Please help- special pet hen- SICK- big object in crop?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SeaChick, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Ophelia is a 1-year-old Welsummer hen.

    She is all of a sudden acting ill:
    uncoordinated, moves like she's drunk
    stance is that tail-down, wings dragging 'sick chicken' stance
    just wants to sit down
    not interested in food
    drinking water
    clicking her beak together
    not eating
    (edited to add: also seems excessively thirsty, see post below)
    (edited to add: can feel a large foreign object in her crop, see post below)

    We had thought, over the last week, she might be going broody. She began laying every single day, and I found one of the nest boxes lined with her breast feathers about 3 days ago.

    Then last night my husband went to put them in and she was on the nest box. He moved her off but said she was acting strange (although not typical broody "strange"). This morning she is acting sick. Absolutely no interest in the morning treats. Can't hop up onto things, stumbling and just wants to sit down.

    I have isolated her inside where it's warm, with food and water.

    I have not observed any droppings at all.

    Her crop seems OK.

    I have felt for egg (thought maybe egg-bound?) but I don't feel anything unusual, however I don't normally feel their abdomens so its hard to say.

    We feed organic layer pellets and table scraps. DH says she was loving the banana he gave them the other day. The other birds ate some, too, but apparently she ate more. Could this be a problem?

    We keep them on pine shavings inside and hay outside. She is not one who seems to eat the litter. They have access to a lawn area as well. Coop was cleaned and shavings changed on Saturday.

    Please help!! She is one of our most favorite special pets!!

    (edit: I just made her some warm mash with yogurt, and offered her that and bread, which she normally LOVES... absolutely no interest. I tried wiping a little yogurt on her beak and she swallowed it but won't eat on her own. She actually got up and went and LOOKED at the bowl of pellets I put in the cage with her, but did not eat any. )
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  2. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western North Carolina
    Can you describe how her abdomen feels? Is it soft? Or does it feel firm?
     
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Her abdomen feel pretty soft. I do not feel any egg shapes in there. I will say that the only time she even remotely struggled, though, was when I was feeling her abdomen. Otherwise she is completely passive. (She is always a very passive bird, though.)

    She is also clicking her beak a lot, which is very strange.

    She also occasionally makes labored breathing noises, not very often though.
     
  4. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I just went and felt two of my other hens' abdomens and they feel pretty much the same. It is possible Ophelia's is SLIGHTLY more swollen, but she's also a bigger chicken so its hard to say... the only difference is that Ophelia seems really uncomfortable when I'm feeling around there.
     
  5. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess I would just keep a close eye on her and keep her up in a warm environment. Make sure you can get some nutrition in her. Offer her some treats like plain yogurt, scrambled or chopped hard boiled eggs and put some sugar, gatorade or vits and electrolytes in her water. Keep us posted and let us know if she takes a turn for the worse. My immediate thought was eggbound or she has laid internally but if her abdomen feels relatively normal to you, that doesn't sound like it. Maybe someone else on here will have an idea.
     
  6. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Thanks-
    She is not at all interested in food: I just made her a scrambled egg and she had no interest.

    On the other hand she seems VERY THIRSTY.!!!!!!

    I offered her water and she drank and drank. Then I went out and got some AviaCharge2000 and put that in the water and she drank even more. She is drinking again right now. I think she drank for like 10 minutes straight. Is that a clue?
     
  7. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    I would say yes the thirsty part maybe some clue, I have no idea but hope this will bump you back to the top and hopefully someone will know. I would add that the bird is very thirsty in your title that might grab someones attention who does know
     
  8. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Thank you, I edited the title:

    UPDATE- She is STILL drinking water (with AviaCharge). Just standing there drinking and drinking.

    She did finally poop. It was loose and watery but normal-colored, not gross off-colored diarrhea.
     
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Getting droppings is an excellent sign, so I suspect her crop is part of the issue. The Avia Charge should help her a lot, and keep trying to offer slightly acidic foods- yogurt, boiled egg, tomato bits.

    It may be as simple as stuffing herself on largish bits of grit or oyster shell (broody behavior) to eating something salty or toxic, or which was too bulky but which is now working through. Do you have a pic of her droppings by any chance?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  10. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could she have gotten into something? Any plants? Chemicals? Anything unusual other than her feed?
     

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