Lethargic Hen, 1 year old, Need help

CluckNPluckFarm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
34
0
24
PA
So here's the run down. I noticed my little brahma-mama acting odd yesterday evening. She's just kind of wandering around, uninterested in greens/mealworms and not seeming to eat or drink much at all. Normally she's spunky and follows the dog all around the perimeter of the chicken run.

I lost a hen last fall to seemingly lethargic symptoms, only she was much worse. She would stand in one spot, with her wings drooped and not even flinch when I walked up to her and picked her up. She also threw up a little when I held her. By the time I got on here to research and went back out to separate her, she had passed. I never did find out if it was a sour crop issue or possibility of egg binding.

Anyway, I don't want to lose another girl. Brahma was acting the same way this morning, so when I get home from work I'm going to isolate her and provide her scrambled eggs, vitamin/electrolyte water, and some mushy feed. I'll also check her crop and check for a bound egg.

Anything else I can do? I'm not really comfortable with syringe or tube feeding. I really don't want to lose her, as we nursed her back to health after she got a big hole pecked in her head during integration. She's been such a fun girl to watch ever since, and has such personality.




 
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CluckNPluckFarm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
34
0
24
PA
Update:

When I pulled her from the flock at around 6pm her crop was completely empty, which is odd after a whole day. I felt around the vent externally and didn't feel any egg.

She's been isolated all evening, but still uninterested in water. When I put a spoon of it up to her and dip her beak in it, she swallows that little bit but isn't happy about it at all. She did however, eat about 2tbsp of scrambled eggs. If she doesn't start drinking soon I'm gonna have to force her I guess. :/

So far no droppings that I can see from the last 5hrs.
 
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CluckNPluckFarm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
34
0
24
PA
Update:

This morning, she ate another 2 bites of scrambled eggs and 2 bites of crumble feed. I tried touching a spoon of water to her beak and she wanted nothing to do with it. No sign of droppings that I could see, but I didn't dig around in the pine shavings. I'll inspect closer this evening.

 
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CluckNPluckFarm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
34
0
24
PA
Update:

Found a few solid droppings last night. She still doesn't seem to be wanting water. Any ideas as to what may be wrong??
 
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Luvmy9hens

Chirping
7 Years
Sep 26, 2012
157
20
81
Upstate NY
Unfortunately, you have to syringe feed her but VERY carefully. I was instructed on the proper method by the veterinarian. You have to be able to identify the trachea (breathing) and the esophagus (eating) and know which is which. One wrong move can either kill the bird immediately or lead to aspiration pneumonia which would be a slower death. Get Rooster Booster (for chickens) with electrolytes and vitamins - add to water. For food, purchase Emeraid Two: a powder that is mixed 1:1 with water similar to baby bird formula when mixed. Just went through this with my hen.
 
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JeanR

Songster
10 Years
Jul 6, 2009
434
177
191
Montana
It is rarely helpful, in fact is it more often lethal, to force feed a sick bird. If you do, anything that you forced may just stay in the crop and will spoil in a day or 2 and be a worse treatment! It will not move out of the crop., Yes, keep her separated with food and water right by her. If she can, she will eat. If she doesn't eat, she is not ready for food. A dip of water may not hurt, but do not force it down, let her do it. Is her crop empty now. Better empty than full and impacted. There is not much we can do, much as we want to help. And when a hen shows illness, it us often late for us to do anything to help. Chickens are very stoic and take illness better than we do. Good luck....
 

Luvmy9hens

Chirping
7 Years
Sep 26, 2012
157
20
81
Upstate NY
It is rarely helpful, in fact is it more often lethal, to force feed a sick bird. If you do, anything that you forced may just stay in the crop and will spoil in a day or 2 and be a worse treatment! It will not move out of the crop., Yes, keep her separated with food and water right by her. If she can, she will eat. If she doesn't eat, she is not ready for food. A dip of water may not hurt, but do not force it down, let her do it. Is her crop empty now. Better empty than full and impacted. There is not much we can do, much as we want to help. And when a hen shows illness, it us often late for us to do anything to help. Chickens are very stoic and take illness better than we do. Good luck....

My hen was under veterinary care and I was instructed on how to accomplish this. She was awake, aware, and mobile (although weak and slow). She had completely stopped eating and drinking for 2 days. While she did not like it, it was to her benefit. Thickened water is safer than straight liquids.
 
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CluckNPluckFarm

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
34
0
24
PA
Well the good news is that when I got home yesterday she had drank 1/4 - 1/3cup of water on her own and eaten most of the crumble. She was up and moving around too.

I snuck her back into the coop last night and this morning she's running around with the girls like she used to. She's standing up tall and her head movements are sharp and precise again. She did seem to lose her place in the pecking order, but she's just getting a peck here and there when trying to butt into the feeder. I have a couple feeders/waterers in there and hopefully they'll be back to normal in a couple days.

I still don't really know what was wrong with her. Maybe stress just stress from us catching her and washing her bum, and spraying her down with permethrin a few days earlier... Not sure, but I'm glad my girl is feeling better.
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