one weak another stumbly


6 Years
Aug 26, 2013
We've got half a dozen chickens (1 RRR, 3 Barred Rocks, 2 Australorps) and a couple of them have fallen ill.

The little Australorp has always been a bit ratty looking, but healthy. Recently she and her Australorp friend have been staying in the coop all day. Her friend appears to be just fine, so her staying in the coop with the little ill one feels like she's just being nice. The little one had a really hot comb and wattle and her eyes were droopy like she was very sleepy and she was fatigued-looking. Her poop seemed fine, though. We've pilled her with metronidazole for a few days and she seems to be perking up, and her temperature's come down to just regular bird hotness. She's eating, and her eyes are better, but they're still not 100%. Any idea what might be wrong here?

One of the Barred Rocks is having difficulty walking. She stumbled into the coop a couple days ago and we thought maybe she'd been eating fermenting apples. Today she stumbled out of the coop in the morning, so she couldn't have been still drunk from eating things yesterday. Maybe she's eating apple seeds? Would that cause stumbling? She's otherwise perky and has plenty of appetite.

None of the other chickens show any problems. They all stopped laying over two weeks ago, just dwindled down to a halt. We thought they were maybe getting old or going broody. A couple have them have pin feathers forming.

Any ideas? Thanks.
This is weird -- I'm been looking in the "Injuries and Cures" forum ever since posting and I don't see my post showing up. Am I just unable to see it and others can? Can others?

Maybe folks just aren't replying? Should I post pictures? Would that help?
Sorry that no one has answered your post. I didn't see it yesterday. Sometimes if they get posted late at night they won't be seen by many. I was wondering why you were using metronidazole on your chicken? It is the time of year for chickens to begin molt--I know several of mine are beginning it. They quit laying during this time, and some have a harder time with it like an illness. You might bump up their protein a bit for feather re-growth--it is easy to do if you buy a bag of gamebird feed that is about 26% protein and mix it, or just use a 20% flock raiser for the time being. Just put out some oystershell in a container for the ones still laying. About the apples, I don't know about the fermenting, but I have heard seeds are poison.
Oh, okay, just was wondering if folks could see it. Thanks so much for responding!

We used the antibiotic because she was running a fever it seemed like, she was really hot. And with the other one acting weird also, we thought it might be a bug going around, so we gave her some, too.

Are stumbling and running a high temperature associated with molting?

Nobody's laying at this time. What's the oyster shell for? Calcium?
Crushed oystershell is for calcium. Layer feed has some calcium, but if you uses an all flock feed like I do for all ages of chickens, it is necessary to provide extra calcium. Many recommend it in addition to layer feed. Crushed egg shells are the same--pure calcium carbonate, so feed them back too. Molting is very hard on some chickens. Heat can be an added stressor. I put out shallow pans or rubber tubs of water for them to walk through and cool their feet. Shade is very important as you know. Although Flagyl or metronidazol is good for certain bacterial or protozoan infections, I would not use it as a first choice antibiotic for chickens. I would use Tylan for respiratory symptoms or amoxicillin or penicillin for an infection.

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