lethargy, watery poop, loss of appetite. ADVICE APPRECIATED!

HenKat

Chirping
6 Years
Aug 21, 2015
29
31
99
Northwest Montana
Hello, I'd appreciate help diagnosing what may be affecting my hen, Lilly. My internet research has basically just enforced that pretty much every chicken ailment causes diarrhea and lethargy... :(

She is 1.75 year old Buff Orpington. She seems to be underweight, as yesterday I noticed her breastbone is becoming more prominent.

A week ago she started acting a bit lethargic. Tuesday (4 days ago) she was really in slow motion, and was eating only snow when all the others were happily eating treats.

I noticed she had a lot of poo caked on her vent and hind feathers, so brought her in for a bath and close watching. Since that time she has completely lost her appetite, and is barely drinking. She stays fluffed up, barely moving inside the dog crate that is in the bathroom (keeping her warm). She seems to be a little more interactive when I give her warm baths (one to clean her off, a second yesterday for an epsom salt soak) but doesn't fight me, and quickly goes to sleep.

Looking back, I think she has been acting off for about a week. My other birds seem fine (mixed flock of 10.)

The only thing that perhaps happened that may have caused any trauma is that the roos got out with the ladies, and she was mounted kinda aggressively by my two young roos, but once I pulled them off she chased them around as if she was giving them a strong verbal lashing, and she seemed fine at the time. It was the next day she started acting extra tired. I also noticed that we had a big puddle in the middle of the run, when a bunch of snow melted, that they were drinking out of, to my dismay.

In her dog crate the first couple of days she ate lots of feed (plain old layer pellets) but for the last two days hasn't eaten anything, including the yogurt, hemp seeds and egg shells I've offered (some favorite treats). When I kind of forced her head down into a dish of water yesterday she drank a little bit. Her abdomen does not seem swollen or hard. Her crop isn't distended.

Even when she was eating her poops were very watery, white. I haven't noticed any signs of worms or blood. All of her poos now seem to be watery or mucous. I think that may have been going on for quite a while, because her bottom feathers had been dirty for a month or so... I feel awful about not checking and giving her a bath sooner.

I tried to check to see if she was egg bound, but didn't feel an egg. In her vent she just has what feel like a lot of calcium bits, kinda like really coarse sand. Is that normal?

Other than the simple bath and the 20 minute epsom salt soak, I got some monistat cream to apply in/around the vent area, thinking maybe this is vent gleet. However now that she has completely stopped eating I am not confident in my diagnosing skills.

I would love to do as much for her at home if I can. I haven't done anything with a vet... my vet doesn't work with chickens, but they did refer me to someone else who can, but I have no idea of their availability. Of course, being a holiday, I have no hope to be able to call with questions for several days. I don't want to go to extremes such as surgery, but would like to try medications if they'll help.

Thank you so much!! There are so many knowledgeable people on this forum, I appreciate your expertise and advice.

PXL_20201225_231830045.jpg
PXL_20201225_230954359.jpg
PXL_20201225_231433372.jpg
PXL_20201225_230918103.jpg
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
8,105
35,254
933
Belding, MI
I don't know the exact thread, but look up syringe feeding to see if you can get some food and liquids in her. Obviously, you can't get a fecal float done for a few days, either. Look up some of the threads about dosages for worms, perhaps? Is her abdomen swollen?

Tagging some people who can help.

@Wyorp Rock @Eggcessive
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
40,602
58,648
1,362
Southern N.C. Mountains
Does she lay eggs? When was the last one?

I agree, I would check to make sure her crop is emptying overnight.
Enteritis is possible as well.

You mention that you feel something gritty when you felt for an egg? Never felt that before when examining inside a vent. That's not right or at least, ime.

I would try to get fluids into her. If she's not drinking well on her own, the syringing or tubing fluids into her would be a good idea. Once she's hydrated, then you can give a bit of wet feed to see if she will eat.

