My sweet Barred Rock is droopy, thin.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DerbyChook, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Songster

    150
    0
    111
    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    She is about 5 years old. She rooms with three other hens who are the same age. All were brooded together. They live in a large converted dog run and normally get a few hours a day of free range and table scraps in addition to layer pellets. I have never had any health problems until this week.

    I was away for three weeks and they were confined to the run due to the fact that the house sitter has a dog. When I got back, I noticed that she was drooping and had runny, green looking poo. Due to the wet weather, I assumed it was worms and got a bottle of Wazine and administered some to the entire crew. Sadly, my BR is still looking bad 24 hours later. She is not eating much (I give her yogurt and other soft foods 2-3 times a day, but she is not interested in the pellets). Her tail is hunched down and she is a bit unsteady on her feet. She has no bloating in the abdomen and her crop feels empty. She does not have any nasal discharge or respiratory symptoms. She is very thin. She was having greenish watery poops, although she had one that look healthy today (that might be because of the special diet she has been on for the past few days). She does not stay on her feet or move around much.

    She has been in the coop until tonight. I didn't think she was contagious and she was not being bullied by the other girls. I thought she would be happier with her friends. I have finally moved her inside due to the fear that she has something catching (everyone else seems fine so far), and the fact that the wormer, electrolytes and yogurt did not seem to help.

    Any ideas on what to try next? I don't want to spend on a vet if I can help it. Should I give an antibiotic a shot? Try another more full spectrum wormer? Could it be an internal problem? I thought maybe egg peritonitis, but I do not feel anything in her belly.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    36,357
    13,263
    761
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Maybe she was depressed from not getting out of the dog run for 3 weeks. The heat has also been dreadful lately. Scrambled eggs would be good for some extra protein. Look her over for lice and mites. Wazine only gets the round worms, so I would try either Valbazen or Safegard Liquid Goat Wormer, but wait a few days first. My chickens eat chicken feed that is wet like candy, so you might try wetting some down to tempt her. I'm not a big fan of antibiotics unless I know what I am treating, but others may disagree.
     
  3. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Songster

    150
    0
    111
    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    I made her some mash from layer pellets. She is picking at it, but not very enthusiastically :( I am boiling some eggs and will try that later.

    They have plenty of room in the run, so I doubt she was depressed. I was more concerned that they were not getting the good forage and maybe that caused her system to get out of wack.

    Honestly, it does not look like an infection to me anyway, so probably the antibiotics are no good. It looks like something hurts her internally when she walks. I will try the goat wormer in a couple of days, but I am not too hopeful. Poor girl.
     
  4. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Songster

    150
    0
    111
    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    I poked her a bit more. She recoils and hunches when I poke her below her vent, but I don't feel any eggs or growths, so it must be inside the bones. She had a normal looking poo and ate some mashed egg. Poor girl. Does anyone know what this might be?
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    4,905
    600
    296
    Apr 8, 2013
    Australia
    Runny green poops? Like what --- foul fermented stuff or liquefied plant matter? Are you sure your housesitter didn't take pity on them and treat them to some possibly harmful goodies? Or maybe their dog accidentally managed to join them in the run and crushed her a bit in over-excitement, but if there was no blood maybe the house-sitter assumed it was all ok and didn't mention it? Could have caused internal damage. Ok, these are all long shots, but I've never had a good experience with other people looking after my animals, so I'm suspicious now even though there's every chance they aren't at fault.

    I have yet to meet the person who will abide by their word to tend your animals the way they initially agreed to; once you're out of sight they will do it their way. I have had my flock starved, brutalized, and generally had an all round nightmare with every single person I've dealt with. The nice well intentioned older lady who starved them almost to death believed she was doing better by them than I was, despite agreeing to feed them the protein I paid for and sent --- she didn't know birds need protein. The 'nice' older guy who abused the crap out of them and cost me most of my roosters thought it was ok because one of the roosters woke him up from a kilometer away. And many other folks have all been abusive indirectly or outright. I've lost my best hens and all my roosters, lol, of course I'm cussing. Sorry to hijack, there's about no chance your house sitter would come clean about this if they had made a mistake, so it's pointless speculation. Back on topic:

