Last resort - ill hen(s) - any advice would be appreciated

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Holliewood, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Holliewood

    Holliewood Hatching

    Jul 19, 2010
    I am new to raising chickens, this is our first flock, we only have 3 hens. I believe they are Stars or Sex Links - from what I have seen online. They are a little over a year old. When we got our first egg last year our Sweetie laid a double egg fused together - had her at the vet - she was laid out almost dead when I found her. Got her fixed up and then the problems began. We were getting very large eggs, and Sweetie prolapsed, had her at the vet again, they were able to get it back in and she was given a 3 month shot of birth control so that she could heal up. Then is was Zena - went out to lock them up and she was prolapsed, much worse than Sweetie. Had her at the vet, they said put her down or have her spayed. So I had her spayed (for those of your laughing at me - she is my pet not just a chicken - we love her like the family dog). She came through fine and we brought her home and pecking began, she moved into her low spot on the totem poll and everything seemed ok until I noticed the diarrhea. Zena's dropping never became solid after her surgery, but now the other two had it as well. Was hoping it was the heat. Zena started hiding and not eating well and hers was the worst, so back to vet. Thought maybe an infection or parasites (they could not get a good stool sample since she basically has liquid droppings). Antibiotics and de-wormer for her and just the wormer for the other girls. Now Zena's comb and waddles are shriveling, I have to seek her out and give her bread or popcorn as she has no interest in eating and the top hen just chases her down and pecks her when she does ANYTHING and she smells like she is rotting. The other two girls seem fine, they eat, drink and act just fine, but they have runny crap crusted to their backsides, I have trimmed the feathers and their skin is raw. Vet has no idea what to do. I am going to have to have Zena put down - I can't stand to see an animal suffer.


    I switched them to an organic feed from the commercial brand of layer crumbles. They have fresh water 24/7, the coop is cleaned every morning. They have a 4 x 8 covered run, but most of the time the door is open and they are allowed to free range. Not much for them to get into - we are on a 3 acre lot with new construction from a former cornfield - just plain nothing but a bad lawn.

    They do get a treat once day, be it whole grain bread, corn, etc. but not to much. Have started them on a pro-biotic per the vet - not really doing much. They have a couple days left on the wormer medicine. They are still laying and the diarrhea has cleared up in the other two girls - just this messy runny but thing left.
  2. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I'm so very sorry. We feel about our chickens just the way you do. We can relate to how awful this is for you.

    I don't know what's going on. The only think I can think of to ask about is the heat. The comb/wattle shiveling makes me wonder if that bird is dehydrated. The runny poo for the others might be caused by the medications.

    I've never had anything this difficult to deal with, but when I have a concern about one of ours, I bring them into our indoor bird room, put them in a large wire bottomed bird cage, and keep a close eye on them, watching their food/water consumption and their droppings. It's air conditioned (but not overly so), and it gives them a break from flock politics.

    Good luck...and I'm so sorry you're going through this with your flock. It's anguishing, I know.
  3. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    It sounds similar to when my hen had a systemic infection- yolk peritonitis. Now I know your Zena hasn't any reproductive parts, but it's possible she has an abdominal infection anyway, and they can drag on, getting worse, and not kill the bird for months and months.

    Just because you haven't any other option, and you're going to put her down if you can't cure this, I'd have the vet put her on Baytril or some other very powerful antibiotic. Maybe something gram-positive since it's internal (in theory) and use a strong dose, but feed her lots of live culture yogurt. See what happens. It can't hurt at this point.
  4. RM44

    RM44 Songster

    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    So sorry to hear of your troubles. I don't know what to add; the shriveling sounds like dehydration to me too. I've learned that chickens are very "click-ish", and if they are not hanging out with the rest of the flock, it means something is wrong. I believe if your chicken is hiding and not with the other girls, then she is sick. Good luck with her. I know it's hard to watch an animal suffer and not be able to do anything about it.
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

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