closing its eyes is not well. The cheapest thing to do is get a poo sample to test for coccidiosis, etc. The cheapest thing to treat is worms/coccidiosis. Viral or bacterial diseases are trickier to diagnose. A healthy chicken free of worms is less likely to get other diseases.

@Eggcessive
 

Sarah2020

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
Dec 26, 2020
70
63
86
As an update, we spent six hours at an emergency clinic that does not specialize in poultry or any “exotic“ animals because where I live there are no veterinary services for the holidays (complete BS!). They did do a fecal smear and I think everyone who recommended getting a poop sample! They found a small amount of coccidiosis but from what I’ve read this exist in all chickens so I’m wondering if that’s the primary cause. I’m going to need to see an aviary specialist tomorrow. They sent us home with treatment for the coccidiosis and suggested giving her pedialite as well. The vet said she’s underweight and this may have been going on for a while (I’ve only had her a week). :(
 

hayley3

Crowing
14 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,072
1,956
446
Southern Indiana
As an update, we spent six hours at an emergency clinic that does not specialize in poultry or any “exotic“ animals because where I live there are no veterinary services for the holidays (complete BS!). They did do a fecal smear and I think everyone who recommended getting a poop sample! They found a small amount of coccidiosis but from what I’ve read this exist in all chickens so I’m wondering if that’s the primary cause. I’m going to need to see an aviary specialist tomorrow. They sent us home with treatment for the coccidiosis and suggested giving her pedialite as well. The vet said she’s underweight and this may have been going on for a while (I’ve only had her a week). :(
Wow 6 hours!
I hope you find an aviary vet or at least one that knows a little about birds.
Has she ate anything since you first posted?
 

Sarah2020

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
Dec 26, 2020
70
63
86
Wow 6 hours!
I hope you find an aviary vet or at least one that knows a little about birds.
Has she ate anything since you first posted?
She has! She’s eating quite a bit!!! I’m so relieved. She’s drinking lots of water and also some pedialite so I’m feeling much more hopeful but I do still wonder what the underlying cause of all this is. Also, what an adventure getting a hen to take medicine from a syringe!!!
 
The #1 thing to know about chicken keeping is when someone is sick, have an isolation area ready with ample medical supplies. I have a chicken hospital in my garage and 2 cabinets filled with all sorts of supplies. Sometimes just getting them alone to rest and have you hydrate and feed them every two hours or so will get them over the hump, add some super vitamins and that might be all you need. If you take them to the vet get a culture know what you're dealing with, it's far cheaper to spend money getting the culture than to guess what you're dealing with an spend much more flailing about. Good luck
 

Sarah2020

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
Dec 26, 2020
70
63
86
The #1 thing to know about chicken keeping is when someone is sick, have an isolation area ready with ample medical supplies. I have a chicken hospital in my garage and 2 cabinets filled with all sorts of supplies. Sometimes just getting them alone to rest and have you hydrate and feed them every two hours or so will get them over the hump, add some super vitamins and that might be all you need. If you take them to the vet get a culture know what you're dealing with, it's far cheaper to spend money getting the culture than to guess what you're dealing with an spend much more flailing about. Good luck
What are “super vitamins?” And where would I get them?
 

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