Limp, barely responsive pullet.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Demosthine, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This morning when I got home from work and went to let the girls out of their coop to free-range, I noticed our ~14 week Production Red, Sunshine, was laying at the foot of the roost in a sort of awkward position and she didn't get up the minute the door opened, like she usually does. When I went to pick her up, she was completely limp and non-responsive. Her eyes haven't opened up at all.

    With the colder weather, I thought maybe she got too cold last night. The coop is open on two sides on the roof, while the other two sides are nestled in to a corner of the house, on the back patio. I brought her inside and am using a blow dryer to warm her up. It's been about 20 minutes, though, and she is just a little bit more responsive. She tries to stand up when I'm supporting her and moves her feet a bit. When I try to move her beak or open it, she kind of twitches away from me. Overall, she just lays there like a dead, limp thing.

    I've tried dipping her beak in to some water with AVC in it to get her to drink, but there is no response there, either. They free-range for about half the day and have a food hopper in the coop as well, although I haven't used it as much lately. I've been giving them fermented Start & Grow.

    She was perfectly fine yesterday, out jumping around the backyard and playing with the other girls. It was a dramatic and sudden change finding her this morning.

    I'm going to go get some Pedialyte to see if I can get her to take any of that from an eye dropper. I'm having trouble getting her beak open, though. She jerks away when I try. Is it safe it safe to use a paper clip or something to sort of pry it open?

    Any other ideas or things to try? My wife will be heartbroken if we lose any of the girls, especially Sunshine. I think she's her favorite.

    I'm keeping you all readily at hand...
     
  2. Mama Hen Chris

    Mama Hen Chris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Scott, do you think she got stung by a scorpion or another type of insect? If that is the case you can use liquid benedryl. I do not know the dosage though. Do you have a heat lamp to keep over her?

    I am no expert but try giving her some sugar water. Try wrapping her in a towel, tuck her under your arm like a football and use your fingers to pull on her tiny wattles to open her mouth. You can also drop some drops on the top of her beak and she should "drink" it in when it falls to the "lip" of her beak.

    I know too well about losing girls. I am praying that she recovers from whatever has stricken her. It is always the favorite, I don't know why though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  3. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you pull on her waddles ? spelling, under her beak, this should make her open her beak. Make sure her head is up, so any fluid will go down her throat and not into her lungs. Electrolyte solution should help her perk up. When mine are sick, molting ect... they seem to eat only one thing and I have to try to find what that may be like tomatoes crushed up, corn, bread, cukes. Most don't eat the feed when try don't feel well
     
  4. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did just stumble across the fact that you can drip it on the tip of their beak and it will basically be sucked in between the top and bottom beaks. It's pretty fascinating, almost like it absorbs it like a sponge. She has perked up noticeably after giving her some "Pediatric Electrolyte," which I'm guessing is just the generic Pedialyte. She has even opened her eyes when I'm doing it and blinks a bunch. Far improvement already.

    I don't think it would be a scorpion or anything. They are rare this time of year because of the cold. In fact, I would be downright amazed to find one right now, since the last two nights were near freezing at our house. That's often the point where the scorpions die off. I don't have any liquid Benadryl, but I may have to add that to my Poultry Medic Kit.

    I do have a heat lamp, though it's not running at the moment. I have the hair dryer blowing warm air. I want her in a more stable condition before I put her in the hospital box, as someone else called it on another thread.

    It brings a new appreciation to how fascinating these girls are!
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    If she were mine I would:

    • Bring inside right away.
    • Weigh and record weight. I use a cheap digital kitchen scale from Target.
    • Do thorough exam.
    • Dust for mites/lice with poultry dust even if I couldn't see any .
    • De-worm with Safeguard for Goats/Cattle (fenbendazole 100mg/ml) at the rate of 50mg/kg ( .5cc/kg) by mouth.
    • Place in box or plastic bin with access to food, water and heat.
    • Once warm enough, if not eating/drinking, and crop is empty, tube feed Pedialyte. Once hydrated, tube feed baby bird food.
    • Maybe give antibiotics.
    • Watch closely for 24 hours.
    • Weigh daily.

    Read these:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/722041/how-to-t-feed-a-sick-chicken-and-give-subcutaneous-fluid
    http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/viewtopic.php?t=7933
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    NEVER feed or water a hypothermic animal or person, you can kill them!
     
  7. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is not true. A person suffering from hypothermia needs energy or fuel to allow the body to warm up. Quite often, providing easily assimilated power can be a life saver. You do have to be careful what food and/or drink you are providing. It should be luke warm to medium warm and non-alcohol, of course. In terms of being easily assimilated, it is often a sweet and warm beverage such as cocoa, coffee or sugared tea. Honey dissolved in
    warm water is also an excellent choice, but quite often is entirely unavailable in emergency situations.

    The key to this is ensuring that the animal or person is able to swallow. Also, it absolutely has to be non-alcohol and must not be really hot. This is the training that I've had through 12 years with the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, as well as four years on the Search and Rescue Unit with the Sheriff's Office. Of course, this treatment goes along with all of the other standard treatments of moving the victim to a warmer environment, removing wet clothing, covering with warm blanket to include the head and providing an moderate external heat source such as body heat.

    Ah, copy and paste verbatim from a few of your other replies. I saw those on a few of the other threads that I was reading with similar situations. Although much of it is excellent advise and was already in the process or was shortly going to be, I disagree with a few aspects. I don't think you should ever just de-worm or give anti-biotics as a "precaution." They should only be used to treat a known condition. That is part of the reason that anti-biotics are failing on humans and they are having to use increasingly stronger doses. The bacteria are developing an immunity to the medication that we will soon be unable to treat. Otherwise, excellent guidance.

    I'll read the other two articles in a bit. My 8-month old daughter is screaming and I have to inform my wife of the morning's events.


    After the hand-feeding (well, drinking actually since it was all liquid) and warmth provided by the blow dryer, she was standing up by herself. Now, she's laying down and was chirping a few minutes ago. That was a miraculous improvement from where we started this morning. Now, she'll go in to the hospital box with the food, water and heat lamp.

    I'll keep you all updated, especially if I find out what the root cause was. THANK YOU!
     
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  8. Mama Hen Chris

    Mama Hen Chris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to hear things are looking up. Just an idea...see if she will eat some srambled egg.
     
  9. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I forgot about the scrambled eggs idea! That's a great thought!

    Oh, and my wife said that if Sunshine isn't better by the time we leave for Texas on Monday, then Sunshine is going with us so she can be cared for. This coming from the woman who threatened to divorce me if I ever got chickens! My, how things have changed...
     
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  10. Mama Hen Chris

    Mama Hen Chris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Too funny..little did she know how addictive they are. If you take Sunshine, you gotta take her sisters too. Sunshine needs friends to keep her company.
     

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