Not egg bound, no crop issues but lethargic and raspy

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HeyRed, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. HeyRed

    HeyRed New Egg

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    May 18, 2016
    I have a 22-23 week old pullet, call her "#6," who has never been "right." At the outset she was the smallest of the six RSLs we bought at the same time, with wings that were underdeveloped and smaller than the other five. She's also a lighter, almost duller color and her comb took several weeks longer than the others to appear (it was a grey-ish bumpy ridge up until 2-3 weeks ago, whereas the others all had full combs by then). Body size she's right on track with the others. She is not laying that I can tell (again, the others started at 16-18 weeks) despite doing the squat stomp fairly regularly, and she is definitely bottom bird.

    #6 has always been kind of a loner and a couple of weeks ago I noticed she was receiving a lot more abuse from one other bird—being pecked away from food, not allowed to share treats, and the bully hen would rush at the bottom from across the run just to whap her. Up until then they'd all kind of cohabitated pretty well with no real aggression. A week or so ago #6 also stopped roosting at night and was bedding down in the nest boxes. I've been moving her after dark in an attempt to re-train her and it seemed to be working.

    On Tuesday afternoon I noticed #6 wedged behind the waterer, pressed up against the run screen, in a far corner. Standing still and drowsy. I figured the bully was giving her a hard time so I let them out into the yard to separate them and give her some room, to see what she did. She roamed and scratched and did her thing. On Wednesday I was away all day and didn't have a chance to spend time with my flock to check them out—which I do at least a couple of times per day. By yesterday, she was pretty much rooted in one spot for hours, standing but struggling to stay awake, tail drooping. I'm kicking myself that I may have been caught it a day earlier.

    She does not appear to be egg bound, and she does not have a hard or impacted crop that I can tell (it's flat). She's not eating and has only had two very (very) foul, runny poops since about 3:00 yesterday afternoon. I put her in a box with bedding and water to leave her be. After not being at all interested in water for some time, late yesterday she started drinking and kept at it continuously for about three hours, which was really odd. This morning her breathing is very raspy and she's been drinking a little but not a lot, and I notice that a bit of fluid is dripping back out of her beak. She's spending more time laying down and has even been sleeping slumped over the water dish.

    Given that she's so compromised, is it worth it to try antibiotics or a wormer, or is she basically beyond help at this point, since it's likely been three days of her being in bad shape? Sorry for the wall of text but I wanted to include the other details because she's not really been a prime specimen from the beginning, and maybe this is just an unfortunate culmination of defects that have been present all along? Our birds get good care and have a cushy life, and we really enjoy having them around, but they're not pets. So if it's more humane to make a hard decision, I guess I'm willing to do that, because I don't want her to suffer any more.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Since she was being kept away from food, she may be suffering from malnutrition and dehydration. Mentioning that she drank a lot of water when you separated her with her own makes me think she hasn't drank in while. It also sounds like she overfilled with water and could possibly aspirated some into her lung - hence the raspiness. The crop feeling flat would go along with this.

    Offer water and wet feed free choice along with a little grit on the side. Give her some extra protein like scrambled egg, tuna, mackerel or meat. If you have poultry vitamins add that to her water.

    If she doesn't perk up, or the raspiness doesn't improve then there could be something else going on - possibly a respiratory illness, cocci or worms.

    Let us know how she's doing.
     
  3. HeyRed

    HeyRed New Egg

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    May 18, 2016
    She's not at all interested in food, even yogurt, which she normally loves. I'd mixed her a bowl of wet food into almost gruel consistency yesterday, which she have a little peck at but really wasn't interested. I'll try some protein to see if I can entice her to eat that. She's quiet in her "chicken hospital" box at the moment and I'm hoping with hydration and some food options, I might get her to turn it around.

    Thanks for the input! Appreciate it.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    OK. Was hoping it was dehydration, but let's look at a few other things. I ask a lot of questions, so bear with me[​IMG]
    Can you post a photo of her and how she is laying down?
    Is her crop still flat?
    Does her breath smell?
    Is she still raspy, wheezing, coughing, any facial swelling, mucous from the nose/eyes?
    What does the poop look like?
    Any swelling at the abdomen?
    Checked for lice/mites?
    Was she vaccinated for Marek's?
    Has your weather been rainy lately?

    I hesitate to suggest an antibiotic, because we just don't know what is going on. It could be a bacterial infection, cocci or if she is still having some respiratory issues then it could be a virus.
    There are so many things that can go wrong quickly.
     
  5. HeyRed

    HeyRed New Egg

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    May 18, 2016
    I'm sorry for the delay in response! I appreciate that you took the time to follow up.

    Unfortunately #6 passed away last evening. She actually seemed to rally a bit later in the day and even tried to peck at some scrambled egg but she was too far gone. It's too bad but I guess that's life "on the farm."

    i'd picked her up around 7:00 last night to hold her for a bit and her chest cavity kind of sloshed and gurgled. Her whole breast area--not just the crop--appeared to be filled with fluid after having been flat prior. She hadn't had much to drink all day. So that probably points to a larger problem. She had no discharge, no wheezing, coughing or sneezing to indicate anything respiratory (the raspy sounds has stopped), no bad smell, and definitely no lice or mites (I'm paranoid about that and check the birds regularly, plus use DE). Her poop was FOUL, pure liquid and mostly clear with the usual white mixed in. I don't believe it was coccidiosis because her droppings didn't show the symptoms.

    So who knows. It may have been peritonitis or internal laying, or some other serious issue. Everyone else is in excellent shape and spunky as ever, so we 'll just chalk this up to experience.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I'm sorry for your loss.
     

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