Please Help - Sick Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Equest94, May 22, 2011.

  1. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2007
    New York
    My red sex-link hen, Penny, isn't doing well.

    She's about 4 or 5 years old - yes I know what's "old" in [productive] chicken years, but she's a pet and I'm really worried about her. A few days ago, I noticed she had some diarrhea. I didn't think too much about it - it's spring, everything is rich, and we had so much rain, everything is a bit watery so all the birds seem to be a bit runny from ingesting so much.

    Things seemed to have gotten better, all of the birds are pooping normally; however Penny still seemed to have bouts of diarrhea... She was still very active and looking good, except for having a gross bottom, so I brought her in, cleaned her up and put her back out. She seemed completely fine for a while - poop was getting more normal.

    Yesterday, she really took a turn for the worse all of a sudden. She isolated herself from the others and just stood at the corner of the run. Her poop became very watery again. She hasn't been eating a lot, but still drinks a bit on her own. I have isolated her from the others in a cage in my garage (it's warm in there). I have water, layer pellets, and chick starter out for her, but have also been supplementing her with gatorade/pediolyte and hard boil eggs. When I offered her the egg, she seemed very interested in it. She took a few bites, but then sort of took a mouthful and just stood there holding it in her beak - almost as if she went into a trance and forgot she was eating. I pulled it out, and she kind of "came back" and went to grab it from me again, but then did the same thing and sort of starred off holding on to it...

    Today, she's about the same, but seems a tad more lethargic. My dog sort of startled her and she cackled a bit at her, which I was happy to hear. I stopped at the farm-feed store to ask about her and see if they had any antibiotics - they only had stuff for respiratory conditions... I also just picked up some plain cultured yogurt for her and have been force feeding her that and the watered down gatorade. She seems less interested in food and I have been offering her everything from cooked oatmeal to apple sauce, etc... She seems to try a little of it when I keep persisting, but will not eat enough of anything.

    She's still standing which is good I guess, but I also noticed her crop feels squishy. It's still big as if she had eaten, but it's just not as 'solid' feeling as it should be.

    I have no idea what's going on with her!

    I'm not sure what to do. Does anyone have any ideas of what's wrong with her or what I can do to help?

    (she's still isolated from my other birds. All of my other birds seem totally fine.)
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'm going to hazard a guess that the crop is the problem. Strictly from reading on here; never happened to me. Maybe sour crop? There are several threads linked on the FAQ page about crop problems.

    Good luck.
  3. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2007
    New York
    I'm embarrassed to say I have never heard of sour crop before, but after looking it up and reading about it, I think she does have something along the lines.

    I looked at a couple sites and cross-referenced them in terms of what they recommended for a cure and actually resulted in vomiting her. I didn't see much expect for lots of liquid, but nothing that I would imagine would get stuck...

    After that, she seems a bit better. Her crop is much smaller but is still squishy so I may try to purge her again tomorrow if I don't feel more improvement. She seemed much more interested in food - I let her finish off some of the scrambled egg I made earlier for her and also gave her some more yogurt, which she devoured. I'm going to hold off on rough gritty food for a few days.

    I also gave her some more watered down gatorade. She didn't seem as interested in that but I squirted a few cc's with a small syringe at the side of her beak, so at least she got something.

    She's still standing and looks very uncomfortable, so I'm hoping she pulls through and improves by morning.

    Thank you so much for your guess and input!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by