Nutritious food for hen in ICU

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by journey11, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My neighbor's dog mauled one of my BA hens on Thanksgiving day (needless to say I lost my appetite for turkey) and I've been keeping her in a cage in my warm basement since. She has deep lacerations up and down her plucked back, but seems to be out of the woods now as far as the worst of her injuries.

    She won't take her dry rations at all, she is drinking some water (I am giving antibiotics), and I am giving her a couple tablespoons of plain yougurt daily. I have gotten her to eat a little leftover corn from our turkey dinner, and she'll eat a little bit of whole wheat toast soaked in milk. I am worried she is not getting enough calories, particularly nutritious calories. She is alert and mobile now and I leave the light on part of the day to encourage her to eat, but she just doesn't have much appetite.

    Is there anything I should be feeding her that will help her regain her strength? I thought about giving her some oatmeal with something good added to it for protein, but her droppings are already so runny (and odd smelling, yuck), and I wasn't sure if that would be a good idea right now.
     
  2. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fish is a good protein source, and oil is good for calories - if you mush up some tuna packed in oil, that should help give her a protein/caloric boost. They also like applesauce, and it helps keep the crop acidic (which can help prevent sour crop if things are moving slow and/or if you have given antibiotics).

    If you have given antibiotics, be sure to keep some Apple Cider Vinegar in the water, too - keep the crop acidic so it doesn't get a fungal overgrowth that can happen when natural bacteria are killed off.
     
  3. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my dog mauled one of my hens and she was in the ICU in the garage this was one of my biggest concerns. She just didn't seem to eat much at all-wouldn't touch her regular crumbles at all. Every day I just offered her an assortment of different treats and tried to get her to eat nearly anything. She did really go for scrambled eggs and scratch and shelled BOS. She also liked shredded up spinach and some fruit. I went and bought her some grit since she wasn't outside to get any herself. We were thinking that she just wasn't needing too many calories just sitting around all day...She healed up nicely and is now back with the other girls and seems fine although not back to laying yet ( almost 8 weeks after the incident). I thought she'd be spoiled rotten forever and never go back to regular feeding but she seems pretty Ok now- just more skiddish than she used to be. Good Luck.
     
  4. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the ideas! Why didn't I think of scrambled eggs? [​IMG] Surely she'll eat those. And I know I've got some tuna around here somewhere, but I think mine is packed in water. I'll send dh out for some.

    Can I put the cider vinegar and the antibiotics in the water at the same time? It won't affect them working will it?
     
  5. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the scrambled eggs are your best bet. If she won't go for that though you can try some wet cat food. The cat food is high in protien, but is also high in sodium so don't use it for very long. I have had good luck using it to jump start a sick hen's appetite though. It seems like once you get them started on the canned cat food you can switch over to scrambled eggs and a yogurt/mash mush pretty easily. Good luck with her.

    Almost forgot. I had one that was doing better then started to not eat again. I finally figured out she was lonely--brought one of the mellower pullets in to hang out with her and she perked right back up.
     
  6. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The ACV is just an acidifier - it should not affect the antibiotics. You don't want to mix PRObiotics with ANTIbiotics, like Yogurt + penicillin, as they will cancel each other out. And DUH, of course scrambled eggs - I had a brain blank on that one! Guess I need to eat more fish myself... [​IMG]
     
  7. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to use ACV in a metal water container though.....Anybody remember for sure? I think it reacts badly with the plating???
     
  8. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to use ACV in a metal water container though.....Anybody remember for sure? I think it reacts badly with the plating???

    That makes sense - it's acidic, and acids can dissolve some metals. I'm not sure about the metal (steel?) chicken waterers, plus you would only put 2-3 Tablespoons per gallon, not a lot. I suspect it would be OK in the short run, but some people just use it all the time - it might cause problems in the long run, degrading the waterers.

    Of course, if you have one of those plastic bases with a plastic or glass jar as the water "tank", then you should be 100% fine with ACV in the water. [​IMG]
     
  9. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    If she is getting antibiotics in her water she shouldn't have any ACV in there at the same time.

    I use baby parrot formula from the pet store. It has everything she'll need plus more for extra healing. It even contains pro-biotics for the digestive health, since sitting around makes their digestion stall. She'll need less than usual if she's sitting still a lot, but it's better to give more than enough, right?

    Best of luck!
     
  10. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Hey, ChooksChick - can you clarify why no ACV in the water with antibiotics? I can't think of a specific reason why, and I'm not sure where or if I have seen anything about this on the forums.
     

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