Lethargic Hen - Running Out of Ideas

NatalieP

Songster
May 3, 2020
126
118
116
South Central Kansas
Summary: I have a 7.5 month old Cream Legbar, Henrietta (Heni). She sits on the ground all day napping or stands with her feathers puffed out. She eats a little and drinks a little mostly with my assistance. She will move around when disturbed and looks ok, but then eventually goes back to laying on the ground. She's currently on Tylan (in her water) and a stronger dose of SafeGuard (0.7 mL) in my ICU in the house (Kansas has brought on winter). Her crop is impacted, peach pit sized.

Long story: We started noticing Heni just standing in the run during the day sometime in the first week of December. She is at the bottom of the pecking order and normally spends her day dodging the other 4 ladies and pecking around the run. When I would let them out for some supervised free ranging, she would do her normal activities but with more naps / sunbathing.

On Saturday, I placed her in the run by herself so she wouldn't worry about being bullied, and she consumed A LOT of water but wasnt eating. I noticed her squirting out a mostly clear stuff with some bright green poop. The rest of my flock is normal.

On Sunday, I placed her in a crate in the run. What I noticed was her not moving and laying on the ground. I couldn't get her to eat any wetted mash and her crop was empty. I offered her some scrambled eggs and she ate 2 small bites. I checked her for external parasites and didnt see anything. I took her to the vet and she consumed even more water that day (felt like she spent a full 5 minutes just drinking). At one point, the nurse moved Heni and she spit up water twice. They offered her some mealworms and she ate a bunch of it. They ran a fecal test and didnt notice anything (specifically discussed if it could be Coccidiosis). We went ahead with injecting 0.13 mL Enroflox twice a day for 5 days and SafeGuard, pea sized, dewormer for 3 days. She was at 2.9 lbs.

Monday morning I found her at the bottom of the coop and not on the roost bars. Her crop was not empty. She wasnt eating and I got worried so I offered her treats thinking that something was better than nothing since I didnt see her consume any feed for 3 days.

Tuesday morning I found her again at the bottom of the coop and with a non-empy crop. I regretted immediately the treats since I felt the minced carrots. She didnt consume any grit the day before or even since then.

Wednesday morning she wasnt at the bottom of the coop (yay!) and she ate a little with my help... please dont judge, but I sat there with her and dipped her pellets in water and only when they were slightly wet and small sized... she would eat so I did that until she gave up. I also started coconut oil and crop massages.

Thursday more improvement from her eating with my assistance.

Friday, Enroflox is done. Crop still impacted and no real improvement to her fluffed up feather stance and constant napping on the floor. The doc ran another fecal, all good. We went ahead with an xray, also all good. She is not egg bound (has not laid yet), said everything else was ok. She was at 3 lbs. Doc recommend Tylan since its broad spectrum and recommended another round of SafeGuard but at 0.7 mL for 5 days. I brought her into the house since the weather dropped today. She doesnt seem stressed at all being away from her flockmates but is still laying on the ground napping and not moving.

Background: Heni was a "failure to thrive chick" and spent time away from her flockmates since we didnt know what was going on. She had trouble walking (on leg splayed out to the side). I looked a lot into Mareks but ruled it out at the time and believed it was a nutritional deficiency. I order her from MPC and noticed a reviewer said their Cream Legbar also didnt make it so I wonder if it was related. She made it out of that slump and has been the sweetest little thing since. She had a respiratory issue a few months back but I blame myself since I mowed too close to the coop and it kicked up a lot of dust.

Currently, I dont know what could be the underlying issue. I'm thinking of doing a molasses flush for her crop tomorrow. Then after her Tylan round is done, try Corrid as a last ditch effort. She's ONLY getting her pellets, slightly wetted to her liking. I have grit and oyster shells free choice in her little ICU.

@EggSighted4Life, as condensed as I can get with what's going on
@aart and @casportpony, same chicken, same issue, just condensed instead of all the messages throughout over several days
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
40,846
59,215
1,362
Southern N.C. Mountains
Summary: I have a 7.5 month old Cream Legbar, Henrietta (Heni). She sits on the ground all day napping or stands with her feathers puffed out. She eats a little and drinks a little mostly with my assistance. She will move around when disturbed and looks ok, but then eventually goes back to laying on the ground. She's currently on Tylan (in her water) and a stronger dose of SafeGuard (0.7 mL) in my ICU in the house (Kansas has brought on winter). Her crop is impacted, peach pit sized.

Long story: We started noticing Heni just standing in the run during the day sometime in the first week of December. She is at the bottom of the pecking order and normally spends her day dodging the other 4 ladies and pecking around the run. When I would let them out for some supervised free ranging, she would do her normal activities but with more naps / sunbathing.

