Lethargic RIR with dirty bum

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ScotianChick, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have this Rhode Island Red who has been weak from the start. She was always sleepy, she had weird markings around her eyes. She was at the bottom of the pecking order and always seemed unkempt in comparison to the rest of the flock. She is anti-social and her bum always seems dirty. I started cleaning her and trimming her and that seemed to fix the bum problem until two weeks ago. I came outside and I was worried about her being cold with all the poop stuck to her feathers so I brought her inside. I gave her a bath and attempted to dry her off. While tilting her forward slightly she passed out and stopped breathing. Her wattles, which are already diminished in comparison to her sister's turned dark purple. I ran outside and dipped her beak in some cold rain water. She woke up but was weak. I kept her indoors and fed her up as much as I could for a week. Then we killed one of the roosters wasn't supposed to be one... turned out it was and it was extremely aggressive towards the hens, not trying to mate, just pecking them, so I kept my RIR gentleman and killed the SLW. After we killed him, we put BeBe (my RIR) in the coop again. The rest of the flock seemed to re-accept her but she was still weak.

    She seems to be doing better in the eating department and her poops seem less watery but her butt is still dirty (not as bad), her wattles are tiny, her breathing seems laboured very often and she is the only hen not laying eggs (they were born in April). She's still quite anti-social but doing better. Does anyone know what could be wrong with her? Could she have just been born like this and be a weaker hen/pullet? She is such a sweet girl but she's so thin and I worry about her a lot. She doesn't eat much. She really likes warm food though so sometimes I turn the pellets into a warm breakfast for them or bring out some egg for them. She also LOVES cheerios! She'll do anything for a Cheerio.

    I need to find a picture of her now, but this is what she looked like as a chick. She was quite different!:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, most people here will probably think this is terribly cruel, but I personally feel that it would be best to put her out of her misery. I haven't a clue what is wrong with her - could be any number of things. But she started out weak, you've had to baby her along, and now it's winter. Seems unlikely that you'll be able to turn it around now. Why drag it out? Sorry, I know lots of people here think of them as family members and would want to do everything possible, but I find it so emotionally draining, and sometimes I felt like I was doing more harm than good, for the bird, by dragging it out. The chicks I had to baby to keep alive almost always turned out to be weaklings - either susceptible to other problems later in life, or picked on by the others. I don't think it was worth it. Put her out of her misery and give her a decent burial.

    I'm sure others will have different opinions, and maybe someone will know exactly what's wrong. Good luck.
     
  3. tripleerancher

    tripleerancher New Egg

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    Why don't you just keep her separate from the flock? May not be practical. Is there one or two other hens that get along with her. Perhaps you can keep them together.
     
  4. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not willing to kill her yet when she seems to be doing better the past few days. I'm hoping she'll turn around... but I'm not a serious farmer either. My husband has a different opinion on things like that. The SPCA once told him he should put down his dog because she was old and deaf.. you know because maybe she's not happy that way. And he said "I'm sure she's happier being alive instead of dead". Bebe is scratching and eating more the past few days than she has in a weeks. She has more energy even though she is still her sleepy self. She doesn't seem to be in pain, just sickly and weak. I've thought of separating her with a buddy but that would take down my flock a lot. I could get her a buddy though. I decided however to send her out with the flock for a week to see how she'd do. It's been three days now and at first I was scared but I think it might be going okay. The only babying she has got was being inside for a week and a half, being trimmed and getting to eat egg once a day for a while.

    I was just hoping that maybe someone else had seen this before.. maybe they could tell me if they had one like her or what they did? This is my first batch of chickens and I've already lost two, I'm hoping to help her thrive if I can, if I can't, I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.
     
  5. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is a picture of the hen in question:

    [​IMG]

    This is from two weeks ago. Her wattles are lighter now and she is down in weight. An update though... I brought her inside again today just for a couple hours. I went outside to find her running towards me so I scooped her up and she started falling asleep in my arms. I brought her inside, cleaned her up, sat her in front of the fireplace and she actually had an appetite! She gobbled down some hot mash mixed up with a little pie crust I had left over [​IMG] Once she was dry, warm and her crop was half full (which is way more than it's been lately) I put her out in the coop next to her sister and my roo.
     
  6. tallyho

    tallyho Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She sounds like my human friend who has heart problems. She's very beautiful and you are very kind to take such good care of her.
     
  7. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could it be that since she is so low on the totem pole that the other chickens aren't letting her eat and drink thus causing her to be weak? Can you keep her in the house for a good week and get lots of food and vitamins into her?
     
  8. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did do that but she was still not eating much. Once I got rid of the unexpected rooster (thought it was an overly aggressive hen... turned out to be a very mean rooster picking on her all the time) I put BeBe back in the coop. She is competing with the others better and she isn't being picked on too too bad lately. But I felt I needed to clean her up because her bum looked like it was really sore from frozen poop. She also isn't used to the cold which we got today. I figure since she is so tame with me I might just bring her in my woodhouse and give her some private food once a day and make sure she gets fed up [​IMG] Any tips on something good and nutritious? I have done eggs with her which she seems to like... sometimes. She also likes warm layer pellets. Sometimes she likes left overs from stirfries. I don't mind that she's the only one not laying right now.... as silly as that might seem..
     
  9. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you tried any vitamins and minerals? Apple Cider Vinegar? Have you tried any antibiotics? Have you dewormed them?
     
  10. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Vitamins, minerals, and deworming all sound good. Getting more protein in probably won't hurt.

    When I am trying to boost protein, sometimes I make - this sounds weird, but they love it - sandwiches made with whole wheat bread, and filled with one of the following:
    Peanut butter and yogurt
    Egg salad with yogurt instead of mayo
    Tuna salad with yogurt instead of mayo.

    I chop up the sandwiches into tiny pieces. They love bread, so putting the high protein stuff into a sandwich gets them to eat it, if they won't eat much of it plain.

    Chopped fresh greens are not a bad idea in winter, when there is no greenery outside for them to forage. Mine are partial to romaine lettuce and swiss chard.
     

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