My chicken is wasting away

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bedheadkg, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. Bedheadkg

    Bedheadkg New Egg

    Jun 4, 2013
    My 4 girls have been with us since late February, and were bought at point of lay, so are probably now about 7 months old, they are all hybrids. We had a little bit of trouble with them sorting out a pecking order and one of them (Popcorn) was left badly pecked and missing a lot of feathers, but she seemed quite happy and was still laying. About 2 weeks ago she stopped laying, but there were no signs that anything was wrong so we put it down to her using her energy to regrow all the missing feathers. Last week the weather here was horrible, and Popcorn more or less stayed in the coop, which we thought was just because she was feeling the cold (what with being bald), but it's become clear that there is something wrong with her. She is coming out with the others chickens, but doesn't seem to have much energy, she is eating and drinking but she has watery poo and the weight is just dropping off, today she is skin and bone. She isn't pooing any more often than normal, and there is no mess on her feathers, but when she does poo it's like water. I can't feel any lumps anywhere, so I've ruled out impacted crop, or internal laying, but I don't know what else I should be doing? I'm worried she's just going to starve to death if I can't work out what's wrong. I've just taken them out some scrambled egg mixed with layers pellets and a bit of corn as a treat to try and get some calories in her and she's eating it quite happily. Help!!
  2. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2013
    She is not egg bound? What about worms?
  3. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    Sounds like worms...I'd get some Valbazen and treat her right away.
  4. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2008
    You could also consider an internal fungal infection as a possible cause if she's been around any moldy bedding, environment or food.
    There's more info on that on the Fungal Infections page on the website linked in my sig below.
    Best wishes [​IMG]
  5. Betsy57

    Betsy57 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Murphysboro IL USA
    I've had to put down 5 hens in the last 2 months and it is getting overwhelming. They stop eating and just waste away and I put them down. I hate doing that but it is the humane and responsible thing to do. I can't figure out what is going on. There are SO MANY things it could be. One hen didn't waste away, she just all of a sudden couldn't stand. Thinking that may have been Marek's because she was not vaccinated. But the others are wasting away. It has to be something environmental I guess, something that is contagious. But looking through BYC and my numerous other resources, it is like flipping a coin to try to figure out a treatment or popssible diagnosis. Sigh.
  6. rfmudflap

    rfmudflap Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mariposa, California
    I had exactly the same problem. I took in a bunch of rescued hens and after about 6 months they started to waste away and drop. I took 3 of them to my vet and we couldn't figure out the problem until one of my roosters began to go south. By this time, I was able to catch his symptoms earlier than the girls. We found an infestation of gape worm, which was not treated using the other de-wormers we tried. It requires a special mediaction. We couldnt save him but the others stopped showing signs of this illness and are fine now. I lost about 5 birds. It was awful to watch them waste away as I tried in vain to nurse them. I used Panacur Dog wormer and adjusted the dose to the weight of my birds and made a paste and got it into them in the evening once they had roosted. It was not easy but it worked. Good luck
  7. Betsy57

    Betsy57 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Murphysboro IL USA

    What symptoms did yours have besides wasting away? Were they gagging/gaping? Mine weren't. Haven't lost anymore. Seem to be okay, for now.
  8. rfmudflap

    rfmudflap Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mariposa, California
    I didn't notice any gaping. We discovered it when my rooster "threw up" some honey water I put down his throat. There were little red worms in the liquid that came back up. other symptoms were loss of balance, wasting away, immobile in dark corners, it was hard to notice the symptoms since they came on gradually and the birds would be out of site under the porch or other location. Once it started happening though, I was able to be more vigilant. Thanks
  9. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 9, 2009
    Worms, lice and mites cause many deaths in our fowl.... I use oxfendazole... a goat wormer ( here in France ) and permethryn for lice/mites.

    I too rescued 21 chickens.. only 4 survived...they were infested with worms and mites and had barely any feathers, they had cannibalistic tendencies and it was heartbreaking to see how they initially behaved...starving and ill they fought for their survival in every which way.....

    They love tuna fish and scrambled egg, yoghurt and any other nutritious treats I afford them.

    I wish you luck in your endeavours to help your ailing chickens... it is hard to know what is the best to do for them.

    We can but try to help them through whatever ails them.
  10. Meadowchick

    Meadowchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2014
    If your birds don't respond to a different wormer, you may want to consider LYMPHOID LEUKOSIS (Sp) which will cause similar symptoms. It is viral and culling should be considered...cause using pullets as breeders (younger than first moult hens). You can find info on internet.

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