Lethargic Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DrunkenPony, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. DrunkenPony

    DrunkenPony Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 19, 2012
    Milpitas, CA
    Yesterday morning upon letting our flock of 5 out of their coop, our hen Tallulah was acting completely out of character. Everyday, our hens are always eagerly watching out the opening, waiting for their turn out into the yard. Tallulah, on the other hand, was in a tight little ball dead center of the coop. Her feathers were ruffled, head tucked into her breast, and eyes closed when I let everyone out. She opened her eyes for a moment and then tucked her head back into her breast. We brought her inside and kept her in a hamper with lot's of blankets to warm her up. She's been taking water with Tetracycline from a spoon and has only eaten a couple spoonfuls of scratch. Although, neither has been willingly and she continues to keep her eyes closed. Yesterday, she wouldn't stand and instead was leaning forward with her tail tuck downwards. She's very slightly more alert today and has stood up to stretch on her own a couple times. This morning I bathed her for 20 minutes in warm water with some epsom salt which she seemed to enjoy and she seemed a bit more active while blow drying. However, she's back in the hamper fast asleep yet again.

    She has just turned 5 months as of this week and has not laid up to date, so I thought she could possibly be egg bound. However, upon examination and palpation of her vent, there is nothing unusual. She has defecated 4 times since yesterday, normal color though more watery in consistency. Her eyes and nasal passage way are clear of any discharge. Her breathing is calm and relaxed, no sign of laboring. Her skin on her face, feet, and overall are clean and free of any scabs or wounds. I thoroughly checked her for any sign of mites or lice. I'm at a loss since she is completely healthy to the eye; healthy feathering, health weight, and no distress other than appearing lethargic. I've called the vets in my area and none have ever worked with chickens and I'm unable to make the drive out to a more rural area to seek veterinary care.

    Should I continue hydrating her with Tetracycline water? Or should I just give her filtered water, another type of antibiotic, or sugar water? Should I give her another type of food alternative? My original thought on this all was that her flock mates are large (Aussie, BO, RIR, PBR) and she stopped at bantam size, it may have gotten too cold the other night when the temperature dropped to 45-48. She's the boss of our flock and I've never seen her pushed out of the huddle on the roost and we boarded up the openings to help with the sudden drop in temperature. She's been inside, 70 degrees with no drafts, and still no improvement.

    Any suggestions or input on what I might be able to try to help her would be greatly appreciated. We don't like to play favorites, but she's our baby girl and it would kill us if she doesn't make a full recovery.
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    If you're still in Milpitas, you could take her to:

    http://www.forthebirdsdvm.com/ in Cupertino.
    http://www.aecvets.com/ in Monterey.
    http://www.bayareabirdhospital.com/ in SF.

    I have not been to the one in SF, but I have been to the other two, and prefer the vets in Monterey.

    When I have one that's feeling sick, I bring them inside, weigh them, dust with poultry dust for mites/lice, even if I cannot see any, and worm with Safeguard for Goats/Cattle at the rate of 50mg/kg ( .5cc/kg), by mouth and repeat in ten days. Sam's Downtown Feed or An Jan's should have Safeguard and dust. If they don't, I could give you some of mine.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    You can also start giving her liquid vitamins without iron and maybe feed her some scrambled egg mixed with cottage cheese. Sounds like you have done all I would have. Sometimes its like shooting in the dark to figure out what is up with them. Lethargy and puffing up are sometimes an indication of cocci also.

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