Lethargic hen, not eating much, what to do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Dragontamer, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Dragontamer

    Dragontamer New Egg

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    May 30, 2010
    I had hoped my first post would be about the first time my babies laid eggs, alas, I couldn't log in back then...

    It's been very cold here recently, below zero at night with some days not hitting the teens. So far, all of the girls have been doing fine. This morning, however, Benny, one of my BOs, stayed tucked in a corner of the coop when the others finally got to go outside after a day of being cooped up. She was still there a bit later, so I took her inside to warm her up. Inside, I felt her crop and it felt completely empty. She does have some brown poo stuck on her butt feathers - but she and the other BO always have that going on. I put her back in the coop, where she continued to lay around, her feathers very puffy. A bit later I did see her drinking, but I haven't seen her poo all day. We have five hens and I pulled out five eggs today, so I'm hesitant to think she's eggbound.

    As for the checklist:

    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    - Buff Orpington, about 8 months. Weight? A bit lighter than the other hens, but she's always been the runt (and so was the first to lay!)
    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    - Lethargy, not interested in food. She'll eat a little bit but not much. Her comb has gotten paler today (I think) - she has been exhibiting signs of mild frostbite lately, just pale tips, not black. Most of the day she just laid - or stood - around with her feathers puffed out.
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    - just since this morning.
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
    - Every one else is running about and doing what chickens do.
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    - None that I could find. I did clean off some of the poo stuck on her butt feathers and the vent area looked okay.
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    - It's been really cold lately. Other than that, I wonder if she ate something she shouldn't have. They have free range throughout the yard whenever they're out.
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    - Layer pellets, water, oyster shells/calcium grit, random veggie scraps, and lots of dirt. She did eat a few bits of boiled egg today.
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    - Haven't seen it recently.
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    - I gave her some Bene-Bac probiotics, which she lapped right up. Now, she's in a "hotel" in the living room to keep her warm, with ACV in her water and some boiled egg ready for eating. Later I'll make some rice for her as well.
    10 ) 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 just help her get better without going to a vet.
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    - n/a
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    - They live in a cob chicken coop with a wooden floor. Most of the time they have aspen shaving bedding, but recently a bit of straw has gone in there. I've left a heat lamp on the last several days.

    I've been through many posts and see situations somewhat similar but I would be grateful for any insight anyone may have.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  2. dweder

    dweder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2010
    Glen Ellyn, Illinois
    I am dealing with the same problem, so I am going to follow your post and see what everyone suggests. I suspect they will suggest deworming to start. That is what I just diid.
     
  3. Dragontamer

    Dragontamer New Egg

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    May 30, 2010
    I just got back in the house and heard some good news. She's been drinking a lot of water and she pooped a small poo, but it looks normal.
     
  4. dweder

    dweder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2010
    Glen Ellyn, Illinois
    Are you trying things to feed her like scrambled eggs? I would also suggest getting some vitamins into her water, help boost her system.
     
  5. Dragontamer

    Dragontamer New Egg

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    May 30, 2010
    We did feed her some boiled eggs last night. After she was in the house for a while, she started drinking plenty of water and nibbling at her pellets. This morning she was much more perky, a better red color had returned to her comb, and she had plenty of poo over night.

    I let her out with her sisters this morning after the sun came out and warmed things up a bit, and so far so good. She enjoyed some rice for breakfast. The other girls had rather runny poop as well, so I gave them all some rice and also put some electrolytes in their water. Benny has been acting normal, diving after the rice as I throw it down.

    I'm gonna keep an eye on her, but my suspicion is that she just got too cold and needed to thaw out a bit.
     

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