pullet looks emaciated and very weak. sores on underside

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8 Years
May 31, 2011
I have a 2 mo pullet that I have separated from the others for a couple of days as she was looking very weak, and she is not eating of drinking. She was pooping on herself, so i cleaned her off, but i noticed she has a couple of sores on her underside. When I turn her over, it looks like the bone in the middle of a chicken sticks out more than it should and has a sore there, and there's a spot on the lower part of her neck that is also sore. I'm wondering if that bone is broken or something. I can tell her underside is very tender, and she's so skinny that all i can see is her frame. The entire underside is featherless. I will try to take a picture of her tomorrow if if she's still alive, and I'm also thinking about taking her to the avian vet here. I couldn't do it today because it was Memorial Day of course (why does death always knock on a holiday or weekend)

I don't know the specific breed she is, but we got all our chicks from Atwoods.

Her poo looks normal, about the color of her feed.

Her breathing is very laboured and has been since I noticed her the other day. No other birds are exhibiting the same symptoms, however I have found a couple of golden laced polish crested pullets from the same purchase dead in the cage. I removed them promptly and checked the other for any problems. One girl had dried poo all over her backside that closed her vent entirely, and i soaked her and removed as much as I could, but her vent looked prolapsed and then scabbed over. It was very disturbing to see. As i cleaned off the matted poo, she was trying so hard to get it all out, and it came out very thick and gritty with a fowl odor. Even after i got it all off of her, I saw her trying and trying to poo. Her backside was very swollen I'm guessing from being clogged up. She was dead this morning when I checked on her.

We have all our chicks in a large wire bottomed cage. Earlier today when I checked on the chicks, I noticed one of them was bleeding at the spot where the tail feathers grow and the others were pecking at her, so i separated her and she's very skidish. I'm going to grab some Rooster booster tomorrow and dress her wound, and keep her up until it heals.

It looks like she's eating and drinking now. I poured a little acai juice in her waterer for electrolytes, and forced her to drink a little and then she started drinking it a little more. She's still very weak. I have pictures that i will upload in the morning.
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Does she look fluffed up or have trouble walking (like her legs seem weak)? Have you seen any worms in their poos? Did you check them for mites or any other infestation? Look closely, some of those buggers are really hard to see. Also, this time of year, plants like dogbane, hemlock, and jimson weed can be a problem for chickens. Check out this list of toxic plants to see if your chickens may be munching something that is making them sick.

Honestly, I think this would be one of my desperate moments without a clear diagnosis. I would put Oxine (without activator) in the drinking water for all of the chickens and maybe spray it around. You can get it at Revival Animal Health or check feed stores, janitorial suppliers, or HVAC suppliers in your area, though it's usually hard to get locally.
She is fluffed up, yes. She was in a cage with the other chicks, so it couldn't be any plants.



She looks very emaciated. Do you know how long it has been since she ate regularly? Does she have any signs of respiratory illness (sinus drainage, bubbles at eyes, wheezing, etc)?

Here is a list of poultry diseases. It is a lot to go through. If I find something more definitive, I will let you know, but it sounds like she was sick a long time ago and is now suffering from wasting as a result. If she has been sick long enough for the emaciation to have occurred mostly from not eating, then it most likely is not Coccidiosis. If there are no signs of respiratory illness, I would consider the possibility of worms. Ivermectin can be used to treat worms, but you should familiarize yourself with how to diagnose worms. I don't have enough experience with that to tell you how. Perhaps somebody else more experienced will see this and let you know.

Either way, I would try the Oxine. It may be effective against worms, also, since it is also used as a pesticide. Also, give any of your chickens looking thin Polyvisol without iron (liquid vitamin drops labeled for infants you can get at the pharmacy) to fend off vitamin deficiency.

If you are able to find an avian or livestock vet, take her in. If nothing else, call your local extension office and see if they can tell you where to take her or at least have the dead ones examined to determine what is going through your flock so you can take appropriate action to protect the rest.
Yeah I glanced at the list, and about the only thing i saw that fit the symptoms was LL, and they are all hatchery chicks so if they have LL, then there's a much bigger problem! Fortunately there are 3 Avian specialists in Tulsa, and I have an appointment for 2pm with one. I was hoping I could have avoided making an appointment, but it's worth culling the whole flock over a disease or virus. I will let you all know my outcome.

-EDIT- Ok went to the vet, and she took a spool sample and said that she didn't see any parasites or cocci, but dewormed her and gave me an antibiotic to give to her. She's looking a lot better and about halfway standing now. I think the electrolytes are helping a lot and I'm making sure she stays hydrated.

I noticed one of my young turkeys was going under the chick's pen and eating the fallen food, and it has a respitory infection. the nostils and eyes have a thick clear sticky discharge, and it's coughing. It's the only one that I've noticed with that problem, but I'm going to get some more antibiotic and give it to the turkey. I wanted to raise all natural poultry, but I don't know if it's still possible.
Is there something else I can give it instead of antibiotics?


Well I regret to inform you that Amy is no longer with us
I went to check on her this morning and she looked dead, but was still hanging on, and then I noticed that her crop and ripped open and was filled with worms. At that time I decided to put her out of her misery. Poor girl. She fought them for a 3 days and I thought for sure she'd pull through... Now I'm going to have to deworm my whole flock.
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