Lethargic chicken with loose stool

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kerthomp, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. kerthomp

    kerthomp New Egg

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    May 18, 2016
    Hello:

    I am very new to chickens. We got our 10 chicks this year and they are about 19 weeks old. We have 5 different kinds and this one is an olive egger. No one is laying eggs yet and they are still eating the grower feed right now since no one has started laying yet. They have chick grit. I noticed that one of my chicks is not acting like she feels well today. Everyone seemed healthy yesterday. She was the last one out of the coop this morning but that didn't alarm me. When I came home, she was inside the coop with a couple of the girls and was the last one out again. She came out a lot later than everyone else though. She seems to be moving slowly and isn't her normal self. She is still eating but not her normal voracious appetite. I picked her up to look her over and she did not fight me at all and didn't say anything. She seems like she is tired and having trouble keeping her eyes open. When I picked her up, I noticed she had poop stuck in her feathers near her vent. It looks like it was watery brownish poop. Her vent looked normal to me. She is separating herself from the other girls. This is my first sick chicken and I'm not sure if I am over-reacting or what to really do. They did break into the bag of meal worms yesterday but I wouldn't think that would make her feel this crummy. We just added some save-a-chick electrolyte and probiotic to the water and took that out there. Is there anything else I should be doing right now? Should I bring her inside and set up a quarantine or is that overkill? I keep reading about people feeding their chickens yogurt but I can't find what kind is appropriate to feed them. Just plain yogurt? They haven't been out in the yard or anything so she couldn't have gotten into anything poisonous. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Kelly
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC.

    How is she doing today?

    How old is she?
    Is she getting close to laying eggs?

    Keep an eye on her and make sure she is eating and drinking. The sav-a-chick should be fine for a few days.

    If she is lethargic/weak, has a fluffed up appearance, is huddling or has diarrhea with mucous or blood it could be coccidiosis which you would treat with Corid.

    Let us know how she is doing.
     
  3. kerthomp

    kerthomp New Egg

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    May 18, 2016
    Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, she passed away this afternoon. I took her to the vet this morning and they gave her fluids and did a variety of tests. Her fecal was negative for coccidia. Her blood work was worrisome though. They said her blood counts were lower than expected and she appeared to be having an immune response. They were going to start her on supportive care and antibiotics but she had a seizure and died.

    I have requested a necropsy and hope to have the basic results back tomorrow. My main concern is if she acquired something that could be contagious to my other hens. Everyone seems to be acting normal so far.

    She was about 19 and 1/2 weeks old and hadn't laid her first egg yet. She was fine and her normal perky self on Monday. Then by Tuesday, it was obvious she wasn't feeling well. She was always the smallest of the bunch, and I worried a lot about her when she was a little chick but she always held her own and always seemed healthy. It's just scary to think they can crash and die that quickly. I thought we were through the hard part.

    I'll check back in and leave the necropsy results in case this post can be useful to someone else.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm sorry for your loss[​IMG]

    Please do post the necropsy results.
     
  5. kerthomp

    kerthomp New Egg

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    May 18, 2016
    Well the necropsy was not much help. They considered it a negative necropsy. They didn't find any lesions or anything remarkable. They basically think she had an infection she had fought off but her immune system was still trying to recover. She was dehydrated but had food in her crop and it was well-hydrated. I saw her eating up until the end. She was the smallest of the flock, even as a little chick. The vet said that young hens often have trouble recovering from illness and they lose a lot of them. She told me to keep an eye on everyone else and check their breastbone area daily for signs of weight loss. Hopefully, we won't have any more issues. The vet said that since they are prey animals, they often don't let you know there is a problem until they are one step from the other side.
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Thank you posting the results.

    Sometimes it's frustrating when you don't get conclusive answers.
    The vet is correct, chickens can hide illness very well, and sometimes it is too late when they start showing symptoms.

    I hope the rest of your flock remains happy and healthy.
     

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