Need help with a sick chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mamascrazy, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. mamascrazy

    mamascrazy In the Brooder

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    I have a chicken who seems to have something wrong with her. She is doing this weird cough/sneeze thing and has watery poop. No runny eyes or nose, no bloody stools, and not even acting sick. Just the cough and the watery poop. She's been doing this for several weeks. She in with 20 other chickens and no one else is presenting with symptoms. Anybody have any suggestions? Should I try antibiotics? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
     
    BarnhartChickens98 likes this.
  2. Well, first, I would have pulled her out and kept her separated from the rest of the flock, in case whatever it was is contagious. It would still be a good dea to do so, now, so you can keep a closer eye on her and potentially treat her, if needed.

    Have you checked for any lice or mites? External parasites can often weaken a chicken and cause symptoms like a disease. Do you have a vet nearby that would be willing to do a check for internal parasites with her poo? Check her mouth and throat, in case she may have gapeworm, too.

    My first suggestion would be ivermectin, especially if you see any indications of lice or mites on her. And boost her protein intake with either higher protein feed, or scrambled or boiled eggs, etc. Also, add vitamins/electrolytes [like Durvet sells] in her water one day, and ACV [with the mother] in her water the next; or Rooster Booster on her feed and ACV in her water. Feed her some plain yogurt, too, as well as natural honey. All of those would help perk her up some, and help her fight off whatever might be going on, too. I try to avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, so I always start with what will boost her strength and natural immunity.
     
    chickentrunks likes this.
  3. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    I agree boosting her immunity would be good. However, I personally would not remove her from the flock, since that may stress her out and they’ve already been exposed. Have you checked her crop function? It should be full before roost and empty first thing in the morning.
     
    Eggcessive likes this.
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    There may be something environmental that is affecting her, but not the other chickens. Since this has been going on for several weeks, I don’t see a reason to separate her. Do you notice dust in the coop or dusty feed, poor air circulation, mold, or something in the bedding that might be irritating? What type of beeding do you use? You might try some probiotics in her food or water, or a tablespoonful of cottage cheese daily to try and stop the diarrhea. Get a fecal float done at your vets if possible to look for worms and coccidiosis.
     
    micstrachan likes this.
  5. My reasoning for removing her from the flock is to be able to better control what she eats and drinks, rather than having to grab her and forcefeed a specific dose of whichever immunity boost mix you need her to take that day. It also allows you to see more specifically if she has anything close to normal poos or if they are all watery, as well as the food/drink aspect.

    Most chickens, when they don't feel well, won't be too stressed when they're moved to a quiet, restful place away from the rest of the flock. That's my experience, as well as several others I know and have discussed similar things with. When they're alone, they don't have to "pretend" they're completely healthy, like their instincts tell them to do when in a flock.
     
    chickentrunks likes this.
  6. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    @mamascrazy, when I receive conflicting advice, I dig deep, think about my own bird’s behavior & personality, along with flock dynamics when evaluating the input. I have certainly separated sick birds before, as I believe sometimes that is best for the situation at hand. Let us know what you decide and how she’s doing.
     
  7. mamascrazy

    mamascrazy In the Brooder

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    @micstrachan, thank you for your kind words. For now I'm going to continue to watch the situation. As I mentioned before, she is NOT showing any signs of feeling poorly. Just the cough/sneeze and poop. She eats and drinks fine, has plenty of energy, good color and laying just fine. This leaves me unsure as to what to treat at the moment.
     
    micstrachan likes this.
  8. MykaMom

    MykaMom Chirping

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    This may be a dumb answer, but could she have developed an allergy? Did something in her immediate environment change right before the symptoms started? Fresh hay maybe? Just a thought.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I would separate if I couldn’t give medications or foods easily, or if she is being picked on or kept from food. But after having a sick hen recently who was kept in the coop in a basket nest box on the floor, I have seen her flock attack her after her recovery. Once she became alble to walk, I have had to keep her completely separated, or she continues to be attacked. Usually when I remove a broody hen to an outside pen to break her, she is accepted back in the flock if she is only away for 5 days. After that, they can be pecked and there can be problems with reintegration. So, if at all possible, I will leave a sick chicken with her flock for the sick chicken’s benefit as well as to help prevent reintegration problems. In some cases it is necessary though.
     
  10. When I either move a new one in or reintegrate someone back in to a flock, I always sprinkle everyone with garlic powder, and sprinkle the coop with garlic powder, generously both on the birds and the coop, so that it basically knocks you over with theggarlic smell, lol, and sprinkle the garlic powder on the one going in, too - and I do this at night, as well. I have introduced/reintegrated with no problems at all many, many times using this method, and I strongly suggest everyone try it.
     
    MykaMom likes this.

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