Not eating, lethargic and it’s cold!

Maplerunchickens

Chirping
Nov 11, 2020
23
38
59
Southern New York
My cuckoo marans isn’t eating or drinking. She has clear/whitish watery stool. All of the other chickens are behaving normally. All she wants to do is sleep. I hand fed her a tiny bit of mash (regular feed and warm water) and a bite of scrambled egg. She is lethargic. It is 18 degrees Fahrenheit out and got down to 10 last night. She is 22 weeks old. Any ideas? I’m not sure what to do at this point...
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,332
38,298
1,142
Colorado Rockies
Do you have a place where you can put her inside your house or garage with a bit of heat? Heat lamp or heating pad or even a big towel warmed in your clothes dryer will help warm her up. If she's sick and not eating, she can't regulate her body temp.

Next, give her a bit of sugar water to elevate her glucose. This will revive her enough to get her to eat something which can help her regulate her body temp.

Next we need to figure out if this is a bacterial infection or a stuck egg. Has she started laying? When was the last egg? Was it soft, thin-shell? Check her vent for signs of swelling and pulsating heavily. Is there a runny discharge coming out? Are her butt feathers very wet?

What was she doing prior to your noticing she is sick? Is there any compost bins where you dispose of moldy spoiled food? Have you checked the feed to be sure it's not moldy? Smell it. Does it smell "off"?
 

Maplerunchickens

Chirping
Nov 11, 2020
23
38
59
Southern New York
No moldy food. Not egg bound and yes there is watery poo. She hasn’t started laying (23 weeks old). I made her some chicken “Gatorade” and fed her that and a few bites of yogurt yesterday. Today she isn’t well but is drinking on her own and ate a little on her own. Not even close to her usual amount, but more than yesterday. I hope she’s on the road to recovery at this point. Sadly, I’m not allowed to bring her indoors but I gave her extra bedding and the weather warmed up to upper 30’s.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,332
38,298
1,142
Colorado Rockies
Do you have an antibiotic on hand? Is there electricity to your coop?

Your sick hen needs heat. She isn't as able to regulate her body temp in such cold while sick and not consuming enough calories is adding to her problems. Even if you have to confine her to a crate or box with a hot water bottle, it would help.

Since it's rarely possible to nail down a diagnosis over the internet, I suggest trying several things to see if they make her better. One is worming. Another is to treat her for coccidiosis in case she's been carrying these parasites. Can you get some liquid Corid and Safeguard? It would be at a feed store.

You may also be able to find penicillin (injectible) there, as well. Some feed stores and even Walmart may sell bird or fish amoxicillin. But if you have a lefotver antibiotic lying around, you may be able to use that.

Is her crop emptying over night? A crop disorder could be causing at least some problems.
 

Maplerunchickens

Chirping
Nov 11, 2020
23
38
59
Southern New York
Those are great ideas! Yes- I can run some electric to the coop so I’ll add in a chicken safe heater for now. Her crop had been empty in the morning so I think that’s okay. I will try to get some liquid Corid and Safeguard. Thank you!
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,332
38,298
1,142
Colorado Rockies
Sometimes we just need to throw a bunch of stuff at a chicken and hope one of them might work. Just recently, I've been faced with the same thing.

The things I've suggested shouldn't cause any significant stress on your little patient.
 

RumneyRoost

Songster
Jul 24, 2018
286
423
131
Ontario
Do you have a scale to weigh her?
I've got a hen who is just over three weeks post impacted crop surgery. She hasn't been all that interested in food so I've been making sure to weigh her almost every day. Even though she's acting normal now she's still underweight and has a finicky appetite.
Having an accurate weight takes some of the guessing out if you're considering tube feeding or giving meds.
 

Maplerunchickens

Chirping
Nov 11, 2020
23
38
59
Southern New York
Do you have a scale to weigh her?
I've got a hen who is just over three weeks post impacted crop surgery. She hasn't been all that interested in food so I've been making sure to weigh her almost every day. Even though she's acting normal now she's still underweight and has a finicky appetite.
Having an accurate weight takes some of the guessing out if you're considering tube feeding or giving meds.

Any ideas for a good chicken scale? I don’t think my home one would be that accurate
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,332
38,298
1,142
Colorado Rockies
What I do, and it's very easy, is to weigh myself, then grab my chicken and hold her while I step back on the scale. Subtract the first weight from the second one and you have your chicken's weight.
 

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