Pale Comb and Lethargic chicken

mlmanjoney

Songster
Apr 1, 2020
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So this morning my 2 year old Easter Egger was slow getting off the roost. I noticed she is very pale and lethargic. She was fine yesterday. she was also panting. It has not been overly hot in CT.

Brought her in, did a check for mites and lice Nd found nothing.

Gave her a dropper full of Nutridench and am monitoring now.

Her crop was slightly mushy but she had access to food and water for about 90 minutes before I got up. Her back end is soft and normal sized. She hasn't laid in 3 days, but a 3 day break isn't abnormal for her. Her tail is up and no poopy butt feathers.

She isn't eating, I tried to tempt her with her favorite treats but she just ignored them.

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She just passed. Was making her some egg and she started thrashing... then was gone. this was in her cage
 

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She just passed. Was making her some egg and she started thrashing... then was gone. this was in her cage
I'm so sorry. It's so hard to lose them, especially so quickly. I'm so very sorry. Might consider an autopsy if you need to know what happened. You can search BYC for how to do it/who to contact.
 
So sorry for your loss. Her last droppings looked like egg york. Please let us know the results of the necropsy.


I recently lost one if my 1+ year old Appenzeller Spitzhauben hens. Three days ago she was acting fine, as normal as usual, eating, drinking, vocalizing, but because of the heat (temperatures had been in the mid to high 80's and sometimes in the low 90's but higher heat index), so most of my hens have been panting and keeping their wings away from their bodies. I give them cold water to drink and wet any that seem too hot. Two days ago in the morning she came out of the pen with the rest of the flock, ate and drank, but that afternoon I noticed how quiet she was and saw her "sleeping" next to the closed pen, she seemed lethargic but wasn't panting. When I went to get her to examine her and bring her up to the apartment in case she needed to be put in the hospital crate to monitor, but she got up and ran from me, and it was too hot for me to chase her around the yard. I assumed she had just been napping. That evening, when they got on their roost, her and her sisters were panting, temperature was in the low 80's. That night she dropped dead. It happened while I was watching TV, just before I went to bed I headed for the bathroom, and I always look out the window to make sure all was well in the pen (a 10x10 welded wire dog kennel with tarp roof), that all the hens were on their roosts sleeping, but this time I notice a chicken laying flat and unmoving on the sand floor of the pen. My first thought was that she must have died, maybe of heat stroke or heart attack, don't know. Maybe Appenzeller Spitzhauben don't handle heat well, they seem to handle cold better. When I went to get her, found her dead, and to my horror, she had been chewed by rats on face, neck and bum. :(

For months I've been battling with rats, the first bloom I thought I killed with a mix of baking soda and sweetened wheat flour, as they disappeared for a few days, but more keep coming from neighboring yards and taking over the dens. So I also tried Rar-X mixed with peanut butter, which seemed to kill a few more, but after a couple of days more show up to take their place. The last few nights I keep seeing the bastards in the pen, sifting through the sand and eating the crumbs of crumble that the chickens drop during the day. The baking soda mix has killed some of the new rats, but there seems to be a never ending supply. As long as there's chicken feed on the floor, rats will continue to make my yard their home. I have feeders that have the lips to help stop spilling of food but the chickens still manage to spill food using their beaks instead of their feet.

I fear that the rat droppings they leave in the pen and around the yard is consumed by my chickens and that could make them sick. Does anyone know if chickens would eat rat poop and if that could make them sick enough to end up dying? Has anyone successfully eradicated rats from their yard?


I have a very small, skinny, 2 month old bantam chick that barely eats and just stopped drinking. Over a week ago, when I noticed she looked skinny, didn't seem to eat much and was always trying to get under her bigger sisters and chirping a lot, I separated her from the other pullets and brought her inside. She seemed to be shaking, as if she was cold, so I put her on my chest to warm her while I set up a cage for her, that made her quiet down. Since she seemed cold I put the Rent-A-Coop brooder heating plate for her, and after a while she seemed to perk up but wasn't happy being alone, so since her dropping looked fine and she was eating and drinking, the next day I brought her a buddy. Her droppings seemed normal, she barely eats so her crop is almost always empty or with a little water, she's more and more lethargic, and all she wants to do is sleep under a brooder heating plate even though temperatures been in the 80's even at night. I tried tempting her to eat wet crmbles topped with grubs, scrambled eggs, raw egg York, and a couple of days ago she ate a little and drank, but yesterday I only saw her drinking, and today she won't eat or drink, so I syringe fed her a little of the raw egg york and water with Nutri-drench, but sadly, I don't think she's going to make it, she just don't seem to have the strength or will left to live. I wish I knew what's wrong, what's caused her failure to thrive. Her flockmates seem fine.

