Lethargic gal with weird symptoms :(

CrzyChknLdy82

Chirping
Aug 29, 2020
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My little one seems to be having problems. She is about 16 weeks old Ameraucana/Barbezieux. We live in southern TN.

She seemed very lethargic this afternoon (seemed fine yesterday). She hasn't started laying yet. I cleaned her butt (she's always a bit messy) and noticed she seemed to be straining a bit and a little bit of runny poo squirted out but I didn't observe any apparent obstruction. Her face appears red (it's been pale because she isn't laying yet..also her comb is very small).

I was able to get her to drink some water then she kept drinking tons of water. I added electrolytes to the water just in case. After several minutes I picked her up and clear liquid came out her beak (like water but slightly thicker) with a little bit of white-ish colored a bit like mucous..see pic attached. Her crop was full and squishy, just barely pressing it made her "leak". I put her in a crate inside the house with clean bedding, water/electrolytes, a little dish of grit, and some probiotic. I'm in quarantine due to covid exposure so my options are limited. Does this sound like sour crop or something digestive? Respiratory? Something else? The rest of the flock are totally fine.
 

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Offshoreorca

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I haven't experienced anything like this directly, but there are some ways to narrow it down.

1) Does her crop empty overnight?
If not then impacted and/or sour crop is very likely the cause - especially since you say it's full. There are very clear instructions on how to treat these conditions at home and many people have done this with success (though sometimes the chicken does die of the condition even with treatment, especially if they are quite ill by the time the problem is recognized). Impacted crop often results from a chicken ingesting something they cannot break up, while sour crop can be from a yeast infection or other bacterial imbalance (and often smells awful). A bit of plain yogurt is said to work wonders for the latter, but please read up on this as I haven't personally had a chicken with these issues.

2) Have you checked for lice or mites and is her poop free of worms?
External parasites can cause chickens to be anemic and can eventually lead to death if not kept in check. I noticed one of my birds sleeping in the coop more than normal this week and acting sluggish. Sure enough, she had a good lice infestation going so I treated the whole flock right away to try and quash it. I check regularly for it, and my flock has been free of lice for the last year with no new incoming birds aside from some chicks I raised, but if there are wild birds or rodents around they can spread.

3) Is there blood in her poop?
If her crop empties properly overnight and she doesn't have external parasite issues, then she might have Coccidiosis. Cocci is a huge issue for young birds and they can pick it up from their environment if conditions are right and they have access to mud/dirt. It can be a secondary complication for ill birds whose immune system is low as some types of Cocci are actually part of the healthy gut flora of chickens. This is easily treatable with Amprolium from the vet, which is quite inexpensive.

4) What are you feeding them?
Before lay, pullets should be on grower or all flock ONLY. The extra calcium in layer specific feed can stress out their kidneys causing them to drink lots of water and potentially suffer kidney failure.

You'll find your problem is very likely one of the above (most likely #1 based on the symptoms you described).
 
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Eddie12109

Songster
Nov 14, 2020
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When one of my chickens has sour crop she has weird poops that are suspicious so I don’t want to say it isn’t something else but it could just be sour crop. When my hens have sour crop I isolate them from the flock right in the morning and don’t give water until after 12 hours and then don’t give food for 24 hours. Also if you go on YouTube there is a video for a mixture that has helped one of my hens. It is 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, chili powder, ginger powder, and baking soda; 2 tablespoons of water and a squirt of lemon juice. I give this every day through a dropper. In order to know if she actually does have sour crop check her crop in the morning. Good luck!
^also if she has sour crop you should limit food after 24 hours... the goal is to empty the crop so don’t over feed during this time.
if you could send a picture of her poop it might help determine what this is
 

Wyorp Rock

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16 weeks old Ameraucana/Barbezieux. We live in southern TN.
very lethargic this afternoon (seemed fine yesterday). She hasn't started laying yet. I cleaned her butt (she's always a bit messy) and noticed she seemed to be straining a bit and a little bit of runny poo squirted out
I was able to get her to drink some water then she kept drinking tons of water. I added electrolytes to the water just in case. After several minutes I picked her up and clear liquid came out her beak
Her crop was full and squishy, just barely pressing it made her "leak". I put her in a crate inside the house with clean bedding, water/electrolytes, a little dish of grit, and some probiotic.
Is she pooping at all? What's that like?

Drinking lots of water usually indicates crop issues. I would make water available, but withhold food and see what the crop is like in the morning.
Read this article and let us know how she's doing. https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
 

CrzyChknLdy82

Chirping
Aug 29, 2020
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Thanks for the responses guys! I just switched them to layer feed several days ago so maybe that's part of the problem? My other girl same age and breed is fine. She has not eaten all night I was planning to withhold until we hopefully know more tomorrow. I will give her grower again.

