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Mysteriously Sick Hen--What Else to Try?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BantamLover21, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello everyone,

    It has been a long time since I posted, and even longer since I had a sick bird. Unfortunately, I have one now that I would love some help with.

    About a month ago, I picked up one of my best White Wyandotte bantam hens (3.5 years old, multiple best in shows in her show career) and thought she felt a little light. However, she was behaving normally, strutting dominantly around the coop (she's the top hen), eating, and drinking like usual. I was a little concerned, but didn't think much about it.

    Then, about ten days ago, the same hen got worse. She used to love eating feed moistened with water, but she barely wanted to touch it now. She was still relatively bright eyed and mobile, though. At this point, she was isolated from the other birds in a cage to keep her in good condition, since shows are starting soon. I brought the hen inside to observe closely and treat. I also weighed her: she weighed about 19 oz, down from approximately 26 oz when she was perfectly healthy.

    First, I tried treating her with Corid and colloidal silver (about 1 cc of the silver per day). I also wormed her with the Worminator. After about five days of treatment, there was no change. She ate some corn, mealworms, some raw egg, and various fruits, but wasn't interested in pellets, ordinary earthworms (a treat some of my birds enjoy), or in eating large quantities of food. Her weight remained around 19-19.4 oz. She continued drinking a little on her own, but I also made sure to give her extra water in a syringe.

    After the Corid treatment, she was no better and in fact seemed a little worse. So, I treated her orally for about five days with Tylan 200. I gave her around .25 ccs of the injectable Tylan 200, which I read on BYC could be given orally, each day, morning and night. During this time, her weight didn't decrease, though this was partially due to me forcing some vitamins and Kaytee bird food into her. She continued to eat mealworms, corn, some vegetables/fruits, and some raw egg. Two days ago, she also started eating a few worms each morning (a minor improvement), and she has been more talkative.

    Yesterday, I stopped the Tylan and decided to try a more natural, supportive treatment. I gave her more colloidal silver, as well as some Curcumin/Turmeric and coconut oil, since I've read those are good for sick birds. She also got more egg to eat and a follow-up Worminator dose. Today she got more of the same (no wormer though). She ate slightly less corn this morning and was a little less interested in her worms, however.

    What I'm asking for is any other supportive treatment ideas people have. Any specific vitamin or food source? I've heard of using certain oils (Oregano?), are there any other natural remedies? I'm kind of out of ideas with this hen. Perhaps she has some sort of blockage, failing organ, or tumorous growth inside? Her droppings have been wet, small, and somewhat mucous-y, but normal colored.

    Edit around 8:00pm (I started this post earlier in the afternoon): She seems worse tonight. Less interested in mealworms/corn and droopy/tired. Maybe her body is shutting down? [​IMG] I'll update in the morning.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm sorry your girl is sick.
    I don't have much to add, it sounds like you have covered pretty much everything to do.
    I'm assuming that her crop is emptying normally (what little she is eating), how does the crop feel, any smelly breath?
    Does she still lay eggs?

    Weight loss is concerning, so if she's not eating/drinking well you may consider tube feeding. @casportpony is great with this, so I'm sure she would be happy to help you. She also may have other ideas as to what is going on.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/805728/go-team-tube-feeding
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for responding.

    Her crop is emptying normally. Her breath is normal. She hasn't been laying eggs for a few months, but that is normal for her (she isn't a great producer and molts often/randomly doesn't lay).
    Last year, I had a bantam Cochin hen with similar symptoms who turned out to be egg bound. The egg had gotten lodged in her and encased in egg yolks, but the whole time it was in her (probably a week), she showed no classic egg bind symptoms--just lethargy and lack of appettite. If this Wyandotte bantam hen had a stuck egg, though, I don't think she would have lasted this long (about a month), but I could be wrong.

    Since I brought her home (about ten days ago), she hasn't lost any more weight. She remains around 19.4-19.6 oz, increasing to around 20-21 oz when her crop is fuller.

    This morning, she ate one worm and some mealworms. She doesn't like corn anymore. I gave her some liquid egg, probiotics, VetRX, and coconut oil, as well. After she eats, she seems brighter, almost normal, but that changes quickly. No labored breathing, mites, discharge, or other symptoms.

    I may give her a warm bath in a few hours to help clean her (she's kind of sticky/dirty from her food) and help with any possible stuck egg (though at this point, I don't think it would do anything). Hopefully she doesn't get too stressed out. I will probably give her some more turmeric later, too.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You mention she molts often? Can you explain that a bit more?
    Will she eat her regular poultry feed at all?

    One more shot in the dark here...how does her abdomen feel, normal, hard, fluid filled any sign of a little bloat? Was wondering about internal laying such as peritonitis?
     
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Most of my birds molt only once a year. However, this is usually her schedule:

    September-October: Molt
    November-Late February: Lay (breeding season for me)
    Around March: Stop laying
    April-June: Molt again
    June-September: Don't molt, lay sporadically.

    She comes from really good show lines, which don't lay well, so I'm not that surprised at her molting/laying behavior. In the past, she has laid one double yolker and never been egg bound or laid a soft shelled egg. This bird always keeps herself in extremely good condition when she isn't actively losing feathers--she's a natural born showbird.

    Her abdomen feels normal to me. However, I wouldn't discount the possibility of some sort of reproductive problem. If this hen does die (or is culled), I plan on doing a necropsy.
    She is not eating her regular poultry feed at all.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm sure she is very lovely.

    Thank you for answering my questions[​IMG] I tend to ask quite a few when I try to brainstorm out a problem. I wish I knew more.

    Please do keep us updated on her progress and if you do end up doing a necropsy let us know if you find anything.

    I wish you well.
     

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