Please help my little chicken!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by behealthy, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. behealthy

    behealthy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2015
    One of our hens is sick and I don't know what to do, please help me. I'm sorry I'm double posting but the thread I posted with images needs to get approval and I am in an emergency (or so I think) so I'm posting this first and will delete when I got approval on my original thread. Thank you for your understanding...


    Some Backgrounds: This is the first time I have chickens and I don't know much but have been learning as much as possible through Backyard Chickens and the Internet. We bought 3 chickens from a workmate since around Christmas 2013 and was told they are first year layers. He kept his chickens in his backyard, I'm not sure if they were vaccinated. Since then til about Nov/Dec 2014 we had no problem with them, 3 eggs everyday like clockwork. From around Nov/Dec 2014 the egg productions dropped to 1 or 2 eggs per day, sometimes a day with no egg (rarely). We thought it was common and didn't figure out which one hadn't been laying. They are brown shavers I think.

    If it's too long of a post, please skip down to " The Problem We Are Facing" part. Thank you..


    2 Weeks Ago:

    2 weeks ago started from Mon 05/01, Pinky appeared not interested in food (thirsty at first but stop drinking afterward). Sitting down all the time. At first, we was not sure what she had, thought it was egg bound so made her a warm bath, partner put some vaseline up her vent and had a feel around. Nothing. I then did some Googling and narrowed it down to sour crop. Her crop felt a bit watery, about the size of a tennis ball. My partner then proceeded to empty her crop. He tilted her forward at about 70 degrees angle, massaged her crop and some yellow liquid came out. I then tried to gave her some yoghurt and 1tsp of red wine (after reading that it could help). Also left her some pellets soaked in water which she didn't touch. We then put her in the old coop by herself (haven't used this coop for a while). At this point, I realized that she was noticeably thin, keel pointing out. We might have been neglecting our chickens.. I'm not sure since when she had gotten thin like this..

    After 2 days with no improvement, I bought Clotrimazole 100mg (for treatment of vaginal thrush) in pessaries and cut 1/3 of the pill mixed in water and fed her twice a day morning and evening. In the first few days force fed her egg yolks mashed up in water through a syringe (opened her beak, got the stuff in and let her swallow on her own), also force fed yoghurt, water and some olive oil. Left her water soaked pellet on free choice.

    Fri 09/01, I saw a few soft droppings and one watery one in the morning (never been so happier to see a chicken poop in my life). She seemed more interested in food, ate some wet pellets and yoghurt by herself. Crop felt more solid.

    Sat 10/01, eager to get out of the coop in the morning. Fed her the last 1/3 piece of Clotrimazole 100mg (2 whole pessaries so far), some olive oil. She also ate wet pellets, some spinach and kale by herself. Even scratched for bug in the garden. We let her out free range in the garden for a few hours. Noticed that she seemed to groom herself quite often, used her beak to get to feathers under the wings, neck and bum areas. Flipped her wings a few times. Also used her tail wings like a fan quite often.

    Sun 11/01, seems to be back to normal. Ate and drank by herself. She roosted on the roost not on the floor like before. Crop emptied at night. During the day, it felt like a sandy bean bag, about a strawberry size. Ate some worms from the worm farm too.

    Mon 12/01 to Fri 16/01 (last week), business as usual although she was still in her separate coop. Noticed her groomed herself quite often but we didn't pay much attention. We let her free range the garden when we were home, fed her some worms from the worm farm, spinach, kales, yoghurt, eggs, etc.


    The Problem We Are Facing:

    Sat 17/01, when I let her out of the coop in the morning, noticed she walked with a limb on the right leg. There were a few feathers on the ground. She was still eating normally. I thought she had a strain muscle on her leg. Groomed herself excessively. I though she might have mites. We thought of moving her to another spot in the following morning. Discovered a very long thin black poo in the coop between the normal round chicken poo.

    Sun 18/01, when I let her out of her coop, it looked like there was a pillow fight inside. One more stringy long poo in the coop beside the normal round ones. This photo was taken 1 day after so the poo dried out a bit more than when discovered. I wasn't sure if it was her poo or other animals? Partner thought it was a hedgehog poo, I thought hedgehog poo was shorter not that long.. She still walked with a limb, sometimes stand on 1 leg. Anyway, he built her a temporary coop out of pallets on the other side of the garden. Fed her some soaked pellets which she ate some. Didn't drink water as far as I could see. We then both went out and got home late that night to find her had disappeared. We tried to find her but it was pitch black so we failed. We did notice feathers were everywhere in her coop. Went to sleep hoping she would show up in the morning.


    Mon 19/01, she did show up in the morning. She was walking very slowly, tail down. Sitting down a lot. When she stood up, she had her back hunch up a little, tail pointed to the ground. I also noticed she had her beak opened quite a lot. Fed her half a boiled egg yolk and some yoghurt which she ate happily. Also ate some pellets and drank some water. Some feathers were loose and fell out when she fluffed up and shook her body. I also saw her plucked some of them out. Because of the droopy tail and funny walking (not sure if it was like a penguin or not or just because her tail was down) but I thought she might be egg bound so I decided to gave her 1/2 of a human calcium tablet 1000mg watered down in 5ml of water. However, she still passed normal droppings, looked brown with white coating with some grass and grains present. The whole day, when she wasn't sitting, she would stand with her wing feathers open a little and droopy tail. Mouth also opened a little. She also kept standing one 1 leg when she didn't do the above. Also very talkative when I picked her up, and kept grooming herself very often. I then bought a bottle of food grade Diatomaceous Earth (D.E) powder and dusted her and her coop all over in hope it would kill any mites that might present. I also fed her about 3cc of orange flavor electrolyte powder (for human) mixed in water. (I'm not sure whether it was ok for chicken but it was all I could find).