It hasn't been an overnight yet so I will report back in the morning as to her crop condition.. it's currently full of water.

She hasn't pooped yet since being inside (about 7 hours now??) I just realized that could be another symptom. also it's possible she hasn't eaten much if she's been on the roost all day. Her backsid has a small wet area (which could be from the waterer I guess) and some white stuff around her vent area I assume is urine. It smells like urine (ammonia-ish). No poo though in the crate that I can see.

I don't find any lice, mites or anything like that. Her feathers and skin appear healthy to me.
 

Allthefloofs

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Sep 16, 2020
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How does her breath smell? Is it funky? Sour? I agree with above posters, you should check to see if her crop is empty in the morning and keep watching for her poop.
Have you wormed your flock before? If so when? Sometimes in severe cases of worms they can end up with a blocked digestive system. Might be worth worming with Safeguard and then doing a molasses flush to get rid of any dead worm debris, coconut oil, a stool softener (docusate sodium) (1 tsp molasses in 1/4 water dissolved then the full dose administered by syringe). We just today had to euthanize a beloved girl with crop problems, though after surgery and a few other medical interventions it was very clear it was a problem downstream of her crop, most probably cancer, which is probably not your sweet girl's problem. If vet care is a possibility then I would perhaps see if they can prescribe some metoclopramide to jumpstart her digestive tract as a temporary fix. As far as covid, a number of vets will use the app Televet and you can look them up on there and they can do a telemedicine visit or at least text with you to see if you need to non-contact drop her off.
Finally, I am so sorry your girl is ill. We waged a battle for a month with our sweet lady and I know it can be hard. I wish you all the luck. @azygous was helpful to me and maybe she can correct/fill in anything I have missed or misstated.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Thanks for the responses guys! I just switched them to layer feed several days ago so maybe that's part of the problem? My other girl same age and breed is fine. She has not eaten all night I was planning to withhold until we hopefully know more tomorrow. I will give her grower again.

It hasn't been an overnight yet so I will report back in the morning as to her crop condition.. it's currently full of water.

She hasn't pooped yet since being inside (about 7 hours now??) I just realized that could be another symptom. also it's possible she hasn't eaten much if she's been on the roost all day. Her backsid has a small wet area (which could be from the waterer I guess) and some white stuff around her vent area I assume is urine. It smells like urine (ammonia-ish). No poo though in the crate that I can see.

I don't find any lice, mites or anything like that. Her feathers and skin appear healthy to me.
Not pooping is not good.
I would feel inside her vent for an egg just in case. I know she's fairly young, but still.
 

azygous

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I have hunch that this little gal may be struggling to get her first egg out and it's hung up. This effectively blocks the action of the lower tract and may be responsible for the crop backing up. Crop issues shouldn't be happening with one so young.

Give her a calcium tablet right now. Tums will do, but this is what I have in mind.
P1010010.JPG
Just slip the whole tablet into her beak.

Place her on something absorbent, a towel warmed up in the dryer. Give her access to plenty of water since this can dehydrate her. If you have any yogurt, give her that instead of regular food.

I know you can't go out, but if you can have someone bring you some women's miconazole yeast cream, you can get her started on that to combat the yeast in her crop and start making her more comfortable.

If the gunk on her butt feathers gets too awesomely smelly, by all means give her a quick butt wash to clean it up. For both your sakes.
 

CrzyChknLdy82

Chirping
Aug 29, 2020
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Ok here's the update. This morning there was a big smelly wet spot in her litter so water is passing through but nothing else. She sounded like she was straining a bit so I got her out and did a butt inspection and cleaned her up. A small smear of poo was around the vent area and it looked like she was trying to pass more poo that's stuck. I tried to help her out with warm water and a little butt massage, gentle swirls with a q tip, but she was not able to get more than a drop out. I don't feel an egg but I've never tried before so not sure if I am missing it or not. It does look like she's eaten some of her chopped straw because there were small bits of that in what little did come out. Tiny bits.

Here's a pic. The area seems a bit warm and inflamed. She's still only consuming water. Her crop was small and soft, not full of water so her crop seems to be working. I don't notice any funky smell from her mouth.

Is she impacted by poo or an egg or both?
 

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Wyorp Rock

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I would continue making water available.
Hard to know if she's constipated/blocked with poop, there's a soft shell egg in there or what.
Sounds like she's trying to expel something.

I think I would give the Calcium as suggested by @azygous Giving her coconut oil won't hurt anything either.
 

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