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Lethargic skinny limping 48-50 week pullet

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KelseyKristo, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. KelseyKristo

    KelseyKristo Hatching

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    Jun 17, 2016
    Plattsmouth, NE
    One of my chickens is ill... Blondie, the almost 1yo shy Buff Orpington with the tiny pinkish comb is thin, lethargic, and favoring her left foot, and has barely moved in the past two days. She has always hung back when I'm giving out treats, and has never done the 'egg squat' so I've never been able to handle her until she started acting more calm and sleepy a week or two ago, so I have no idea if she's always been thin (her feathers make her appear deceptively large) but she seems to have gotten skinnier this past week and is very weak and uncannily relaxed about being handled and examined. No apparent injury to her foot or leg, but she won't stand or walk correctly, and when sitting she doesn't use that foot to support her. She didn't go to roost last night, and this afternoon was (still?) on the roost where I had put her. She ate mealworms when I gave them to her, and drank when I held her in front of the waterer, and ate a few damp pellets when I put her in front of the feeder, but then lost interest after a nibble or two, and just seemed interested in napping. Her crop is so empty I can't feel it... So after work tonight she was under the coop instead of roosting in it again, and seems to have even less energy, I don't think she has been moving or eating or drinking all day. So I've rigged up a mini waterer and mixed up some feed mash, and she's in a little critter carrier in the spare room, and when I check on her she nibbles on her mash, so maybe she will gain some strength and be able to beat whatever is affecting her? My current gamut of theories are: anemia from mites (DE/sand/ wood ash mix is available in a covered kitty litter pan, but I've never seen her use it, saw a couple tiny moving specks when examining her so I dusted her in it,) possibly internal parasites (not wormed yet,) egg bound (was MAYBE laying Jan-feb, or may not have ever layed?) (her comb and waddles are tiny ((1/3 size of sisters)) and have never been red so maybe she hasn't entered puberty, which seems SUPER odd since she's almost 1 year?), hypercalcemia/kidney damage from being on layer pellets while not laying, bumblefoot (although no apparent sore, there is a small area on her foot which appeared the slightest bit pink,) Mareks? Can anyone help narrow it down?? And suggest a course of action that doesn't involve an unaffordable vet bill?
     

  2. AmandaKyle

    AmandaKyle Songster

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    Apr 13, 2014
    Northeast
    I wish I had some really solid advice for you, but I don't other than it sounds like a really, long and drawn out case of failure to thrive. The only thing I can suggest is to do what you're already doing by keeping her separated from the flock in the house, and offering her food frequently. Scrambled egg might be a good option to get some protein into her easily. Have you tried Nutri Drench or something similar to help boost her nutrient and energy reserves? You can add it to her water, or put a few drops directly into her mouth.

    I hope that someone else responds soon with some good advice! Please keep us updated and I will keep my fingers crossed for her! [​IMG]
     
  3. KelseyKristo

    KelseyKristo Hatching

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    Jun 17, 2016
    Plattsmouth, NE
    She is eating! Has maybe an ounce in her crop! I'm feeding a wet mash of layer pellets & omega egg maker, I don't have or know what nutridrench is? She (after 3 or 4 hours) finally passed a BM, which reeked, was large and greenish but appeared normal consistently, had a few bits of grass and grains, and a whole dried mealworm, not sure how that makes it through intact?! I work evenings, so I'm off to bed, will update with her condition early afternoon!
     
  4. KelseyKristo

    KelseyKristo Hatching

    5
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    7
    Jun 17, 2016
    Plattsmouth, NE
    She's more alert and has a bit more energy, bawk bawked in concern when I picked her up, but still isn't using her left foot? She's still eating, and passed a number of BMs which thankfully smell nowhere near as bad as the one last night. Anyone have any ideas what could be causing the foot disuse?
     
  5. KelseyKristo

    KelseyKristo Hatching

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    7
    Jun 17, 2016
    Plattsmouth, NE
    Got home from work and she was facing the back corner of the box and her crip was empty, refreshed her mash and she ate a bit. She seemed much more annoyed with my touches and bawked and muttered rude sounds so I'm assuming she's feeling a bit more spirited... Still no idea what caused her to lose mobility, any suggestions??
     
  6. AmandaKyle

    AmandaKyle Songster

    385
    53
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    Apr 13, 2014
    Northeast
    Nutridrench is a liquid you can add to their water or put directly into their mouths. The website says: "Nutri-Drench rapidly delivers high energy, vitamins, trace minerals, amino acids, electrolytes and anti-oxidants in minutes to restore the immune system. Energizes weak newborns. Stimulates appetite." To be fair, that's description for goat Nutri-Drench, but I think it's all the same. You can get it at any feed store.

    Does the leg look totally normal? Do her hips feel normal? Is it possible she got a fracture or a hip is popped out? I know you ruled out Bumblefoot.

    I think it's a good sign that she's getting aggravated with the touching. In the times that I have lost birds they got progressively easier to handle, rather than the other way around.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  7. KelseyKristo

    KelseyKristo Hatching

    5
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    7
    Jun 17, 2016
    Plattsmouth, NE
    Other than the first day or two, when she ate voraciously and had some energy, she has gone steadily downhill, eating less and less, and yesterday didn't touch her food at all. Her mobility has completely vanished, she doesn't move from where she's placed and is extremely lethargic. Her legs are positioned one extended in front and the other under her or stretched back. (The one extended forwards is the one she originally favored) I'm thinking maybe Mareks? Even tho she's twice the age when it usually shows up? And none of the other hens seem to be effected? I got my girls as started (6-8week) pullets from three different places off Craigslist last June and didn't know enough to ask about vaccinations...
     

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