On Saturday, I placed her in the run by herself so she wouldn't worry about being bullied, and she consumed A LOT of water but wasnt eating. I noticed her squirting out a mostly clear stuff with some bright green poop. The rest of my flock is normal.

On Sunday, I placed her in a crate in the run. What I noticed was her not moving and laying on the ground. I couldn't get her to eat any wetted mash and her crop was empty. I offered her some scrambled eggs and she ate 2 small bites. I checked her for external parasites and didnt see anything. I took her to the vet and she consumed even more water that day (felt like she spent a full 5 minutes just drinking). At one point, the nurse moved Heni and she spit up water twice. They offered her some mealworms and she ate a bunch of it. They ran a fecal test and didnt notice anything (specifically discussed if it could be Coccidiosis). We went ahead with injecting 0.13 mL Enroflox twice a day for 5 days and SafeGuard, pea sized, dewormer for 3 days. She was at 2.9 lbs.

Monday morning I found her at the bottom of the coop and not on the roost bars. Her crop was not empty. She wasnt eating and I got worried so I offered her treats thinking that something was better than nothing since I didnt see her consume any feed for 3 days.

Tuesday morning I found her again at the bottom of the coop and with a non-empy crop. I regretted immediately the treats since I felt the minced carrots. She didnt consume any grit the day before or even since then.

Wednesday morning she wasnt at the bottom of the coop (yay!) and she ate a little with my help... please dont judge, but I sat there with her and dipped her pellets in water and only when they were slightly wet and small sized... she would eat so I did that until she gave up. I also started coconut oil and crop massages.

Thursday more improvement from her eating with my assistance.

Friday, Enroflox is done. Crop still impacted and no real improvement to her fluffed up feather stance and constant napping on the floor. The doc ran another fecal, all good. We went ahead with an xray, also all good. She is not egg bound (has not laid yet), said everything else was ok. She was at 3 lbs. Doc recommend Tylan since its broad spectrum and recommended another round of SafeGuard but at 0.7 mL for 5 days. I brought her into the house since the weather dropped today. She doesnt seem stressed at all being away from her flockmates but is still laying on the ground napping and not moving.

Background: Heni was a "failure to thrive chick" and spent time away from her flockmates since we didnt know what was going on. She had trouble walking (on leg splayed out to the side). I looked a lot into Mareks but ruled it out at the time and believed it was a nutritional deficiency. I order her from MPC and noticed a reviewer said their Cream Legbar also didnt make it so I wonder if it was related. She made it out of that slump and has been the sweetest little thing since. She had a respiratory issue a few months back but I blame myself since I mowed too close to the coop and it kicked up a lot of dust.

Currently, I dont know what could be the underlying issue. I'm thinking of doing a molasses flush for her crop tomorrow. Then after her Tylan round is done, try Corrid as a last ditch effort. She's ONLY getting her pellets, slightly wetted to her liking. I have grit and oyster shells free choice in her little ICU.

@EggSighted4Life, as condensed as I can get with what's going on
@aart and @casportpony, same chicken, same issue, just condensed instead of all the messages throughout over several days
Same hen as your other threads?!!
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...as-mostly-clear-with-some-green-mush.1432657/
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...ith-salmonella-looking-for-more-info.1433619/
You mention she was failure to thrive? Unfortunately some birds have some issues that just can't be corrected.

Your vet prescribed Enrofloxacin to begin with, that is one the strongest antibiotics out there. I'm not sure what benefit the Tylan would be? I'm not a vet, but they should be able to explain their line of thought on that.

Safeguard is dosed by the pound, not by a pea size dose. Again, your vet *should* have that info in the vet drug manual. Safeguard (Fenbendazole) dose is .23ml per pound of weight given orally for 5 days in a row. This will take care of most worms that chickens have except for tapeworms. Since a fecal float was done and no worms were found, again, I'm not sure of their line of thinking unless they are just throwing everything at the problem.

You may want to consider going back to the basics. Providing her with fresh wet chick starter, poultry vitamins and monitor her to see if the crop is emptying overnight. Antibiotics will not treat an impacted crop. Give her some coconut oil and massage the crop. Provide her with some probiotics like yogurt or buttermilk (you can add these to the wet feed, just about 1tablespoon, use water to make up for the rest to make it a mash).

IF the crop does not get moving, then administer 1 stool softener (stimulant free) as described in the article linked below. See if that helps.
She may have some other issues going on that won't be revealed unless you lose her and a necropsy is performed.

I'm sorry that you both are struggling with this, I hope you find some answers.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,427
38,603
1,142
Colorado Rockies
You did a fantastic job on the background. It painted a very complete picture. You should win an award! No kidding.

