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Off her feed

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RumAndCoconuts, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. RumAndCoconuts

    RumAndCoconuts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone.
    I wonder if I can get some insight from anyone who may have an idea what is wrong with my hen.

    She is nine months old, started laying about a month ago, she was a late starter. She hasn't laid for about two weeks now. But I wasn't concerned as the days are shorter.
    The day before yesterday I went out with the kitchen scraps and she just wasn't interested. I went over and although she was hand reared she would normally slowly step aside but she didn't. She just regarded me calmly. I palpated her crop and it wasn't hard and it wasn't balloon like. it felt normal. I felt her abdomen and there were no alarms there either.
    I picked her up and brought her into the house to keep an eye on her and put a small dish of yogurt in her cage which she didn't touch.

    After several hours though she did eat it and drink some water. So I cooked up an egg and mixed it in with yogurt and she ate all that and started scratching around in her box and made some clucks when she heard the other chickens outside the window. She seemed so much better so I put her back out. Yesterday she was fine.

    Today she is in exactly the same state as she was two days ago. Not as much food in her crop though. I have brought her in again and put in a bit of yogurt and water but she's not touched it.
    I'm attaching a couple of photos of her. They aren't great as they are iPad photos but they might suffice.

    I don't have resources here to go and buy this or that type of medication. I'm on a small island that doesn't even have a vet. Our largest grocery store is about the size of a 7-11 so anything I do for her will have to be a home remedy.

    Any ideas what could be wrong here?[​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. RumAndCoconuts

    RumAndCoconuts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    there is still no change in her. She wont eat her yogurt which is her favourite. shes still standing. but that's it. she still looks just like she does in the above photos.

    Anybody have a clue? This hen is the first one I ever hatched out at home. She's precious to me.
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please bare in mind I am no expert, but I can maybe help trouble-shoot with you.

    Starting with the very basics - has she been wormed? I know a worm infestation can make them very unwell. As you say you can't afford 'proper' medication and would prefer a home remedy, the only things I've heard of that may be of assistance is either a little crushed up garlic or AVC in her water.

    Next up, has she been dusted for lice and mites? In the absence of a pre-made product such as Sevin Dust, do you have any DE (Diatomaceous Earth) available to dust her with? Failing that, does she have access to an area where she can dust-bathe each day? That will help her control the numbers of external parasites.

    How is her general behaviour? I guess what I'm asking is does she look 'uncomfortable'? Before you brought her inside, was she sitting on the roost, or on the coop floor? An egg-bound hen will often sit on the floor and pump her tail up and down in an effort to expel her egg. She will also spend extended time in her nest box (I guess in the vain hope that the egg will come out.)

    If you suspect she may be egg bound, you can put on a clean glove, grease it up, and very gently check inside her vent. Don't poke up too far or be rough, but just see if you can feel any obstruction. Also feel from the outside and see if there is a visible lump down under her belly which could indicate internal laying.

    The only home remedy I can think of for that is a nice warm bath. Plonk her down in the warm water, give her a good wash on the underside and make sure her belly is submerged in the warm water. Keep her there for 20 minutes or so (if she will tolerate it) then take her out and gently dry her off. She can stay inside in a nice warm box after this has been done and it can be repeated 24 hurly until such time that she may pass the egg.

    What is her poop like? Does it appear normal? Any sign of blood? If so, isolation is much more important so as to keep the rest of your flock safe. She may need a cocci treatment if there is blood and I'm afraid I fall over at this point - I don't know of a home remedy.

    Certainly, for her general health, you are doing all the right things. Yoghurt is great for their digestion, eggs will often tempt them to eat and are full of protein which is good for them too. You might be able to get her to eat some meat or meal worms to boost her up as well, just make sure the meat is not too salty. My girls also like porridge.

    What else? Have you given her a good all-over check for cuts and lacerations? Sometimes they are quite crafty at hiding injuries. Are her eyes and nostrils clear, and is her breathing ok? Is she being picked on by anyone else? How are her feathers looking? I doubt that she is moulting but for anyone else who is reading that can make a hen feel poorly and stop laying, and the only cure for that is to allow time to pass. If she s being picked on - isolate her or the other bird doing the picking.

    That's about all I've got I'm afraid. I do hope you figure out what's going on with her, and would appreciate it if you would keep us posted on how she goes.

