Listless chicken, head shaking and off food

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by simplepleasures, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. simplepleasures

    simplepleasures Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2013
    Gold Coast, Australia
    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)

    She's a Lohmann Brown, approx 29 weeks old.. not sure of weight, seems to be fine weightwise.

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.

    Appears to be quite listless and sleepy. This morning she was sat on a perch in the run shaking her head vigorously and hunched up. When I let them out to free range she seemed ok, but when I checked up on her she had found a shady spot and was just laying there most of the time. I decided to call them all back into the coop after a few hours and she came along willingly but slowly. Once in the coop she wasn't interested in the little bit of yoghurt I'd taken up for them, and she went off into the run extension and lay down again, falling asleep. I have 6 girls and only 4 eggs today, usually they lay every day. She IS drinking, just haven't noticed her eat much but she did peck a little around the garden.


    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?

    I noticed she didn't seem herself a couple of days ago, I was concerned because when out free ranging she appeared to be doing some kind of contracting at the vent and some clear liquid came out. As I had an egg that day and the next day I thought that it was just the heat, we had an awful spell of very hot weather. Today she seems a lot quieter and is the first time I've seen her hunched.


    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?

    No the other birds are as happy as ever, eating and drinking and running around.



    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

    I noticed yesterday that some feathers at the front appeared to be... umm ruffled? Some of the white poking out. No other injuries I can see.


    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

    I wish I knew.


    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

    I feed layer mash and also some kitchen scraps and whatever they find when they are freeranging. I gave them some broccoli recently and some melon and bread etc.


    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.

    This is hard to tell but when I was watching her from above on the deck as she was free ranging, I saw her poop and it looked very runny from where I was standing. I ran down to get a picture but couldn't find it as she'd moved! However, I did notice in the coop bedding some parts appeared to be really quite wet.


    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

    In a panic this morning I wondered if the head shaking was lice, so I went and got some lice powder and attempted to sprinkle them all with it. This appears to be a two person task, I was not very successful. In addition my browns are always very reluctant to be handled, whereas the lorps don't mind the contact. I wormed them.. maybe a month ago.


    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

    I would like to treat myself if possible.


    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

    I have a picture of her I'll post.


    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use

    They have a wooden coop with roosting poles, two nesting boxes and a long box that they tend to sleep in quite often. Sand is on the base of the coop with a thick layer of sawdust (actually not sure if it's classed as wood shavings). Straw in the nesting box.

    [​IMG]
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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would suspect either mites or coccidiosis. Normally she should be immune to the coccidia on your property by 10-16 weeks, unless you have added new birds, she is a new bird, or a new strain has be brought in on shoe or tires. Corid (amprollium) 1 tsp powder or 2 tsp liquid to 1 gallon of water for 5-7 days is the treatment. Mites can cause head shaking (as well as respiratory disease), can cause anemia, weakness, and affect laying. Some only come out at night, so checking them at night with a flashlight may help. To dust a chicken I would grab them off the roost at night, grasp the legs, hold them upside down , powder the vent and abdomen, turn over and do the neck under the wings, and back. Some find using a pillow case with Sevin dust, and gathering it around the neck and shaking it all over the bird works. Worming may also help her.
     
  3. simplepleasures

    simplepleasures Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2013
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Thank you for the response Eggscessive. I have had my girls since they were a week old and have not introduced any new birds. Haven't been near any other chickens, so would it be unlikely that it's coccidia? I will wait until my husband is home, clean out the coop and then get him to help me dust the girls. I will worm them again also.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    southern Ohio
    You might also check her for being eggbound. If you have rubber gloves, insert a lubricated finger 1 1/2 inches into the vent to check for an egg as you feel the abdone also. If an egg is felt, place her in a very warm bath for 30 minutes to relax muscles to pass the egg. A dose of calcium (calcium tablet, Tums, crushed eggshells in yogurt) would be helpful.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. simplepleasures

    simplepleasures Out Of The Brooder

    22
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    Aug 29, 2013
    Gold Coast, Australia
    I think I am going to have to do that tonight, I've never done it before and she doesn't like being handled so it's not going to be easy. Thank you again for the advice. I've just taken a video of her in the run, she has put herself in the corner and just keeps shaking her head. I'll post it once it uploads on youtube.
     
  6. simplepleasures

    simplepleasures Out Of The Brooder

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    1
    26
    Aug 29, 2013
    Gold Coast, Australia
    [​IMG]

    I just took this photo of her also, video is still uploading. Is it normal to have the white.. I'm guessing poop, under her vent does anyone know?
     
  7. simplepleasures

    simplepleasures Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2013
    Gold Coast, Australia
    [​IMG]

    Video of her head shaking :( Just off out to see to her now my husband is home.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. mnheartbreaker

    mnheartbreaker New Egg

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    Jun 30, 2013
    Minnesota
    I have found a few of my chickens like that as well, and the crop was very full of liquid and stunk bad! This is what I found out.. They had sour crop, from feeding them bread. They had very bad smelling black liquid that I purged from them, unfortunately both of my hens didn't make it but maybe if you catch yours in time yours will. PS I no longer feed my chickens bread and I haven't had a problem in more then 6 moths!
    Here is a good website that might be able to help you.
    http://suite101.com/a/how-to-identify-and-treat-sour-crop-in-chickens-a235571


    good luck and I hope this helps..
     
  9. simplepleasures

    simplepleasures Out Of The Brooder

    22
    1
    26
    Aug 29, 2013
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Oh I will look at this, mine have had bread! thank you. I dusted them all last night and she seemed ok after that. First thing this morning she seemed fine but now she is sitting on a pole in the run, hunched up and closing her eyes. The headshaking isn't as bad.
     

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