Hard to know what's going on with her, but her stance to me says reproductive issues. I could be wrong on that. She may be having some difficulties with peritonitis, cancer, etc.
The grit feeling is interesting though. Can you physically see the gritty stuff or get a photo of it?
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/crop-feeding.75454/
 

HenKat

Chirping
6 Years
Aug 21, 2015
29
31
99
Northwest Montana
Thank you for your replies @Wyorp Rock, @dawg53, @Sally PB

Lilly is about the same, maybe walking a tiny bit today to change her positions in the crate, but still mostly sleeping, and not eating/drinking.

Her crop is flat. She last laid an egg Tuesday, the day she started acting very lethargic and I brought her inside. That egg looked normal with just a couple of extra little calcium deposits on the shell.

I got her to drink a little bit this morning by dipping her beak into a dish, but later today when I wanted to do that again, she only took one sip, then refused, and I noticed some thick clear saliva or thin mucous coming out of her beak, Not a ton, but a small stream.

The gritty stuff in her vent can be seen in poo picture #2, seems to be small white calcium stones.

Looking at other posts, a good amoxicillin dose is 125mg twice a day. Does that sound correct? Would it be worth continuing to treat for possible yeast at the same time as antibiotics?

I appreciate the guidance to the tube feeding/subcutaneous feeding pages, have been working to educate myself, and am trying to see if I can get my hands on such supplies. If I can't get her to drink anything else today then that is going to be an important option.

Again thank you, seeing her clearly feel sick makes me so sad :(
 

hayley3

Crowing
14 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,072
1,956
446
Southern Indiana
Thank you for your replies @Wyorp Rock, @dawg53, @Sally PB

Lilly is about the same, maybe walking a tiny bit today to change her positions in the crate, but still mostly sleeping, and not eating/drinking.

Her crop is flat. She last laid an egg Tuesday, the day she started acting very lethargic and I brought her inside. That egg looked normal with just a couple of extra little calcium deposits on the shell.

I got her to drink a little bit this morning by dipping her beak into a dish, but later today when I wanted to do that again, she only took one sip, then refused, and I noticed some thick clear saliva or thin mucous coming out of her beak, Not a ton, but a small stream.

The gritty stuff in her vent can be seen in poo picture #2, seems to be small white calcium stones.

Looking at other posts, a good amoxicillin dose is 125mg twice a day. Does that sound correct? Would it be worth continuing to treat for possible yeast at the same time as antibiotics?

I appreciate the guidance to the tube feeding/subcutaneous feeding pages, have been working to educate myself, and am trying to see if I can get my hands on such supplies. If I can't get her to drink anything else today then that is going to be an important option.

Again thank you, seeing her clearly feel sick makes me so sad :(
When my hen had a dirty butt with white stuff running down her vent/backside, , the vet treated her for vent gleet but then the vet said she also had coccidosis and worms. I treated her for both of those and she is doing well today.
 

HenKat

Chirping
6 Years
Aug 21, 2015
29
31
99
Northwest Montana
Thanks @heyley3 I am glad to hear that your hen did well with treatment! That gives me a lot of hope for my gal.

I started tube feed with pedialyte this evening. It was even easier than I expected, so hopefully Lilly will hold on until we can see a vet.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
40,602
58,648
1,362
Southern N.C. Mountains
Amoxicillin dose is 57mg per pound of weight given orally twice a day for 7-10 days.

Vent Gleet is a yeast/fungal infection - administering antibiotics could make that worse. It would be hard to know if she has vent gleet -do you notice a yeasty odor?
 

birdhelper84

Chirping
Jun 15, 2019
30
76
74
my chicken her name was ruby when her eyes were shut i could see her eyes i saw that with ur baby ruby passed this year..spend what time u have with ur baby just in case.if the worst case happens let her know its ok too let go and ur proud of her and u love her hold her as well.
 

hayley3

Crowing
14 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,072
1,956
446
Southern Indiana
Thanks @heyley3 I am glad to hear that your hen did well with treatment! That gives me a lot of hope for my gal.

I started tube feed with pedialyte this evening. It was even easier than I expected, so hopefully Lilly will hold on until we can see a vet.
I was terrified the first time I had to give medicine with a syringe but now I can do it without looking in their mouths.
Great you are doing well with the tube feeding that should help her until you get to the vet.
Good luck with Lilly... :hugs
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom