My chicken is really rubbish at eating and very underweight!

Steph469

Hatching
Feb 13, 2020
5
3
6
So a bit of background:

I have a chicken less than 2 years old called Winnie. She has been living inside for four weeks now after a bad case of Coryza, conjunctivitis etc. She has been unable to walk during that tim and has been on antibiotic. she seems much better and more herself, but is still not strong enough to walk and is v underweight. She is a maran so should weigh around 4kg (although I never weighed her when she was healthy to know her ideal weight specifically), she currently weighs 1.5kg!
I had initially been hand feeding her, then went onto crop tube feeding as she stopped drinking (and needed to drink to take her antibiotics). After a week she began to eat on her own (wet layer pellets, scrambled egg, meal worms, yoghurt) and I continued with the antibiotic water. I then started probiotics too.

Current situation (reason for post):

Currently she is in a chicken sling to encourage her to put weight on her legs to prevent muscle wastage, but although seems to be eating, is not putting on any weight and I think this is why her recovery is so slow and she still cannot walk.
I tried wetting and sieving the layer pellets so that they could be syringed, but this was a lot of work and didn’t appear to reap any benefits to her gaining weight.

I realised at the weekend that she pecks at the food, but rarely actually gets a piece in her mouth. I had blamed this on the conjunctivitis affecting her eyesight, but her eyes are now clear. I then wondered if this was due to her top beak being over grown as she is inside, so trimmed it. This appeared to make eating scrambled egg easier, but not much else. I have tried wet and dry foods without much difference in her ability to eat them.

She appears to look at the food, aim for something, peck at it (or next to it) repeatedly and then miss five or six times before actually managing to secure it in her beak. She is still sneezing, so repeatedly sends her food flying off in different directions, which doesn’t help either. I have tried a range of different containers and surfaces to see if this would help, but have not seen much difference.

She clearly wants to eat but is just really rubbish at it!

Has anyone else experiences this? I feel like I own Heihei out of Moana at the moment!

Thanks for any thoughts or ideas,
Steph
 

Wyorp Rock

Enabler
Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
I have a chicken less than 2 years old called Winnie. She has been living inside for four weeks now after a bad case of Coryza, conjunctivitis etc. She has been unable to walk during that tim and has been on antibiotic. she seems much better and more herself, but is still not strong enough to walk and is v underweight. She is a maran so should weigh around 4kg (although I never weighed her when she was healthy to know her ideal weight specifically), she currently weighs 1.5kg!
I had initially been hand feeding her, then went onto crop tube feeding as she stopped drinking (and needed to drink to take her antibiotics). After a week she began to eat on her own (wet layer pellets, scrambled egg, meal worms, yoghurt) and I continued with the antibiotic water. I then started probiotics too.
Currently she is in a chicken sling to encourage her to put weight on her legs to prevent muscle wastage, but although seems to be eating, is not putting on any weight and I think this is why her recovery is so slow and she still cannot walk.
I tried wetting and sieving the layer pellets so that they could be syringed, but this was a lot of work and didn’t appear to reap any benefits to her gaining weight.
She appears to look at the food, aim for something, peck at it (or next to it) repeatedly and then miss five or six times before actually managing to secure it in her beak. She is still sneezing, so repeatedly sends her food flying off in different directions,
Welcome To BYC
Where are you located in the world?
Was the Infectious Coryza diagnosed by a vet? What treatments have you given her?
Can you post some photos of her, the sling and of her eyes?

I'm sorry to hear she is wasting, you likely need to go back to tube feeding her at least once a day.

The loss of leg function and the "missing aim" of the feed sounds like she may also be suffering from Marek's, but it's hard to know without testing.
Have you tried giving her any vitamins that contain B and E?

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
 

Steph469

Hatching
Feb 13, 2020
5
3
6
I am in England, UK.

The Infectious Coryza was diagnosed by a vet. She has been having Tylan, probiotics and Flubenvet incase there were any underlying reasons why she got I'll in the first place.

I had been adding vitamins to the water, garlic to her food etc but she is now having so much added to her water I had stopped. Both the antibiotics and probiotics are administered via the water. I will look at starting again.

Marek's is a possibility, but she has been improving with the antibiotics and definitely had Coryza symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, very swollen sinuses, bubbles on eyes, discharge from eyes, struggling to breath). Most of these signs are now gone. The legs are working better and she can now put them down on the ground correctly if I support her weight. Initially one wing wasn't working either, but that has fully recovered. The wing and leg that lacked function were both on the right side of her body. I will continue to read up on Marek's, thankyou for the link. I had started reading about Marek's but then focussed on Coryza.

Photo one was almost four weeks ago, when she was recovering and able to breath better, but sinuses were still huge!

Photo 2 was about a week ago. Still sneezing and some bubbles on eyes, but eating and using wings fully.

Photo 3, Winnie in her chicken sling. I put a hot water bottle under her feet as they were cold and she would normally sit on them.

Photo 4 Winnie in her sling, now secured with tights as she likes to flap and fall! They are not right and she is still able to move around, but not enough to fall.

Photo 5 is this morning close up of face.

Photo 6 this morning, close up of eye.
 

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Fluffyflufffluff

Chirping
Premium member
Dec 30, 2019
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So a bit of background:

I have a chicken less than 2 years old called Winnie. She has been living inside for four weeks now after a bad case of Coryza, conjunctivitis etc. She has been unable to walk during that tim and has been on antibiotic. she seems much better and more herself, but is still not strong enough to walk and is v underweight. She is a maran so should weigh around 4kg (although I never weighed her when she was healthy to know her ideal weight specifically), she currently weighs 1.5kg!
I had initially been hand feeding her, then went onto crop tube feeding as she stopped drinking (and needed to drink to take her antibiotics). After a week she began to eat on her own (wet layer pellets, scrambled egg, meal worms, yoghurt) and I continued with the antibiotic water. I then started probiotics too.

Current situation (reason for post):

Currently she is in a chicken sling to encourage her to put weight on her legs to prevent muscle wastage, but although seems to be eating, is not putting on any weight and I think this is why her recovery is so slow and she still cannot walk.
I tried wetting and sieving the layer pellets so that they could be syringed, but this was a lot of work and didn’t appear to reap any benefits to her gaining weight.

I realised at the weekend that she pecks at the food, but rarely actually gets a piece in her mouth. I had blamed this on the conjunctivitis affecting her eyesight, but her eyes are now clear. I then wondered if this was due to her top beak being over grown as she is inside, so trimmed it. This appeared to make eating scrambled egg easier, but not much else. I have tried wet and dry foods without much difference in her ability to eat them.

She appears to look at the food, aim for something, peck at it (or next to it) repeatedly and then miss five or six times before actually managing to secure it in her beak. She is still sneezing, so repeatedly sends her food flying off in different directions, which doesn’t help either. I have tried a range of different containers and surfaces to see if this would help, but have not seen much difference.

She clearly wants to eat but is just really rubbish at it!

Has anyone else experiences this? I feel like I own Heihei out of Moana at the moment!

Thanks for any thoughts or ideas,
Steph
Well.. A not eating well chicken is a sick chicken. you dont have any pictures to show? we cant really tell the exact condition. but if its underweight.. a vet os clearly needed..
 

Steph469

Hatching
Feb 13, 2020
5
3
6
I have attached photos if you scroll up.
I have seen a vet twice. She has been ill and is improving, but I was worried how inefficient she is at eating
 

Wyorp Rock

Enabler
Sep 20, 2015
27,040
35,679
1,182
Southern N.C. Mountains
I am in England, UK.

The Infectious Coryza was diagnosed by a vet. She has been having Tylan, probiotics and Flubenvet incase there were any underlying reasons why she got I'll in the first place.
Marek's is a possibility, but she has been improving with the antibiotics and definitely had Coryza symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, very swollen sinuses, bubbles on eyes, discharge from eyes, struggling to breath).
The legs are working better and she can now put them down on the ground correctly if I support her weight. Initially one wing wasn't working either, but that has fully recovered. The wing and leg that lacked function were both on the right side of her body. I will continue to read up on Marek's, thankyou for the link. I had started reading about Marek's but then focussed on Coryza.
Photo 2 was about a week ago. Still sneezing and some bubbles on eyes,
Thank you for the photos.
The swelling sure of the face sure has gone down hasn't it.
Bubbles in the eyes is often associated with Mycoplasma Gallisepticum, so it's very possible that she could have that too in addition to Infectious Coryza. Sadly, sometimes birds can have more than one infection and that really makes it harder for them to recover.
How long has she been on the Tylan? Is she drinking enough of the water? That can be a problem when they are not eating/drinking is they just don't get enough medication in their system.

Hard to know about the loss of leg and wing function, but Marek's would still be something I would consider.
It's sort of like, a bird becomes weakened by one thing and that allows another condition/disease to take hold too.

Since you were tubing food and fluids into her when she was the sickest and know how to do that (good for you!) I think I would tube feed her at least once a day so she's getting nutrition. Then see how well she eats on her own too. I agree with you, sometimes all the "added" things into water or food just seems like over kill. You are in the UK look for Nettex Nutri-Drops this is similar to Poultry Nutri-Drench that we have in the US. This can be given direct dosed, I would use that a couple of times a week.
I assume she is not laying eggs, you may want to feed her chick starter instead of layer pellets - higher protein and less calcium.
 

Steph469

Hatching
Feb 13, 2020
5
3
6
Thankyou. I will get some. I thought about chick crumbs as should be easier to tube feed. I'll also order some of the nutri drops.

I started the tube fluids as she doesn't appear to drink at all. I manage about 100ml a day, but I should be able to do more as I'm on school break for the next week.

The vet said the same about multiple infections. She said that Winnie would likely have been run down in order to have caught the Coryza. None of my other chickens came down with anything luckily, so I suspect the vet was correct.
 

Wyorp Rock

Enabler
Sep 20, 2015
27,040
35,679
1,182
Southern N.C. Mountains
Thankyou. I will get some. I thought about chick crumbs as should be easier to tube feed. I'll also order some of the nutri drops.

I started the tube fluids as she doesn't appear to drink at all. I manage about 100ml a day, but I should be able to do more as I'm on school break for the next week.

The vet said the same about multiple infections. She said that Winnie would likely have been run down in order to have caught the Coryza. None of my other chickens came down with anything luckily, so I suspect the vet was correct.
I hope the tubing helps and she recovers soon.
Keep us posted.
 
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