Mission: Help Me Save My Tasty Chicken!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Secretlyspotted, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2013
    Carrollton GA
    Tasty is approximately 16 weeks old. I have had her since the 13th of September. She is a Splash English Orphington. I have six chickens total, which were purchased from 3 different places within 2 days of each other. She was #2 in the pecking order. Until last Friday, she had no problems. When into the coup at night, came out in the morning, free ranged normally- just regular chicken life. My other 5 chickens have continued with regular chicken life. Tasty has not.
    Last Friday she didn't go into the coop at night, so I picked her up and put her in there. She didn't come out in the morning, so I took her out and put her down. Being new to chickens her behavior seemed like she might be going broody- but that doesn't make any sense because she hasn't even laid an egg yet! She perked up on Saturday and I saw her eat a little. Then yesterday she stood in one place the whole day. I made her move- then when I went out to put the chickens up she was in the same spot I left her. I put her back in the coop and she didn't leave there (as far as I know) until I took her out a few minutes ago. I have seen her poop and it is running. I haven't seen her eat except whatever treats she ate on Saturday night,
    Poor Tasty must be sick. I have her isolated in a dog crate with straw bedding. I made her a mix of a scrambled egg and pedialyte. I don't know if I was supposed to, but I force fed her a little bit just to get something in her. She has lost weight and she is lethargic. No evidence of mucus discharge or respiratory distress. Not that I would really know what to look for in a chicken.
    Help! Please! She is my favorite chicken and she is so pretty! If they sell something at Tractor Supply I could purchase to make her better I can go tomorrow. No joy with avian vets around here.
    Here are some photos if that helps at all.
    All poofed up and sad:
    [​IMG]


    A little better view of her face:
    [​IMG]


    Here is what I am keeping her in. My daughter picked her a leaf to help her feel better. :(
    [​IMG]
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Poor Tasty. 16 weeks is rather young to lay, so I don't think she's broody, internally laying, or egg bound. I would suspect Coccidiosis or some sort of infection--start treating for Coccidiosis first, as it is a fast moving (birds usually die 1-3 days after showing symptoms), deadly disease. To treat, get some 9.6% Corid liquid or 20% Corid powder from a livestock supply store; TSC probably has some. The dosage for the liquid is 2 teaspoons/gal., and the dosage for the powder is 1.5 teaspoons/gal. of water. Don't give vitamins during treatment, as they will interfere. Treat for 5-7 days, and change the water daily. Improvement should be seen after 1-3 days. If not, then something else is wrong.

    If the Corid fails, I'd try some sort of antibiotic. Oxytetracycline (Terramycin, Tetroxy HCA-280, etc.) and Tylan50 injectable are my preferred antibiotics. Both can usually be found at a livestock supply store. The oxytetracycline dosage varies depending on the product; I do know that the Tetroxy dosage is 1/2 teaspoon per quart of drinking water given for 7-14 days. Don't give dairy products during treatment. The Tylan50 injectable dosage is 1cc for large-fowl, .5ccs for bantams, injected into one side of the breast once daily for 5 days. Alternate the side of the breast that you inject into, and use a small gauge needle, as Tylan can make the injection area sore. Improvement should be seen after 2-3 days.

    Other than that, there isn't much you can do. I would keep her isolated in a warm, clean place. Try to encourage her to eat by feeding treats (scrambled eggs, mealworms, bread, etc.). If she doesn't eat, you could continue force feeding, or you could try tube feeding. As long as you aren't treating with Corid, vitamins in the water are a good idea, too.

    The only other thing I can think of is that she has worms. But I would think that it would have taken longer for worms to become a problem--she seems rather young for that. Either that, or sour/impacted crop.

    Sorry I can't give any definite answers/treatments. Good luck with her!
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    My first guess would probably be Coccidiosis. Coccidiosis often affects young birds, and causes droopiness, sleepiness, lack of appetite, lethargy, and sometimes bloody droppings. I'd get some Corid (Amprolium) and start treatment. You should be able to find Corid at a livestock supply store. Its sold for cattle, but often used for chickens.

