mystery illness

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by catlikethief, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. catlikethief

    catlikethief Out Of The Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    Portland OR
    I have a 4 month old EE who is showing some strange signs of some sort of illness.
    She was drinking water and eating fine yesterday morning, but I noticed she would not leave the coop with the other girls. It's unusual for her. She's the dud, unsmart chicken that sits at the bottom of the pecking order. She gets in trouble with the others when she doesn't go on her roost at night fall. She has no open wounds, worms, lice, mites or cocchi.

    She is not a layer yet so I doubt she's gone broody. So far the only signs of something really wrong are:
    She stands on her roost with her eyes closed kinda rocking back and forth. She's not very responsive unless I make loud noises. She'll look and then go right back to *sleeping* Her eyes look normal when they are open.
    All my other chickens seem to notice something is *funny* about her.

    The only thing I can think of is that she ate something bad. However anything bad that I do have in my very small garden is untouched.

    I have antibiotics to give her and vitamins to add to her water but am hesitant giving meds when I don't even know what I'm treating.

    I know many of you have had your fair share of mystery sicknesses, I'd love some advice.
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Others might have more to add, but your story sounds much like the drama that unfolded when my loopy, half-blind, bottom-of-the-pecking order Ameraucana first went to lay. For three days we went through the sleepy, half-hypnotized chicken; then hours spent digging huge craters in the coop; then, finally, miserable sleepy chicken on my lap. She eventually disappeared into the coop for several hours and delivered the most enormous, nubbly, cracked egg ~ with an ominous blood streak down the side where her poor little bottom just couldn't take the strain. Holy smokes! Couldn't have been more stressful if one of my girlfriends delivered a baby.

    Keep an eye on her, and just make sure no odd discharge, etc. May want to ensure electrolytes in water. If it is the first egg coming on, it is a big change for her.

    Good luck! Keep us posted.

    Jen in TN
  3. catlikethief

    catlikethief Out Of The Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    Portland OR
    Quote:Thanks Jen

    I checked her vent and it's as tight as a new rubber band. Was yours the same? I was under the impression things become more elastic the days before egg laying occurs?

    I just checked on her again, she's not standing anymore on her perch, she's now sitting still rocking back and forth with some moaning in between. I'll keep my fingers crossed that this is just an egg in the making.

    Boy would that piss off the other girls if she laid first!!!!
  4. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    My girl stayed teeny tiny until about a day before the egg ~ thus the blood, etc.

    Have you used any new chemicals in the pen/coop/yard?
    Still no other girls showing symptoms? Just the one?

    The moaning part is not cool. You might want to PM dlhunicorn, sammi or one of the other experienced folks and just check in with them to make sure you've covered your bases. They might recommend taking her temp or something to rule out an infection, etc.

    Thanks for keeping us posted. Maybe someone else will chime in with ideas.

    Jen in TN
  5. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Poor hen - it sounds worrisome. I wanted to send my best wishes - this will also rise to the top as I think this hen might need some additional help fast.
    (if it is an egg, it seems more hard on her than normal)
  6. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    [​IMG] I hope its just an egg, and I hope its over soon! [​IMG]

  7. catlikethief

    catlikethief Out Of The Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    Portland OR
    Quote:Thanks everyone! I fed her some ice cold watermelon and she seemed to perk up a bit. She's been outside the coop ever since, with a nap here and there. She still seems to be kinda off. Like she'll start walking and mid step decide to go to sleep?!

    There has been no change in diet and no chemicals. The only thing we have noticed in the last day is some very curious rats. However that problem has been taken care of [​IMG]

    Thanks for the help and support everyone, I will keep you all posted in the morning hopefully with good news!

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  8. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    first thing I would do is check the crop..feel for any lumps..

    check the droppings..color and consistency..

    check the bottom of her foot for any sores or scabs.

    check the whole body for any heat or swelling.

    give vitamins..poultry vitamins, or a vitamin/electrolyte mix (Durvet is a good brand) of you have them..or Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins, Enfamil brand, no iron..3 drops once a day on beak for a week or so..
    then taper off..

    I would try separating her with another very docile hen for company..or if she seems ok alone do that..
    make sure she is eating and drinking...

    observe her for signs of pain..or any drainage, odd droppings, or other symptoms..

    if she is at the bottom of the pecking order..she might be being bullied away from food and water and not getting enough nutrition..

    the groaning is a concern..
    but it could be from stress, and the vitamins and electrolytes will help with that..and some extra protein, such as cooked egg..or a small amount of cat food..

    dlhunicorn or others might have other suggestions.

    please keep us updated..
  9. catlikethief

    catlikethief Out Of The Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    Portland OR
    Quote:Thanks sammi

    Today she is 100%. I don't know what was wrong with her yesterday, lets just say we're both extremely lucky it wasn't serious.

    As to all your helpful suggestions, I checked, rechecked and triple checked if any of those things could be contributing to her *issue* or a warning sign and none of them were. I am beginning to think she may have ate something that upset her.

    Behind the chicken coop is our grape vines and behind those is the chain link fence that separates mine and my neighbors yard. Last night I found some deadly nightshade sticking though my side. So, who knows! It's gone now and hopefully (if that was the reason) she's smart enough not to make the same mistake twice.

    Thanks everyone
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008

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