Your instincts are good, as well. She likely has impacted gizzard as well as the slow crop. Molasses flush is a safe gentle way to try to get things moving from crop to gizzard and down through intestines. Her drinking so much water is an instinct to try to flush things. The molasses might help.

One fourth cup warm water with one teaspoon molasses dissolved in it. She needs to drink all of it, but most chickens will. If not, you'll need to syringe it into her beak.

If she was a failure-to-thrive chick, and I got a Cream Legbar FTT from MPC, as well, she may have underlying genetic issues that may be too much for her to overcome. You're doing a fantastic job helping her. Hopefully, she'll pull through and there will be no further issues.
 

NatalieP

Songster
May 3, 2020
126
118
116
South Central Kansas
You guys are incredible. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart ❤ I truly appreciate everyone's time and kind words.

Your vet prescribed Enrofloxacin to begin with, that is one the strongest antibiotics out there. I'm not sure what benefit the Tylan would be? I'm not a vet, but they should be able to explain their line of thought on that.

Difficult to gather my words on this. The doc was expecting results by now and since she's not back to 100%, he wanted to try Tylan. I believe that there might be some things Tylan treats that Enroflox doesnt? I could give him a call tomorrow or Monday. He specifically said he doesn't like all this medication (suggested Corrid after antibiotics) but he was expecting she would be more improved by now.

Safeguard is dosed by the pound, not by a pea size dose. Again, your vet *should* have that info in the vet drug manual. Safeguard (Fenbendazole) dose is .23ml per pound of weight given orally for 5 days in a row. This will take care of most worms that chickens have except for tapeworms. Since a fecal float was done and no worms were found, again, I'm not sure of their line of thinking unless they are just throwing everything at the problem.

Unfortunately, the pea sized amount is what the last doc recommended with her last illness and I went with that for this round. The current doc is calling out the 0.7 mL and said maybe it's crop worms. It's again our stance of trying something since I want to be sure we did everything we could.

You may want to consider going back to the basics. Providing her with fresh wet chick starter, poultry vitamins and monitor her to see if the crop is emptying overnight.

I was debating getting a small bag of starter grower for her since she's not laying and will be seperated for a bit. Currently she's been eating layer feed since everyone else in the flock is laying.

IF the crop does not get moving, then administer 1 stool softener (stimulant free) as described in the article linked below. See if that helps.

How long would you wait before trying the softener / molasses? It's not a large impaction so I was thinking about doing coconut oil for a couple days first.

If not, you'll need to syringe it into her beak.

I'm feeling like a fan girl because I have read and re read your article on crop issues. Do you have any input on how long to do the coconut oil and crop massages before treating with molasses? The doc didnt want to do this initially because of her runny poops (prior to Enroflox) but thinks it would be a good idea at this point. Also a bit terrified to syringe anything because of the risk of aspirating. Any tips on that?

If she was a failure-to-thrive chick, and I got a Cream Legbar FTT from MPC, as well, she may have underlying genetic issues that may be too much for her to overcome.

I was reading how some FTT chicks can develop odd things like half a lung and generally dont live as long. It's so heartbreaking. Can you share what happened or if there is anything I should watch for on Henrietta? She really has been just fine up until now but I do understand the inevitable reality. I know she's a bit developmentally behind, but I dont care if she never lays an egg lol. I'm grateful for each day she has with us and just praying this is just a bump in the road. Did you get your cream legbar this spring too? Is that normal for MPC? Maybe another thread for another day, but my BCM I got from them also turned out to be almost a bantam... she's great and all, but just not what I was expecting.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,427
38,603
1,142
Colorado Rockies
Treating crop disorders needs to be taken on an individual case by case, each chicken being different. Like people.

From the initial compaction and treating it with the oil, I do it for one day. All day, several doses of oil, each hour, and if that doesn't get the crop contents to break up and go down, I add a stool softener and more oil.

If that doesn't work, I do a molasses flush as early as that first night. If the molasses flush won't work, and the crop still fails to empty, then you need to assess if the crop is full of material that feels tough and fibrous. Crop surgery needs to be considered as the next step. But let's not get too far ahead of things.

You can very safely and easily administer fluids by syringe by knowing the road map. The crop is on the right side. So is the esophagus. By sliding the syringe into the right side of the beak and hugging the right side of the mouth, slipping it slightly under the tongue, you easily avoid the center of the throat behind the base of the tongue where the airway is. You can see it clearly here.
upload_2019-3-15_10-22-30.jpeg
As for the FTT Cream Legbar, that was six years ago. The chick may have sufferered shipping stress or may have been genetically flawed, she was tippy when I first got her, and she went drastically downhill and died after around six days.
 

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