Please help..one of my chickens is sick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KelnJay, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. KelnJay

    KelnJay New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Solvang, California
    Hello,

    Pablo is not a happy chicken. She's laying around and not going out to free range like the others in the flock. This started yesterday and has continued into today. She seams lethargic, doesn't really care of you pick her up and check her out at all (generally you can do this anyways, but with a little coaxing first), I can't tell if she is egg bound, I just spoke to a vet and am going to go out and lay her on her back and feel her abdomen, apparently you can feel if she is egg bound. All of the other birds (7) are fine and happily running around eating bugs and making they're usual mess of my gardens. When she does move, she moves in short bursts and then sits right back down, rather clumsily. I have placed scratch and mash in front of her and she will peck at it a bit although she doesn't seem to eat tons. She is normally my best producing hen, she's the largest hen in the flock and rules the roost, unfortunately it's not looking good. Any suggestions? I want to try and save her, but I dont' know what to do and don't' want to let her suffer.

    If anyone is comfortable with a phone call and walking me through some 'checks' or something to help determine the issue I would greatly appreciate it. My wife and I LOVE Pablo. There's also a big storm heading our way in California and we're trying to figure this out before it get's here.

    TIA!

    Jay and Kelly
     
  2. FrizzleFreak

    FrizzleFreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is her comb pale? How about the inside of her mouth? Feather quality?
    All of these could indicate anemia or another vitamin deficiency, which could cause her behavior. Are her feet okay? I would separate her, just in case.
     
  3. KelnJay

    KelnJay New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Solvang, California
    Her comb looks normal, good color, etc. She's got the best feathers out of the flock. I feed them lay mash, scratch, oyster shell, lettuce, grasses, hay and they free range and eat tons of bugs, worms etc. I'll go out and check her feet right now and figure out where to separate her too. Any suggestions or ideas on what it is?
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Has she been laying lately? Some of my best layers have died from internal laying this year. Most became thin, then weak, then passed of were euthanized. All were productive hatchery stock. They had wonderful feather quality and seemed just to get weaker and weaker. They all stopped laying, one for 8 months. IF she's laying still or has been, that most likely is not her issue.
     
  5. Renee

    Renee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    CALIFORNIA
    Hi Jay and Kelly,

    I don't know enough to guide you through this, but Audrey the chicken did the same thing a while ago. She had eaten something bad, probably from the compost heap, and we believe it was botulism. Chickens will pretend to be fine until they just can't stand up any longer, so don't be too alarmed if she just can't get up or even lift her head in a while.

    Here's what I was advised:

    Separate her from the other chickens and bring her in where she will be warm.

    Pay attention to her poop. Note what color and consistency it is.

    Feel her crop. Is it full, empty, hard, soft? Smell her breath, is it sour?

    Run your hands down her undersides and see if you can feel any hard spots, warm spots, lumps, etc.

    Check her over carefully for injuries. Feathers can hide so much. Is is possible she fell?

    Don't give her scratch. If she is not eating enough, give her cooked crumbled egg. Only give her soft foods that will be easy to digest: egg, moistened chicken food, yogurt, cooked oatmeal.

    Do you have any Pedialyte? Mix it 50% with water and give her drops on her beak if she will not drink. I am convinced we saved Audrey from dying of dehydration by forcing her to drink with a syringe. You have to be careful if you do this, because you can easily drown a chicken or give it pneumonia by getting the fluids into their lungs. The syringe has to reach past the air passage under their tongue.

    If you can find bird vitamins like Avia Charge 2000 you should add them to the water. If you do not have this you can use baby vitamins (Polyvisol liquid with no iron), a few drops on the beak.

    Good luck, and keep checking back for more advice.
     
  6. KelnJay

    KelnJay New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Solvang, California
    She's been laying, we just got back from checking her out and her feet are fine, her crop could be a little hard although does not feel huge or anything, I don't think she's eaten much today so maybe it's an impacted crop? We felt her abdomen on advice of a vet and did not feel anything in there, so probably nto egg bound. When we went back out there was an egg on teh ground that wasn't there before and they really always lay in the nests, I've not had one on the ground in months. Maybe she was egg bound adn passed it due to the handling and rubbing we were doing early? She's still very lethargic, we took her to the water adn she just hung her head down adn had no interest at all. I feel terrible and am about to euthanize her cause it's sad to see her suffer.
     
  7. Ellie_NY_chick

    Ellie_NY_chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2008
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Good grief - don't be so quick to put her down!!

    Others on this board have had birds mauled half to death and have brought them back. Give the poor girl a chance! Separate her, check her periodically, feed her some easily digested food. Check her droppings. If she feels sick, give her a chance to recover.

    I don't see anything that you told us that warrants her suffering to the point of needing to be put down.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  8. Renee

    Renee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    CALIFORNIA
    I'd wait a little before euthanizing her. It may just be food poisoning and if it is, she will either die or live within a day or two. It's good that she is still laying.

    Bring her in where she will be warm (I used a large cardboard box) and make sure she has access to soft food and water.

    Audrey was laid out like a dead bird for a day and a half: couldn't even lift her head. She's fine now.

    Nugget, on the other hand, got an impacted and sour crop three times and we finally had to euthanize her.
     
  9. KelnJay

    KelnJay New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Solvang, California
    lol. I did not mean I was going to euthanize her immediately, we love her and are just looking at options. She seems like she's suffering and we wouldn't want that. We're bringing her in and keeping her warm. Her beak seems awfully sticky adn she's not opening it very much at all. That a sign of anything? Thanks for all of the suggestions, we really appreciate it.
     
  10. KelnJay

    KelnJay New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Solvang, California
    Does anyone know how they act with an impacted crop? I've been checking out where they forage around and a lot of the areas are covered with mulch; shredded branches, leaves, etc. It's only been about 24 hours since she was eating like a pig.
     

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