Lethargic, malnourished, hunched in corner.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by looking4rocks, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. looking4rocks

    looking4rocks Chirping

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    Our favorite girl, Joan (3 1/2 year old Golden Buff), has been acting lethargic for a couple weeks and is very thin. She used to be the first one to the fence when she heard someone in the house, and now she just sits in the back corner. I don't think she has laid for a while, although she goes in the nesting box sometimes. She used to be one of the alpha hens, now she just sits in the corner all hunched over.

    On exam, she looks healthy except for a pale comb/waddle and very thin. Her abdomen is not full (actually sunken in), her vent is clean and pink, her feet/scales are clean, not swollen. Her crop may be impacted... It seems fuller than the other birds and still had food in it first thing in the morning. I, and another chicken-friendly neighbor tried to get her to regurgitate but no luck. The more experienced neighbor said it didn't smell like she had sour crop. Oh, and her poop looks normal, maybe a *little* on the watery side.

    For 2-3 days, I've been taking her out to give her yogurt drink and some homemade electrolyte drink and let her wander the yard a bit. She likes the drink and the yogurt quite a bit and will still peck around in the grass. My three year old has really gotten attached to her, carrying her around and petting her. It's pretty cute but now I really don't want her to die! I also don't want to spend $$$ at a vet. Any ideas?? Should I try antibiotics?

    Thanks for your help!

    New favorite spot in the corner 64912722_10108150265788883_4808505944193368064_n.jpg

    Joan at 2 weeks old<3
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    Yogurt drink and chicken gatorade.
    IMG_8244.jpg
     

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  2. RhodeIslandRed5

    RhodeIslandRed5 Songster

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    Sorry about your hen. Sounds like a repriductive issue. Some chickens do that way after their egg laying years are over which is about 3-4 years old. Nothing can help with that. @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock help please?
     
  3. looking4rocks

    looking4rocks Chirping

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    Oh. Darn. I will say, she was always the daily layer... Never took a break, even in the winter. So she may have just run out of eggs sooner than the rest
     
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  4. RhodeIslandRed5

    RhodeIslandRed5 Songster

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    In the meantime, I'd just see what she'll eat and drink. Like perhaps scrambled or boiled egg. If she starts refusing food and water all together, I'd consider putting her out of her misery. :hugs Reproductive issues cannot be fixed unless you want to spend a bunch on one of those implants you'll have to get like.... was that every three months?
     
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  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    What a cute photo of her with your son:)

    Her crop is not empty in the morning, she's got some crop issues. Now, it could be that it's a symptom of reproductive problems since she has not laid an egg in a while.
    Nonetheless, you need to start treating the crop. I would not try to vomit her again.
    When you feel the crop is it hard, soft, doughy, squishy, fluid or air filled? You don't notice a sour smell to the breath right now, but if the contents are not moving, it will turn sour.
    I would start with giving her coconut oil, massage the crop and see what you feel, knead it like you would dough, but being careful to not press fluids upward she doesn't aspirate. For coconut, I use solid organic, put it in the freezer for a few minutes to harden, then chop up into bite size chunks. Mine have always gobbled it down once they get a taste. Make sure she has water to drink, but I would withhold food for at least most of the day - adding food on top of a slow crop just compounds the problem.
    Work on the crop and see how that goes - re-check it in the morning.

    Sometimes an underlying condition causes crop problems - getting a fecal float to rule out worms is always a good idea too. Reproductive disorders are a very common cause of crop issues as well - inflammation/infection, fluid, masses, etc. partially block/slow the digestive process - this causes the crop empty more slowly. Another cause could be an impaction somewhere (gizzard, intestines), it's hard to know - all you can do is try to treat the symptoms and go from there.

    Keep us posted on her progress. I hope you can get her going again, they are such sweet things and I know your son will be thrilled.

    Here's some reading for you - first one is short and sweet, the other more detailed.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments
     
  6. looking4rocks

    looking4rocks Chirping

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    Her crop is kinda doughy, and I can hear/feel fluid squishing around in it, especially after she got the yogurt/electrolytes. I work all day today but will get back and go through this tonight if she is still awake. Then I will check her in the morning before work.
    I'll check out the articles! Thanks for your help, I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  7. looking4rocks

    looking4rocks Chirping

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    I fed her coconut oil and massaged her crop well last night. She slept in the nesting box... She drank electrolyte water and yogurt yesterday... This morning her crop is doughy and still has stuff in it she looks worse today... And I'm off to work for 12 hours! My husband will give her the water again. I need to get that crop emptied! she looks worse today. Her comb and waddle are more gray-tinged now...
     
  8. RhodeIslandRed5

    RhodeIslandRed5 Songster

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    I do hope she'll be alright. :fl
     
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  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Let us know how she's doing.
     
  10. looking4rocks

    looking4rocks Chirping

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    Husband says he had to bring her out of the coop today. She drank a little, semi-forced. I want to try to vomit her again... or I could take a needle and try to aspirate some fluid from the crop, or inject oil/dulcolax if that would be better. I have dulcolax at home, that would be my next try, in addition to more oil.
    My coworker found a video for crop impaction removal surgery. It looks like a procedure I could try myself. Her crop isn't super impacted, it's more doughy though. https://the-chicken-chick.com/chicken-anatomy-crop-impacted-crop-sour/
    I also checked with my vet, it's $80 for an exam. My husband won't let me spend that kind of money on a $5 chicken :( The vet won't do a fecal float without an exam... I guess I could always just treat for worms.
    I'm also going to look for the copper sulfate and try treating the sour crop with that. I'm just worried that I'm getting too late on all this!
     

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