    If Corid doesn't work, I'd deworm her. Droopiness and lethargy can also be caused by a worm infestation. This isn't as likely, however, in my opinion, so try Corid first. Two good dewormers would be Safeguard and Valbazen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  4. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Carrollton GA
    Thanks so much for both of the posts! I will be headed to TSC tomorrow morning (if she is still alive then). I will try the Corid first and then go from there. Luckily I do live 15 mins from a TSC! I did force a little more of the egg/pedialyte mix down her tonight and she had *a little* more fight in her than she did this afternoon.
     
  5. schnebbles

    schnebbles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm currently tube feeding a chicken in the house. If you want to save her, it might be worth a try if she's lost lots of weight. It's pretty simple.

    I hope she improves, she's pretty and that name is a hoot!
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  6. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2013
    Carrollton GA
    So I went to Tractor Supply- and they were out of Corid! Crap. Tasty is still hanging on, somehow. I bought a syringe and force fed her 15mL of pedialyte. She is at least standing up in the dog crate now, yesterday she wouldn't even stand.
    TSC says they might have Corid tomorrow. If not, they did have the Tylan 50- should I try that?
    Also, any suggestions on keeping her warm? She is in an enclosed dog crate with about 4in of hay underneath her. I tried to wrap the dog crate in blankets, but I think one of my dogs took them off in the night. The part of my house I could bring her into doesn't have central heat and I don't want to use a space heater around straw due to the risk of fire. And, I do live in GA it doesn't get THAT cold here. Any idea at what temp I should be worried?
    I may consider tube feeding her.... seriously... tube feeding a chicken.... something I never in my life thought I would even consider.
     
  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    The Tylan50 would help if she had some sort of infection, but not if she has Coccidiosis. It wouldn't really hurt to start her on Tylan, though antibiotics do put some strain on a chicken's system. Until you get the Corid, you can give yogurt or buttermilk--those products will help coat the intestinal wall, and help prevent further damage by the Coccidia. I'd continue force feeding her, as she needs nourishment. If she doesn't get any, then she'll get weaker. As long as the temperatures aren't dropping below 60-70 degrees F., I think she'll be fine.
     
  8. schnebbles

    schnebbles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think tube feeding is easier than force feeding.

    I hope she gets better! I am still hoping for a full recovery for my pullet.
     
  9. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2013
    Carrollton GA
    Finally, finally, finally got Corid! I honestly can't believe Tasty is still hanging on. I've been force feeding her about 40mL a day, but I haven't seen her eat or drink anything else. Sigh. I really hope she makes it at this point! She is a strong little chick!
    So- that brings me to my next question: she isn't eating or drinking on her own. How much of the Corid water should I make her eat per day? I am interested in tube feeding- any suggestions where I would get the supplies? I am assuming all I need is a tube and a syringe. I have tube fed humans before (g-tube and ng tube). And when putting a ng tube down you have to be careful to miss the trachea, is that the case in chickens as well?
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    If your tube is lager enough the chance of getting it in their trachea is slim. I use a size 18 french catheter, 35 or 60 ml catheter tip syringe (vet or medical supply store), Kaytee Exact Baby Bird Food (Petsmart or Petco) and Pedialye or water, nothing else. How much you give depends on the bird, but the amount that usually works for me is 30ml/kg every 6-8 hours as long as the crop is clearing. Hydration is key and should be addressed with tubing before attempting to tube food. Your hen looks like she's the size of a Banty Cochin that I'm tubing and he gets no less than 120ml per day.

    As for keeping them warm, inside the house is the best way to do that.

    Two great links on tubing:


    This is what I use:

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    When I am going to give less than 60cc's, I use a 35cc catheter tip syringe like this one.
    [​IMG]


    5 pound bag of baby bird food - they also have a smaller container of it.
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    -Kathy
     

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