    Best wishes,

    - Krista
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
    2 people like this.
  4. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    On top of checking for lice, mites, injuries, egg bound, etc. you may want to consider tube feeding her. I understand you're on an island, but can you order things? I can help you find the necessary sites that have tubes, syringes, wormers, and even anti-biotics. A lady named Kathy really helped me out a few weeks ago. She even has videos on how to tube feed. It's not as hard as it sounds, but it will greatly increase the chance of survival for your hen if she is not eating or drinking.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. RumAndCoconuts

    RumAndCoconuts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thank you both for chiming in. Krista your post was very thorough.

    No, its not a matter of not being able to afford things. Our island doesn't even have a vet. I have been waiting for over 3 months for just chicken wire....it's rather remote. chicken feed has to be brought in from Nassau. Anyway...to run through the suggestions.

    No she hasn't been wormed. What i can do easy enough for that is (if she will eat them) is papaya seeds. the birds love papaya but my two bearing trees died so they haven't had any for a while. I did count on that for internal parasites. Good suggestion though. I will look up the symptoms and see if anything looks familiar.

    All the birds free range for several hours daily and have their favourite dusting spots. even their pen has a big pile of sand so they do get all they need there. Even their pen is a free range pen. It's 2800 sq ft of jungle. just penned off for their safety. She is the rooster's number two hen and number three in the pecking order so no, no picking. Most of the birds we have are much younger and smaller than her. just tweens.

    No sign of being egg bound either. no straining, no squatting, just standing exactly like in the picture.

    As for poop....the other day when i brought her in it was very small, but normal looking.. Well, I'm not a poop expert but I looked at the thread of the wonderful varieties of normal poop and hers fits in more than the abnormal....

    her eyes look clear although she half closes them some times, particularly when I pet her but they all do that... her feathers look fine and healthy.

    She's still not been tempted by the yogurt and I have water in her pen with some ACV..
    She doesn't look any worse or any better than this morning....

    I was quite pleased the other day when she picked up in the afternoon and ate the egg and yogurt with gusto...not happening today.

    I will give her a check for injury as well.

    And of course I will keep you posted.

    Thank you.
     
  6. RumAndCoconuts

    RumAndCoconuts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This morning I'm terribly concerned. She's lying down now and breathing heavy....
    I just can't figure this out and I feel like I'm failing her! :(

    She pooped last night at is was quite watery and yellow. It had darker bits of rusty brown in it, I inspected it and there was no signs of any parasite or anything....
    Does the poop spell anything to you?
     
  7. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    Pictures would be helpful. Do you have any vitamins on hand?
     
  8. RumAndCoconuts

    RumAndCoconuts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I am losing my girl. :-(
    Bittersweet as this moment I just had a Legbar hatch. The circle of life.
    I just get too attached to my babies,

    Ok. Here it is for the poop experts. I will likely lose her but if I know for next time if it happens,

    Also her comb is all dried up. :-( I assume that indicated dehydration...

    I don't have any vitamins of the sort,

    Here's another question, I'm going to Vancouver for Christmas so I will be able to pick up a supply of things that I should have on hand for sickness and emergencies.
    Anyone care to put their suggestions on a list for me?
    I'm still rather new to this game.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    Get cathedar tipped syringes. Different sizes up to 60 ml. Get tubes. They're rounded at the tip to help it slide in. Get different sizes, but an 18 french is good for getting in food. I can look for links and show you. They're not very expensive, but they will help a ton in cases like this.

    Pick up a wormer. Something like safeguard liquid wormer for goats or valbazen if you can. Safeuguard will get most worms except tape worms and valbazen will usually wipe them all out.

    Pick up vitamins like a childrens poly vi sol without iron, calcium (for eggboud issues ever), vet rx if you can find it, i also have a calcium supplement that goes in the water for emergencies. Grab some electrolytes like chick saver. In an emergency you can also use gatorade if you can find it. Vitamin E with selenium is a good one too. I also keep a tub of kaytee brand baby bird food now. It's a powder feed that gets mixed with warm water. Helps when tube feeding.

    If you can get your hands on some anti-biotics too that would be great. I almost wonder if you girl has some kind of infection in her egg making tract. Baytril is a good one and you can find generic brands. I have one at home I can look and see what it's called. I ordered it online.

    If you have any tube or any syringe on hand I would suggest using it to get some water in her. I'm very sorry your hen is feeling ill and I hope she can pull through.
     
  10. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    You may also want to find someone from Vancouver or more familiar as I don't know exactly what they have on hand. Brand names may be different, but the general idea is to stock up on necessities while you can.
     

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