One hen has diarrhea, another is missing feathers...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Prairie Orca, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. Prairie Orca

    Prairie Orca Out Of The Brooder

    My sole provider of eggs (Yappy) stopped laying about two weeks ago, and I'm noticing more and more often that she is now having pure liquid diarrhea. I'm not sure what's wrong, as her diarrhea has never been this bad before (she had it for a bit when I first got her, likely from stress). There is a colour to the liquid - green. Since about two months ago she has lost some of her body mass.

    My other hen (Quiet Hen) (who stopped laying eggs after three months of owning her; age is same as as the other hen, nearing two years) is missing a lot of feathers due to a lack of restraint from my head cockerel/rooster (who will be going to a new home tomorrow or next weekend, where twenty lady-hens will be waiting for him). She looks a lot smaller than she used to be, not even counting the lack of feathers.

    I've got my chickens on a layer feed, with a little bit of scratch every day or two. I have offered for them to go outside, but they don't want to go out in the two-foot-deep snow and well-below-freezing-point temperatures. Their coop is not crowded, and is sitting in a range of 5 to 10ºC. Their droppings are regularly cleaned out, and the straw bedding is new.

    The third girl (Cochina) - a pullet hatched in July, according to the man I bought her from in October - is doing fine, albeit becoming quite feisty with the boys (today I caught her charging up and pecking the head rooster in the face! – he did nothing, thank goodness).

    In regards to Yappy, should I take her to the vet? Isolate her? Change the feed?

    For Quiet Hen... I want to get her a chicken sweater! (Apparently I have a relative interested in attempting to sew one!) Is there anything I can realistically do for her, or should I just let time heal her?

    Thanks for reading!
    (And Merry Christmas!)
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Have you ever wormed your chickens? Since they aren't laying might be a good time to do it. They can have worms and you not see them. Will they eat yogurt it's good for the gut. A sweater would be nice for the one thats lost feathers, Have you checked for lice and mites? Just throwing things out for you to think about....also how does her crop feel? is it full in the evening and flat in the morning?
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  3. Prairie Orca

    Prairie Orca Out Of The Brooder

    I have yet to worm my chickens, and as I am not the original owner of any of them I cannot testify whether any have ever been dewormed (except maybe the cochin - guy I bought her from seemed to know what he was doing). I've done some research on deworming medicine - would it be safe to dose them with dewormer, even though Yappy and Quiet Hen are thin? (At the moment I'm looking at Wazine 17.)

    Quiet Hen has grown much of her feathers back, and overall the two hens seem to have regained some vigor that I haven't seen since October.

    I'll look into the yogurt, sounds like a good idea.

    I've checked my chickens over every now and then, and so far I haven't found any lice or mites. I shall check more carefully in the morning to make sure. I'll also check Yappy's crop during that time.
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Okay first off the reason they might be thin is because they have worms. The worms will bring them down fast. Heres a link to worms and wormers: Birds.pdf Hopefully you'll be able to decide which wormer to use my choice would be Albendazole[Valbazen] because it takes care of all worms. Glad to hear Quiet Hen has got her feathers back. After you worm be sure to give them butter milk and or yogurt for at least 3 days to help get their gut bacteria back in the good. Let me know how it all goes. [​IMG] I just found out if you click on this link it won't work so type it in and it will take you to it. Don't ask me why the link won't work. The Site will say: Treatment of Intestinal worms in broiler breeds. Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  5. Prairie Orca

    Prairie Orca Out Of The Brooder

    Checked over Yappy's and Quiet Hen's crops. Not sure if my checkup was accurate, as I've never felt the crop before.

    - Yappy's I couldn't find - kept feeling around and felt nothing but bone and neck.
    - Quiet Hen had a huge dip in her chest that was not squishy or anything, otherwise I felt bone/neck.

    I read here that adding apple cider vinegar (the type sold for horses) to the chicken's water once a month helps prevent crop problems. Should I add that to my list of illness-fighters?

