Poorly Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jam08, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. jam08

    jam08 Hatching

    Dec 17, 2008
    My 2yr old Goldline has not been well the last 2 days. She appears to be hunched up with her feathers puffed, her neck in, tail down and just standing there. She seems to drinking as normal, maybe more? She has her eyes closed. This morning when I opened the lid she was eating an egg which had a thin shell (dont know if it was hers) but the egg had not been layed in the nest box. Ive looked at her bottom, that seems clean and fine and she feels soft underneath. She is a terror for feather pecking, dont know if thats anything to do with it?
    Hope someone can give me an idea of what maybe wrong, she has always been a healthy chicken so far. I dont like seeing her like this:(
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:Sorry jam that your hen is doing poorly.
    I'm afraid there won't be a lot of good advice for you. The "I have a lethargic, hunched up chicken that doesn't move" is somewhat common post, and all too often there is no answer. The symptoms are too vague. I advocate doing something rather than nothing if you are sure she is sick.
    Is she eating the feathers she picks? that combined with eating an egg might mean a nutritional deficiency. You could try upping her protein. giving her vitamin & electtrolites (available at the feed store) You could try anti-biotics. Bring her inside keep her away from your other chickens, calm and quiet, if you can.

    I wish you luck


    BTW- Welcome to BYC
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  3. jjparke

    jjparke Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    As long as they are eating and drinking on their own you have something to work with. When they can't do either on their own then it's time to cull.
  4. jam08

    jam08 Hatching

    Dec 17, 2008

    Thanks for your reply, very much appreciated. She is still the same today, I thought maybe she'd be 'gone' when I woke up this morning but she was standing quietly by the water, still with eyes closed, tail down, hunched. I felt her tummy yesterday and it did feel fuller than the other 2 chucks i have and was told by a friend she could be egg-bound. I put her in a bucket of warm water for about 15mins to see if that would help but no change. I wrapped her in a towel and she stayed on my lap for an hour and slept. Her poo's were very watery, clear yesterday.
    She does eat the feathers, has done for a long, long time.
    Will be giving her lots of tlc today and try and do the best for her.
    Any more ideas would be gr8 if possible.
  5. jam08

    jam08 Hatching

    Dec 17, 2008
    Decided to take her to the vets this morning. She has been diagnosed with Peritonitis. The vet drained some of fluid from her abdomen, gave her an injection of antibiotics and painkiller. She will be on the anti's for 10 days. Hopefully that will do the trick. The vet said if she goes down in a few days that could be it.
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I'm glad you took her to the vet. I hope she gets better. You sound like a caring chicken owner.

    Good luck

  7. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Quote:Good grief can you ever give any other advice? Sheesh

    To the original poster...Jam

    Did the vet bother to explain Peritonitis to you? That fluid in the abdomen is NOT a curable thing. Antibiotics will prolong the inevitable. The only way to stop that is to remove her egg laying ability. Do yourself a favor...take the advice of speckledhen...she has dealt with this more times than anyone should have too. I will direct her to this thread.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  8. chkn

    chkn Songster

    Jun 27, 2010
    Yes, I went through that with one hen recently. Spent $170 at the vet, he drained almost a half liter of fluid and gave me the steroids and antibiotics. She went downhill and died a week later. I probably should have just put her down myself.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Jam, this is something I am all too familiar with. I removed massive amounts of fluid/infection/yolk from more than one hen on more than one occasion. It will just come back. I've lost six hens to this same ailment and am dealing with three others. It is incurable. This is a very common occurrence with high production types, mostly hatchery stock. It is hormonal/genetic. The vet cannot fix your hen unless he does a hysterectomy and even then, the gunk is probably all through her abdomen and may kill her anyway-no way to get it all out. I'm sorry, don't mean to be a bucket of cold water, but this has been a curse among my hatchery girls (plus one who is a generation removed from the hatchery stock). There are also "pancakes" of solidified infection in the abdomen which cannot be drained--fluid is only part of the issue.
    Graphic pic below:

    247 cc of fluid drained from my Olivia one day. Now, she has all that back and probably twice as much. This wasn't the first time we had drained her abdomen, either.

  10. jam08

    jam08 Hatching

    Dec 17, 2008
    Awww, thanks everyone for your replies. Have taken your advice to heart. Today she seems brighter, less bloated. I shall continue to give her meds, special treats and lots of TLC and continue to enjoy her until her time comes, as soon as she becomes ill I shall not let her suffer.
    Thanks again.

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