Lethargic hen. Dehydrated?

BuckeyeFoodie

Songster
Mar 29, 2013
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Columbus, OH
So one of my Ayam Cemani hens was flopping around the coop this morning. Because she was fine yesterday and kept favoring one leg I suspected a broken foot and brought her home.

She snoozed pretty much the whole ride home, which I chalked up to being in a warm cozy place. But now that I have her home I'm suspecting dehydration over a leg injury since I cant find anything, she is still overwhelmingly lethargic, except for short spurts of trying to stand, which she is generally unable to do, and I have been having problems keeping the water in my coop from freezing for the past week.

She quickly drank what I'm guestimating was 4-5 ounces of water with electrolytes when I had her on my work table to check her leg, and a few minutes later had a very watery but normal looking poop.

She is now in a small crate mostly sleeping, listed slightly to one side, but "talks" back to me when I talk to her, plus has short bursts of trying to stand or move about once every 10 minutes or so.

How should I treat her? I keep offering her water periodically, and and trying to keep her comfy. Other than that I'm stumped.
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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Are their vitamins in her electrolytes? I would use some vitamins that incude riboflavin in her water or food, just in case of a deficiency. How old is she? Does she have any swelling of joints, redness, or displacement of her leg bones? Was she vaccinated for Mareks disease? It sounds a little like early symptoms of Mareks, but it may be dehydration or an injury, especislly since it affects one leg more than the other.

Do you have an electric outlet close to your coop where you could use an electric dog bowl waterer? The 1.5 gallon ones are under $20 at most farm stores and Walmart. Black rubber bowls are good as well where you can add fresh water at 8 am and dump them at 5 pm. Rright now until we see the near zero temps in January, those work well here.
upload_2019-12-13_18-58-35.jpeg
 

BuckeyeFoodie

Songster
Mar 29, 2013
161
279
176
Columbus, OH
Are their vitamins in her electrolytes? I would use some vitamins that incude riboflavin in her water or food, just in case of a deficiency. How old is she? Does she have any swelling of joints, redness, or displacement of her leg bones? Was she vaccinated for Mareks disease? It sounds a little like early symptoms of Mareks, but it may be dehydration or an injury, especislly since it affects one leg more than the other.

Do you have an electric outlet close to your coop where you could use an electric dog bowl waterer? The 1.5 gallon ones are under $20 at most farm stores and Walmart. Black rubber bowls are good as well where you can add fresh water at 8 am and dump them at 5 pm. Rright now until we see the near zero temps in January, those work well here.
View attachment 1981036
Sadly I was not able to run the extension cord to my coop like I normally do in cold weather due to horse-fence reconstruction (the track equipment would kill my cord), because I do have and normally use heated buckets.

She is about 6 months old, and is not vaccinated for Mareks. As I understand it the vaccine has to be given within the first three days, and I missed that window. AC's have hyperpigmentation so no way to see redness, but her joints don't feel swollen or out of place. She does have some poop streaked into the feathers near her vent, but she is both very fluffy, and generally too weak to stand.

This morning she is still lethargic, but she is currently enthusiasticly eating a wet mash with extra vitamins mixed in between micro naps, as she had lost interest in just water.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium member
Apr 3, 2011
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I hope it is not Mareks. Time will tell, and one way to get a diagnosis is to get a necropsy by the state vet after losing one. Some find that placing a lame chicken into a chickens sling or chair for short periods can help to get them upright and closer to food and water. Here is some reading about those:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/versions-of-chick-chairs-please.1166308/

Here is some reading about Mareks disease:
https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/poultry/FS-1007 Recognizing and Preventing Mareks Disease in Small Flocks.pdf

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
 
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