    Tue 20/01 (today), in the morning her droppings was normal, maybe a bit on the dry side. Sitting down all the time. I left her a bowl of pellets, a boil egg and some water before I went to work. Comb was paler than before and her face got some white flaking things? When I got home in the afternoon and checked her droppings, there were some normal ones and some watery ones. In one of the half soft half watery one I found a white moving thin object about 2 to 3mm long looks like a worm. Most of the time she just sit down, when she stood up she stood on 1 leg (I think it was the left one). Tail pointing down. When she walked she seemed to lift her legs higher than usual and walked very slowly. Balance a bit off? I'm not sure.. Feathers still loose and falling out. Not sure if she were still pulling them out or not..

    I fed her some boiled egg yolk which she ate about half, She also pecked at some pellets, not much.. I made her a warm bath which she sat in for 10 mins, then blow dried her with blow drier in cool setting. She stayed still for me to do it. I noticed she opened her beak most of the time when she was in the bath but didn't when I was blow drying her. I noticed some of her feathers were missing some parts (like they were half eaten on 1 side). I then went out and got a bottle of 50ml Aviverm liquid wormer to put in her water. I live in New Zealand and that is all I could find at a farm store. The dose is 1ml/ 9kg of live weight dilluted in drinking water. I estimate she is about 1kg (she's very thin), I mixed about 0.2ml into 500ml of water but she didn't drink so I fried to force fed her about 6cc (6ml) of that liquid. She also ate about 3 small spinach leaves and 1 kale leaf when I held them out for her. After a while she seemed a bit better and was walking around a bit and pecking at the grass. It was getting dark so I put her in the makeshift coop. She walked back and forth for 3 mins on the "roosting pallet" looking like she wanted to get out and then settled in.

    ===

    She is thin with keel pointing out and I guess she is about roughly 1kg (2.5 pounds). I noticed that at the starting point of this ordeal. I'm not sure since when did she lost weight but she has always been the smallest among the 3 chickens I have. I am in New Zealand and the weather has been hot lately, sunny all day and around 25 degrees Celsius (77 F) at noon and 11 degrees Celcius (51 F) at night.

    I'm sorry my post is so long. I just don't want to miss anything and I'm freaking out thinking about Merak and all the terrible diseases that Pinky could have. I sincerely appreciate any help since I'm desperate and there doesn't seem to be a vet who knows much about poultry around here.

    Thank you all very much!
    Jessica.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  2. XxMingirlxX

    XxMingirlxX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lancashire, England
  3. behealthy

    behealthy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2015
    In summary, Pinky's right leg is a little limpy, prefers to stand on 1 leg. When she does stand on 2 legs, she has back hunch up, tail pointing down. Sometimes beak open? She lifts her feet higher when walking, walks very slowly. Also pulling her feathers out, excessive grooming. Loose feathers some would fall out on their own. Sometimes stand with her wings open a little. Still eating and drinking. Sits all the time. Pale comb. I don't know what she has?
     
  4. XxMingirlxX

    XxMingirlxX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you heard of gape worm?
     
  5. behealthy

    behealthy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2015
    Thank you XxMingirlxX , I had a look at Marek but was thinking Pinky was a first year layer when I bought her, I have had her for over a year, that makes her 2 years old. Marek normally happens in younger chick. Do you think she can still catch it? What is the odd? Thank you.. She's still walking and not paralyzing so far.
     
  6. XxMingirlxX

    XxMingirlxX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Usually, Mareks only occurs
    A) when a chick has just been born/feathering
    B) When they are POL
    C) If they have recently encountered something stressful as this can be a trigger.
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    It's not gapeworm. Aviverm will take care of the worms you saw. I believe she may have either mites, or is in molt, or was attacked by a predator.
    You'll have to pick her up and visually inspect her for mites. They look like pepper, suck blood and cause anemia, then death. Closely inspect around the vent area where it's warm and moist. Feather loss can be attributed to molt, feather picking, depluming mites, nutritional deficiencies, predator attack (as can be a cause of your hen limping.)
    I recommend that you stop the greens and provide her electrolytes to build up strength and provide her proper layer feed. I suspect the worms have weakened her (and mites if she has them.) I also recommend that you worm all your birds.
     
  8. behealthy

    behealthy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2015
    Thank you. She is on her layer pellets plus some green and some yoghurt. I'll cut down on the green.

    When I checked her just now (8.30am here) she still sits down with her tail point downward. Seems shilvering a ltitle. But the weather is not cold at all. I fed her 1 egg yolk which she only ate about 1/3. I left her some water and pellets and heading to work now..

    I have checked her all over and can't seem to find any mites, I've dusted her and the coop with Diatomaceous Earth. Do you think it is effective or I should try something else? I've also started worming her.

    Does molting usually accompanied with pale comb, droopy tail and sitting around?

    Also sorry for my ignorance but what is POL?
     
  9. behealthy

    behealthy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2015
    Oh and in addition, she's not laying since at least 2 weeks ago when it all started.
     

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