Lethargic pullet barely eats, stands around puffed up with eyes closed-could it be sour crop?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cherylperk, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. cherylperk

    cherylperk Just Hatched

    13
    1
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    Aug 27, 2016
    Sherburne, NY
    Just a little history on these girls to start:
    I bought 4 EE pullets back in late September. They were all lovely birds, well cared for and in the picture of health. I brought them home and put them into our 4x4 coop which has a large outdoor run and have let them run in it every day since. (these girls were hatched in April so are roughly 6 months old+/-) Only two of them are laying so far though one more should start soon as she has been "squatting" for a while now. One of the pullets molted a little after bringing them home which I thought a little odd but thought maybe it was from change of environment.

    I noticed a few days ago that same pullet (the one who lost some feathers) was acting a bit lethargic, not eating the crumbles I had out, not interested in squash pieces like she was...just not herself. It has gotten worse. Upon closer inspection the other night, I found her to be very underweight. You can feel mostly bones. (I'm afraid she has hidden something so well it went un-noticed for a while... :( ) At this point she will eat minimally, and drink some. I have noticed they all prefer the water with ACV in it. She will eat dandelion greens and will scratch and peck some...and sing. But when she eats, afterwards, she will sit puffed up with her head on her scrawny breast with her eyes closed. I saw her poop this am and it was mostly watery with a little green in it.

    Her eyes are clear and bright, no discharge or wheezing or respiratory sounds, and I know she is not egg bound. When I feel her crop it sometimes feels a little hard..sometimes feels squishy. This is most times it feels empty. All the other girls are fine (so far...)

    Veterinary services are not possible in this very rural area for chickens. Our local vets deal mostly with cattle and the like along with a few dogs and cats on the side. Chickens are "not in their medical field" so taking one is not an option. Out here it's figure it out yourself or lose the bird. :(

    I have been feeding organic layer crumbles. They have access to oyster shell and grit and fresh water and food. I had been feeding chopped up summer squash until the frost came and killed off the plants. Just lately, due to some cold weather, I started throwing in a small handful of organic scratch grain and mealworms at night. (She was poorly before that)

    One other thing: I did happen to see her eat a large feather a week or so ago- could it have become lodged within her and cause a problem?

    Sorry this is so long, but am just clueless. We've had chickens for years as had my mother since she was a girl and we've never seen anything like this before. If you need more info, please ask. Thanks!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    St. Louis, MO
    Any vet SHOULD be able to read a fecal sample for you. That will detect both worms and coccidia. All farm animals get those things.
    It is likely one of those things, then you will know how to treat.
    If you can't get any help there, you can send a fresh fecal sample to
    Animal Health Diagnostic Center
    College of Vet Med, Cornell University
    240 Farrier Road
    Ithaca, New York 14853-8002
    Phone: 607-253-3900
    IAV-A, CSF, CWD*, ND, FMD, SCRAPIE, IAV-S*
     
  3. cherylperk

    cherylperk Just Hatched

    13
    1
    12
    Aug 27, 2016
    Sherburne, NY
    Not worms or coccidia. She is no worse...but no better. She drinks and I have been feeding her an electrolyte/ yogurt blend with a medicine dropper. She'll look at food then walk away.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    St. Louis, MO
    So you've already have a fecal sample read?
     
  5. cherylperk

    cherylperk Just Hatched

    13
    1
    12
    Aug 27, 2016
    Sherburne, NY

    Yes. Was told there were no signs of worms or coccidia. Taking her to a vet is out of the question. Like I said in my original post, for all the years we've had chickens this is a first. When she is out she goes between standing around and picking/scratching the ground. We're stumped. It's almost like she's starving herself because she can't find what she wants to eat...
     

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