I can't take her or any of my chickens to a vet. I live in NYC, and tried finding a vet that would see chickens but have had no luck. But even if I could find a bird specialist, the cost would be too much for me to afford. A specialist would charge an insanely high amount just for the office visit, then for each test and procedure. I had a sick cat that needed a cat scan, but the Animal Hospital wanted $4000, and that wouldn't guarantee a diagnosis. The animal, and human, doctors here charge exorbitant amounts for exams, tests and procedures. Healthcare here can easily bankrupt people.


Sorry I ended up hijacking your post, I apologize. I should start a new one but don't know where it should go. Anyway, I'm very sorry you lost your chicken. I hope you find out why she died.
 
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She died of fatty liver hemorrhage. Rest of the girls are on a strict diet now, treats only once a week. Not including fresh fruits and vegetables.

Sorry your girls aren't doing well :( heartbreaking honestly.

Rats are no joke, I have lots of traps around my run under milk crates whenever I notice anything amiss in their run. Ratinator is a good trap but pricey. I actually get the most luck in my traps with peanut butter and cinnamon... or slim Jim's and bacon grease. I learned you should spread an aromatic on the wood of the trap around the bait plate.

I started to weigh my girls every other week because we had a silkie who died this week, I didn't notice how thin.she was, had a bad case of round worm and scaley leg mites. Even trying to crop feed her, was just too much for her weakened body :( might want to look into crop feeding your little bantam. This forum has GREAT resources on learning how to do that.
 
She died of fatty liver hemorrhage. Rest of the girls are on a strict diet now, treats only once a week. Not including fresh fruits and vegetables.

Sorry your girls aren't doing well :( heartbreaking honestly.

Rats are no joke, I have lots of traps around my run under milk crates whenever I notice anything amiss in their run. Ratinator is a good trap but pricey. I actually get the most luck in my traps with peanut butter and cinnamon... or slim Jim's and bacon grease. I learned you should spread an aromatic on the wood of the trap around the bait plate.

I started to weigh my girls every other week because we had a silkie who died this week, I didn't notice how thin.she was, had a bad case of round worm and scaley leg mites. Even trying to crop feed her, was just too much for her weakened body :( might want to look into crop feeding your little bantam. This forum has GREAT resources on learning how to do that.

Thank you. Good to know the reason your hen died. I hope that the change of diet will help prevent any of your other hens from getting sick.

Seems to be a never ending struggle to care for chickens. From dealing with illness caused from something in their environment or diet, dealing with internal and external parasites and their prevention (dewormers, lice and mite sprays, etc.), dealing with reproductive problems like eggbound and blowouts (I had 2 Brabanter hens get a really bad blowout. Treating them wasn't fun and took a lot of effort. Miraculously, 1 recovered completely, the other seemed to also, but about a month later she got eggbound again while I was away food shopping, and when I got back I found her dead. Made me wonder if I was giving them too much calcium. I provide them crushed oyster shell they can eat when they want. And wondered if it's something in their diet. They get expensive food, Scratch and Peck Organic 18% Protein Layer Feed and/or Grubbly Farm Layer or Chick Crumbles with a handful of grubs. Occassionally they get vegetables, usually green leafy ones, such as lettuce, cabbage, kale. And as a rare treat they'll get scrambled eggs and eggshells, fresh toast without sugar/syrup, or leftover meat.) And dealing with rodents and predators.

Having delt with sick chicks before, I got a tube feeding kit, and used it for the first time on a chick that suffered from dehydration and it saved her life, now she seems healthy and appears to be thriving. Sadly, I didn't get to use it on the newest chick to be unwell. She died this evening, just passed away in her sleep. :( Have no idea why she just didn't have an appetite. Her littermate, a male chick I can't keep, seems healthy and now is lonely. Tonight, the poor little one would only stop chirping if I held him and let him. I really wish I don't have to deal with any more sick chickens or health problems. I need a break, so I can deal with my own health.

I learned about the Rat-X and the Ratinator on Shawn Woods YouTube channel. My next thing to try for getting rid of the rats will be the Walk the Plank for rats. Will put it on a tall trash bin 1/3 filled with water. Might also get some large Vitor snap traps. I'm done trying humane methods, they don't work.
 
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