    If the poops smell fetid or feverish, suspect disease; if they smell like rot, or septic, then it's possibly something injured inside her. The unsteady on feet thing is a bad sign. Not too many come back from that. I hope your chook is an exception. If she's unsteady on her feet and has been avoiding protein and has runny green poop I would suspect internal damage or infection. But there are a lot of diseases that can cause identical symptoms. Did you or your house sitter bring in a disease, maybe? With my birds, I'd give charcoal, honey, fresh minced raw garlic, etc, really a bunch of natural remedies, and what the birds choose out of what they're offered often tells me a lot about what's wrong with them. But it's time consuming and gets kinda expensive compared to how much most people are willing to pay for their chooks rather than cull them as a waste of time. I like to learn, and want to breed immune and resistant chooks, so I put in the time.

    Honey is good. It has many things in it (when not cooked to death) including probiotics, protein, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, antibiotics, etc. Raw fresh garlic has potent antibiotics in it, so do rosemary, sage, oregano and basil, among other herbs. These all have other healing properties in them too as well as nutritional etc. Raw apple is good for stopping diarrhea. Raw potato is good for supporting the liver and allowing detoxification. Charcoal can help infections as well as toxins to be removed. I would think she needs more calcium/magnesium if she's unsteady on her feet but you mentioned she's quite thin so that can do it. Also, a note: it is easier to treat a bird naturally once you've raised it naturally, than to take a bird raised on pellets/crumble/mash etc and try to treat it naturally. Anyway, all the best.
     
  6. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Songster

    150
    0
    111
    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    The runny poops might have been from malnutrition. Once I started feeding her special food, they improved and look normal now. A bit more green than I would expect since she is not getting fresh grass or green stuff. The past two days she has been getting mostly oatmeal, yogurt, peaches, stuff like that. But the poos are solid and have the white spot now.

    She seems like she is in pain. Honestly, if the sitter's dog got at her, there is nothing to do about it now anyway. My own dog got one once too, before he was trained to leave my chicken babies alone. She did recover fully, we were very lucky that time. And she wasn't looking great before I left, but there was nothing I could put my finger on, so not much I could do. Animals are frustrating that way. You can kind of tell they don't feel well, but can't ask them to tell you what the problem is. Sigh.

    I have raw honey and garlic in the pantry and oregano in the garden. Might as well give it a go, see if it helps. I gave her crushed hard boiled egg with some shell, which she ate, so if it is calcium deficiency, she got some extra.
     
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    4,905
    600
    296
    Apr 8, 2013
    Australia
    You're doing about all you can. It sure is hard to diagnose may things with them.

    Some chooks (production purebreds especially) tend to either inherit or gradually acquire inability to synthesize the nutrition they take in. Slow death, lots of suffering, if I spot that again I will cull rather than try to fight it.

    It's the green poops that are strange because of the lack of greenery. Bile? Damaged liver? That could make her tender in the abdomen, feel nauseous, not want processed protein, etc. Anyway, like you said, it really is play it by ear kinda stuff. So all the best with that. It's encouraging that her poops went back to normal. And whether or not the housesitter was to blame, you're right that it doesn't matter. It'll always be a mystery, but the important part is that the chook lives. I know there are great housesitters out there, I've just run the gauntlet of terrible ones, that's all. I hold no ill will towards them. Hope your chook gets better.
     
  8. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Songster

    150
    0
    111
    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    I looked today and the poop was spongy. I gave her bread yesterday. It looked like she had not really processed the food, like it was just passing through her. And it was still green. Poor girl. I think I need to think about putting her down.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    36,357
    13,263
    761
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Maybe she has sour crop? Is it still flat? Mycostatin drops are good for that. I'll be honest, as much as I don't like antibiotics unless there is an infection, I might give her some in a last ditch effort to help her. Tylan, Duramycin-10, Gallimycin, Denagard are all good antibiotics to try. Prices are variable. Tylan50 is fairly cheap--it is injectable, but it also can be given orally. 1/2 ml by mouth daily for 5-7 days.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  10. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Songster

    150
    0
    111
    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    No smell and the crop is not hard or distended. Since she is not eating, it feels empty to me. I will try the antibiotics. I can get them at the feed store, right?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: