Newbie Chicken Owner with first sick lady- worried and need advice!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rocklobster, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. rocklobster

    rocklobster Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2009
    I have a flock of 6 girls (2 easter eggers, 2 red stars and 2 RIRs), one of my RIR's lovingly named 'One Leg Peg' (because she likes to keep one leg bent often) is not acting herself. Yesterday I noticed she was acting different distancing herself from the flock. Her tail feathers were (and are) looking at half mast or facing down and her toosh looks like it's pulsing here and there. I took her out last night to see if there was anything visibly wrong and her vent looked very clean, not swollen, tummy felt fine mushy not stiff, not hot (so no infection as of last night), her feathers looked beautiful, no bugs or mites. Eyes and beak looked great as well.

    I noticed yesterday she also looked as though she was trying to vomit but nothing was coming up. None of that today though.

    Today is more of the same behavior, lethargic, tail at half mast, not really interested in eating treats, laying down and sleeping/closing eyes more. Her comb is also flopped over to one side making her look even more sickly-is that another sign of illness?

    We've raised her and her sisters from day-old chicks back this past October so she is not even a year old. The girls have a coop they sleep in and have food/treats and fresh water in and then a safely penned/fenced area where they hang out during the day and forage.

    The only thing I can think that could have caused this is something she ate (but I'm very careful with their treats ie fresh veggies/fruits and some table scraps). Any ideas or advice on what I could do to help her?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  2. cindylo

    cindylo Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm a newbie too, but the advice I got from BYC folks when one of my gals took ill was to offer her Poly Vi Sol NO IRON ADDED baby vitamins. You can add them to her water. Is she overheated? Try some cold watermelon to cool her off a bit. Make sure her diet is packed full of nutrition, though it sounds like you already do. Isolate her from the others if she seems ill or off so she doesn't get picked on. I hope your gal feels like new again really soon.
     
  3. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is she laying? If so, when was her last egg?
    What's her poop like?

    Hopefully someone will be able to help!
     
  4. rocklobster

    rocklobster Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the tip on the polyvisol I have that in the house for my son.

    I don't know if she is laying or not since I have six girls altogether. There were five eggs there for me this morning but it is a rare day when I see six eggs. Her poop looked normal (like the other girls) last night when I was looking at her vent. I read that egg binding is generally a rare affliction, but not sure if that is true or not. She gets plenty of calcium from her layer feed and oyster shells.

    Very perplexed and worried for her.
     
  5. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would check her for gape worm (?sp). Look in her throat to see if it looks normal. If she keeps opening her mouth up like she is trying to "vomit" it could be the case. Research it to see if her symptoms are similar. Good luck....

    ~Julie
     
  6. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you isolated her from the rest? I'd pop her in a nice safe box and let her rest where you can keep a close eye on her. If it's hot there, put her somewhere cool. OR if she feels cold, put her on a heat pad!
    Once she's isolated you might get some more clues from her droppings, laying, eating etc.

    Egg binding doesn't seem all that rare, based on how often it comes up on these forums, so I wouldn't rule it out. Gape worm could fit too, as Julie said. Both of those things can be treatable.

    I know how worrying it is [​IMG]. You're doing a great job! x
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  7. Noobchick

    Noobchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm a huge noob as well so take my advice with a grain of salt. Lol

    I agree with the others advice of giving Poly-vi-sol (NO iron). There are other vitamins supplemtents available for chickens but I dont know a whole lot about them.

    As for the vomitting motion, does it look like shes kind of yawning? If so, maybe shes just tryin to move food down thru her crop. Mine started doing that randomly a few weeks ago and still do it every once in a while.

    Hope that helps and good luck.
     
  8. rocklobster

    rocklobster Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone. I've convinced my husband to quarantine her to our sun room tonight to see if I can pick up on any more clues. Just saw her eating a little so that's a good sign but she is just not herself, kinda sad looking. Hoping to post an update on her tomorrow. Also hope she doesn't get too freaked out by being alone.

    Yes, vomiting motion does look like yawning, and I have not seen her do that at all today. I also saw one of the other girls do that months back with no issue so maybe it's not even a symptom.

    I just was able to feed her some cold cantelope and put a drop of polyvisol in a big tray of water (wasn't sure of dosage) along with her layer food.

    One other question are tail feathers that face downward a general sign of illness or does it indicate some specific illnesses? Thanks so much for all the advice!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  9. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good job. Looking forward to your update, hoping its good news! xxx
     

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