Need help. First time buying a hen at's sick.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TreeHugger, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. TreeHugger

    TreeHugger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2008
    Six years of having chickens and I've NEVER purchased a full grown bird...I wish I would have left it there.

    Went to a small animal auction yesterday and decided to buy a silkie hen, she is beautiful but has issues.
    1) She is a young pullet - about a year old at most.
    2) She is underweight and was infested (bad) with mites and lice.
    3) Poo doesn't look right, it's watery and although I don't see worms I'm thinking it's a good possibility.
    4) I noticed yesterday when I got her home, her crop was empty and she drank a lot of water.
    5) She never attempted to eat, she just drank water. This morning I started force feeding her cooked egg yolk.
    6) What worries me is I just went to check on her and she was trying to eat but missing the food by about an inch. She would get a piece of food about every 10 bobs of her head. She only ate a small amount of food and then went back and drank an excessive amount of water.
    7) She stands in the corner of the cage most of the time, in fact she seems to back up instead of walking forward. She does turn her head to look at things so I'm thinking she isn't blind.

    She is in quarantine - no physical contact but I'm thinking she is still to close to my flock. I'm not sure how far away I should have kept her. I've treated her for mites and lice and wormed her. I trimmed the feathers away from her face since her feathers were obstructing her vision (she still misses her food when eating). Her eyes and nose are clear and her eyes do not look like ones effected by Mareks.

    Does anyone have any suggustions? I'm considering culling her but since I've already brought her on the property I figured I'd at least give her a chance in case she is just ran down from the bug infestion. I've never seen a bird "miss" the food and I'm wondering if she is just drinking a lot of water to feel full. I'm slowly starting to freak out....
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    This is a website listing common poultry diseases. Blindness is mentioned in at least one of them. If you are interested, here is the link:

    I have nothing more to suggest right now. I'll be watching your thread for updates!![​IMG]
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    I'm not very familiar with diseases in chickens, but I do remember posts regarding the backward movements. Let me poke around some more, and you do the same. Meanwhile, keep that quarantine tight.
  4. TreeHugger

    TreeHugger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2008
    Chickensaresweet thanks for the link - it was useful and I added it to my favorites. I don't think she has Mareks since her eyes look normal. I think she can see, but lacks depth perception. I did just look up the walking backwards symptoms and everything pointed to crooked neck which seems to be caused by a head trauma or vitamin deficiency. She holds her head fine, but I'm starting to think the bug infestion has ran her down and she is showing show signs of malnutrition. Plus, the excessive drinking might be because of worms which would make her even more malnourished. Either way she is staying in quarantine. The fact she did try to eat tonight makes me hopeful. I'm going to give her some vitamins in her water tomorrow to see if that helps.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  6. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2008
    Start her on some Poly-Vi-Sol infant vit. with no added iron I do two drops, twice daily for the first two days and then drop back to once a day for as long as needed. Then I would worm her with Wazine-17 and follow it up in two weeks with Ivermectrin.

    Is her beak overgrown? If so that could hamper her eating and gotten her out of condition which lead to the other problems.
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I Recommend you add poultry nutri drench to her water. It's loaded with minerals and vitamins. You can give her 2 drops directly orally by eyedropper if you wish. Stop using it after 3 days, it can cause diarrhea. Start it up again 4 or 5 days later for 3 days. Also, give her plain yogurt, scrambled egg (probiotic and protein) and give it to her to eat to rebuild her immune system and strength. You're right about the mites sapping her strength, they can cause anemia and then death. Most likely worms are present too. I strongly agree with nnbreeder's worming suggestion.

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