    Lice/Mites... again a vague checkup on all of them. I can't get any of them to stay still, so it's impossible for me to look closely. Just some dander and feathers was all I saw.

    I managed to get that site to work via searching it on Google and clicking on it from there. I've got the PDF saved on my computer so I can find it again.

    Albendazole? Looks like a sound choice, especially since there is a chance that the culprit is tapeworm (I've been feeding earthworms from the garden to the chickens). I'll see if the local feed store carries it.

    Okay, so I'll just make up a shopping list and head over there tomorrow (it's a five minute drive, lucky for me!). (And the grocery store.)

    How's this?

    - Albendazole (Valbazen)
    - Yogurt (plain)
    - Grit (ground is covered in over two feet of snow)
    - Nutrient supplements (Phosphorous, Vitamin D)
    - Apple cider vinegar
    - Green vegetables (been planning this for a while)
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Sounds like a good plan, The ACv is the organic with mother. Might have to look in the grocery store for that. I put 1 tab. per gallon. every other day. I put 1/8th teas. of oxine per gallon the other day. If your looking at your chicken in the face their crop is on the left of their body right below their neck, should not be able to see any bulge in the morning but by eve. it should be sticking out for you to feel it. If your thinking of worming look to see if you can get the wormer that has ivermectin in it that way you'll be worming and treating for mites and lice also. Next time I worm I'll be getting Albendazole[valbazen] I will worm 3 times a year starting in March. Let me know how it goes. [​IMG]
  7. Prairie Orca

    Prairie Orca Out Of The Brooder

    Turns out the local feed store and other feed store some fifteen minutes away both do not carry Valbazen. [​IMG] Looks like it'll be a wild goose chase.

    Neither of the feed stores had apple cider vinegar, Vitamin D, or phosphorous. (Unless you count an A, D, and E supplement that has to be given via syringe.)

    Did manage to get some grit. Chickens ignored it. [​IMG]

    I've yet to get the yogurt and green veggies, although my mom told me to heat up some frozen peas from the freezer and give that to the chickens. They weren't into it. The boys and Cochina tried the peas a couple times, but they really didn't like having to work for the peas so much and only get a tiny bit of food.

    Also, I caught Yappy doing the number two. Looked perfectly normal, and she seems to be gaining weight. I'm cautiously optimistic... [​IMG]
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Glad to hear that theres progress, also about the grit, they will take it when they need it. just like the oyster shell, yeah my chickens nor ducks didn't care for peas, but they love fresh beets with the tops and romaine lettuce, but the main thing is getting your girl back to good weight, Just remember that even though their poo might look normal they can still have worms so I would still be looking for a good alround wormer. keep me updated..[​IMG]
  9. Zoey

    Zoey Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 5, 2009
    Big Island, Hawaii
    You may want to take her to the vet, as strong diarreaha can disable them quickly. at the very least add poultry vitamins to their water for 3 days, they can all get into it ...

    Always a good idea to pick up your chickens weekly, give them a good feel all over, paying particular attn. to the breast bone. It should feel meaty on both sides, and the bone should not be sticking out like a handle, or she would be emaciated.. this way you can easily tell if there are changes in their weight .

    chciken keeping is a hands on deal , LOL may as well check them for lice and mites.. mites can be seen as slow moving black or red spots, depending if they have fed or not , and usually near the rear end of the bird .. lice will be brownish longer bodied, like rice, but not as fat, and fast moving, part the feathers and look quickly at the skin, they move fast...
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    If they still have runny poo they really do need some sort of electrolytes, just as we get dehydrated, your chickens will also, yogurt will help with that but if it's been going on for a while just as zoey said they might need medical care, the only way you'll see how their doing is to pick them up and feel them look them over real good for parasites if they are hard to catch wait till they go to roost or before you let them out in the morning. Good luck and keep us posted. [​IMG]

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