My hen Pearlie is dying

Aug 11, 2018
Pearlie is a Golden Comet. Age unknown, pound chicken, but has been a near-daily layer since we got her in November.

On Friday, she was fine. Laid an egg, running around.

On Saturday, she didn't get off the roost when I opened the coop. Her eyes were closed. I opened the coop pretty early, so I put her down by a waterer.

An hour and a half later, I went out and she was still there, head bowed over the water dish.

I took her inside in a hospital cage. By then she had quit eating and drinking on her own. Her eyes stayed closed even when she was standing up.

I did epsom baths. I pilled her with amoxicillin and calcium. I did a digital exam for an egg (no egg present). I soaked bread in nutridrench, forced open her beak and made her eat it. Once it was in her mouth, she did. Same with cat food and scrambled eggs. I used a feeder syringe to make her drink some nutridrench sugar water. Today I put her hospital cage out with the other chickens so she could see them and let her out. She went up to the fence near where her buddy hen was. Then closed her eyes.

So, euthanasia. I'm not ready yet because there's a part of me that's still hoping. I read the "Harvey the Great is Dying" thread and keep thinking, "Well one more day and she could turn around like Harvey."

I can't afford the one vet who sees chickens. The last visit (for another chicken) cost almost a thousand bucks.

What should I do now? Keep up the syringe watering and force-feeding her so she'll be more comfortable when she dies? Not do that?
I agree you should look her over for parasites. Will your vet do a fecal float without seeing the hen? What does her poop look like? Have you checked for crop function? Her crop should empty overnight. If she’s not eating, it may be empty all the time.
Does she have any respiratory symptoms? How does she smell? Is her breast muscle wasting away? Is her abdomen bloated/swollen?

If you can answer as many of these as possible, it will point is in the right direction.
She always had a small breast and was always skinny. It's hard to tell whether this has gotten worse.

The poop alternates between mostly urates (water with white stuff) and green (not green) poop. I looked at anatomical pictures of chickens and felt where I thought the crop was. (I could use guidance on this). I didn't feel anything hard or big or squishy there.

Today I syringe force fed her some yogurt and nutridrench water. I popped some cat food and nutridrench-drenched bread in her mouth. It was on a table outside. She then proceeded to eat a small bite of cat food then laid in the winter plants waiting to go in the garden. I put her in the dirt planter to see if she would dust bathe. She started to, but then fell asleep in the midday sun. I was worried about the crows getting to her so put her back in her hospital cage so she could see the others.

My phone is kind of wonky but I could try to upload some pictures. My camera roll goes back to 2010 so if anyone can say how you quickly do this, I'd appreciate this.

My BF works at a shelter who is doing the fecal float test on a friend basis. He texted me, and I almost texted him back asking about euthanasia. But I started crying. I just can't. Not yet.

I could go on feeding and watering her manually until she passes no problem if she's not feeling pain. But then again, is she? She sleeps all the time unless I'm medicating or feeding her.
When will you get the fecal float results? That may be key. She may decide she’s had enough and let go on her own, but maybe you’ll learn something from the float test. Did you check her for lice and mites? If you can figure out how, photos would still be helpful.

In the mean time, it sounds like you need to keep giving her fluids if she’s going to have a chance. Sorry you are going through this.
Underneath where it says "Post Reply" is another button that says "Upload a File." Click that. It will take you to your pictures (I am assuming you are on your smart phone). Select the picture or pictures you want to post. Then click either the thumbnail or full size option, and then just Post Reply like always. It's easy. Uploading a video is different. You have to upload to YouTube or other video platform and then post a link to it here. Hope this helps!

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