Lethargic Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Farmer_Dan, May 27, 2010.

  1. Farmer_Dan

    Farmer_Dan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Seattle
    I have a bird that was doing great, but then a week or so she started getting lethargic. She doesn't run around too much unless I go up close to her, then she perks up for a second but then just settles down in a minute or two and just stands there (usually on one foot) just chilling. She doesn't come running when the scratch is out n about anymore. I wonder if she's sick or something.
     
  2. Farmer_Dan

    Farmer_Dan Chillin' With My Peeps

    399
    1
    121
    Apr 9, 2010
    Seattle
    1) What type of bird , age and weight.

    7 month old Naked Neck -- 3-4lbs(?)

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.

    Standing around, not showing interest in treats or anything

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?

    about 1 - 2 weeks

    4) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

    No

    5) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

    She moved away from 15 birds that she grew up with, took 2 along with her and added 2 from a different flock, put the new flock in a new location, the other 4 birds are doing wonderfully

    6) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

    Little bits of scratching around at the ground, the feeder is inside the coop where it's difficult to tell who is eating out of it, I keep filling it up, but it seems like they mostly prefer to find bugs and such in the grass over going in to eat the pellets.

    7) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.

    I'll try to find out tonight, it's hard w/ 5 chickens to know who makes which poo

    8) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

    Nothing

    9 ) 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 til you can get to a vet?

    I'd like to either treat or cull if she is going to be miserable, I doubt a vet bill will be worth it.

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

    No wound, no picture, could take one, but basically she just stands around, a video would display what she's exhibiting better, but that might be tricky.

    11) Describe the housing. How many chickens are in what size coop.

    5 birds in a 5' X 5' coop for sleeping, free ranged during the day.

    12) What kind of bedding do you use?

    Long grass from the lawn for the nests.

    13) Have you checked for mites/lice? Has your bird been wormed?

    No worming, have not checked for mites/lice, how wold I do that?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Farmer_Dan

    Farmer_Dan Chillin' With My Peeps

    399
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    Apr 9, 2010
    Seattle
    Felt the crop, it seems really small compared to the other birds (especially for the evening) and firm, not hard, but like a tight muscle, not grainy at all.
     
  4. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you have a place indoors where you could isolate her for a little TLC...an old dog crate, baby's playpen, giant cardboard box? I'd bring her indoors and give her a little more warmth - house temp. I'd add 1 Tsp. apple cider vinegar to a quart of tepid water for drinking. Scramble or boil a couple of eggs and mash finely. See if you can get her to eat and drink. Having her in isolation like this will also give you a chance to watch her more closely and see what her poo is like. Any sign of blood in the poo, I would treat for coccidiosis. You should check for signs of lice/mites around the vent and under her wings. Lice are light colored, mites are dark. Lice will leave white clusters of eggs stuck to the feathers near the skin. Mites will leave black/brown eggs and their feces on the feathers so it will look dirty like fine coffee grounds stuck on the feathers. If you suspect either one of these parasites, I would treat aggressively with either pyrethrin or Sevin dust. These bloodsuckers can cause anemia so you might consider giving her a little PolyVisol (liquid baby vitamins) in her water.

    So hard to know what's going on with your bird. Maybe getting her indoors where you can observe her more closely will provide more clues. If she simply refuses to eat or drink, I would probably cull.
     
  5. Farmer_Dan

    Farmer_Dan Chillin' With My Peeps

    399
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    121
    Apr 9, 2010
    Seattle
    found bugs on her butt. -- also, no blood in her stool. looks normal albeit a little watery.

    Pyrethrin then? Better check the other girls.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  6. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm glad you discovered something concrete from which to proceed. It's so frustrating when you're just guessing what could be wrong with your bird. Here's a fact sheet on lice and mites that you might find helpful: http://ucanr.org/freepubs/docs/8162.pdf Even if you don't find signs of infestation on your other birds, treat them too. Personally, I use Sevin dust (I can still find it at Sebo's Do It Center hardware stores and sometimes at Lowe's). You'll need to thoroughly clean out the litter in the coop and nest boxes and dust in there too. Be sure to get the dust into the cracks and crevices of the walls, floor, and nests. Also put some Sevin in the hens' favorite dust bath areas. Be faithful about redusting everything and everybody within the timeframe noted on that info link. You need to do this to kill any bugs that hatchout from those eggs before they mature and lay more eggs. In other words, you need to break the cycle or you'll have to fight the bloody things over and over again. Like I said, these bugs can cause anemia so I'd pick up some PolyVisol without iron liquid vitamins (in the baby food section of the grocery or the pharmacy) and add that to the water supply for the whole flock. I'd put one dropper full per quart. For your hen that is lethargic, give her about 3 drops of the PolyVisol directly into her mouth. Go easy, a drop at a time, so that she doesn't choke and inhale it. I still think she's better off separated from the flock until she's eating/drinking and moving about more normally.

    Do post again and let us know how this all works out for you. Hoping your sick girl recovers quickly [​IMG]
     
  7. Farmer_Dan

    Farmer_Dan Chillin' With My Peeps

    399
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    121
    Apr 9, 2010
    Seattle
    I have treated her, not finding any more lice in the past couple days.

    I also bleached out their coop. Totally clean, new bedding, etc.

    She seemed like she was getting better so put her back with the girls. This morning, she was laying on the ground getting pecked by the other girls. *(


    Back into the hospital for her. Hopefully she'll pick back up, her head is all bloody and black from being pecked. [​IMG] Hopefully a few more days in isolation will help her condition. I think I may have to cull her soon if she doesn't recover.
     

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