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Possibly sick chicken... I'm freaking out a little here!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kian, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. kian

    kian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, what I know about chickens could fit in a thimble so if someone would mind taking the time and indulging my freakoutedness, I'd really appreciate it!

    Fiona is 17 weeks old and one of my biggest girls. (New Hampshire). This morning she didn't come out of the coop with everyone else, and when I looked, she was laying down in one of the nest boxes. (No one has started laying eggs yet, the oldest are all 17 weeks, the youngest are 12 weeks). I can't honestly say if I have seen her in the nest boxes before.

    Anyway she wouldn't come to me, so I went around and opened the box from the outside, which meant I had an excellent view of her rear end, because as soon as I pet her, her tail feathers went straight up and I could very easily view the vent. Clean bottom, clean around vent, vent pulsating (like breathing... is it supposed to do that?). I got her to stand and examined her legs, everything seemed good there. I picked her up and brought her into the run, holding her in my lap. I offered some food and she pecked at it a couple times at first then showed no more interest. She makes her usual chicken sounds, her eyes look good, she'd close them for a bit and then open. I put her down and she slowly went to the water but did not drink. She looked at it, put her head near it but wouldn't drink. She won't take food. She was fairly content to let me hold her.

    I picked her back up and checked her again all over. Everything looks good. No wheezing or sneezing. Nothing runny from any orifice. Feathers all where they're supposed to be. Comb looks the same. I ran my hand down her underside and felt all the bones and whatnot but I seriously have no idea what I am doing. Her crop didn't seem large and I couldn't smell anything.

    I put her back in the coop and she stood there for a little bit and then laid down where she was. I just now went out to check and she is now in a different nest box (the one furtherest from where I had left her so she did walk about 2 feet) and laying down in there. She seems alert but not hyperchicken alert.

    Any ideas? Thank you!
     
  2. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like a pullet getting close to laying.
     
  3. kian

    kian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there anything I should be doing? (I sound like an expectant father LOL. Now I know how my husband felt!)
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    It's possible that she could be getting ready to lay, albeit early. What does her poop look like...color and consistancy?
     
  5. kian

    kian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well that I don't know. All the poop that was in the nest boxes looks totally normal. I don't see any weird or off color poop around, and her rear end is very clean. I don't have her isolated from everyone else so I can't positively identify hers over the other girls. However, from what I see, it's normal.
     
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Inspect her visually for lice/mites, especially around the vent area. If she doesnt have external parasites, perhaps she's eggbound. Then try soaking her in a container of warm water up to her sides for about 20 minutes. Gently massage her underside front to rear while she's soaking. The warm water will relax and expand her innards, massaging will help move the egg along. Then you can put a little vegetable oil just inside her vent to lube it up, making it easier for her to lay the egg...if this is what the problem is, hopefully she'll lay the egg.
     
  7. kian

    kian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well.... she's gone. I sent my son out to check on her right after my last post on here. She wasn't holding her head up. I went out and she lifted her head for me but then put it back down. I noticed that her beak was open a little (like panting, only she wasn't panting). I brought her in and gave her a little water on a spoon and she seemed to want it and when she swallowed it she kept swallowing and swallowing, like gulping (I wasn't giving her more water). I thought I'd try the sour crop thing of having her throw up and when I tilted her she did indeed vomit a lot of liquid, foul-smelling (but I hadn't noticed a smell prior to this and her crop seemed fine). I made sure to lift her back up to help her breath in between throwing up, but she had a sort of seizure, then more liquid then another seizure and then she just died. I don't know what I did wrong! Did I kill my bird??

    I couldn't post anything when it happened as I had to leave right then for my sons' school (naturally). There was NOTHING I could see wrong with this bird.

    Once I got home I washed out the waterers really well and added some baking soda (per the link on sour crop) in case maybe they've all got it? And I checked the run, we had dumped a bag of cut grass in the run for them a few days ago. Well I found a TON of cut up green plastic that had been on the bottom of the sod pieces. I wonder if she ate some and that messed up her crop?

    I am just heartbroken.

    And now I have to leave again! But I so appreciate the advice given above and if anyone has anything to add.... thank you! I don't want this to happen again if it's something preventable.
     
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Sorry for your loss.
     
  9. SilkiesForEver

    SilkiesForEver Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm am so sorry. Losing birds is so very, very hard. [​IMG]

    I really really like this info. I personally prefer to treat my animals naturally.
    This information is from this thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/728502/the-whole-flock-is-sick-how-to-save-them/10 Post #17

    Add to their water: ACV at 2tbsp per gallon. The ACV needs to be RAW and UNFILTERED (Braggs is organic, raw and unfiltered) as it must contain the Mother. It's a natural anti-biotic and assists in reducing their odour.

    Get yogurt and keep it on hand. Even if it seperates, if it doesn't have mould I give it to the birds. I get the yogurt which contains only milk and bacterial culture, no pectin, no preservatives. Just. Yogurt. To a container, add 2 dropper fulls of Oregano oil. Yogurt promotes natural gut flora in everything it eats and this one ingredient alone can save dying chicks who are falling apart from coccidosis. You can also dilute the yogurt in the water, just remember to clean it out after. Oregano oil is a natural, highly potent antibiotic and painkiller. And the birds love it when mixed into things.

    Lastly, pick up Aloe Vera JUICE. Per one cup of the above mixture, ad 1tsp of Aloe Vera Juice. AVJ is a natural system flush in humans and animals. IT encourages movement in the bowl and helps to clear out the system of negative bacteria and increase flora levels in the stomach.

    The above is the same principle I use to treat almost everything I've had here. As with humans, good gut flora makes for healthy critters.
     
  10. Suzierd

    Suzierd Overrun With Chickens

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    Very sorry you lost your hen. :( I would never make them vomit it can kill them. Long piece's of grass can cause impacted crop if that happens feed some olive oil. I would put ACV in the water instead of baking soda. Best of luck to you.
     

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