Pullet not eating, drinking, laying - when to euthanize

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Maddly, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. Maddly

    Maddly Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 12, 2015
    I have a 10-month old silkie pullet who has suddenly become very sick, and I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not it is time to let go.

    About three weeks ago we noticed that she was dragging one of her wings. Since she was otherwise healthy and did not seem to be in pain, we splinted the wing and she seemed to fully recover. However, two days ago she started acting lethargic, and then quickly went downhill. We isolated her from the rest of the flock and tried treating for lice and mites because we noticed signs of an infestation, but there was no improvement.

    She ate a little yesterday, mostly treats, but hasn't taken anything today. I've tried feeding her water and electrolytes with an eye dropper, but she seems to hate it and tried to shake me off. She barely moves, just stands there puffed up and looking miserable, and her poop is bright green. I spoke to a vet this morning and she offered to see her, but told us it would be a waste of money because in her experience once birds go downhill they do not recover. She offered to euthanize the bird and send her for an autopsy instead.

    I am really struggling with this decision, because Daisy is a much-loved pet and I don't want to give up on her if there is any chance that she could pull through. Does anyone have any experience with chickens this sick recovering? Or am I being unrealistic?

    Thanks so much in advance!!
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Was she using her wing normally after you took off the splint? What does her crop feel like? I would check it especially in early morning before she can eat or drink to make sure that it isn't full and hard or puffy. Have you felt inside her vent with a finger for a stuck egg? I would be a little concerned about possible Mareks disease, but it may not be that. You can still get a necropsy on her if she dies naturally by contacting your state vet. Since her droppings are bright green, she may be starving herself. You can try offering her chopped egg, tuna, or wet feed, and letting drink fluids if she wants them. Tube feeding is an option if you would like to do that.
  3. MotherhenXOXO

    MotherhenXOXO Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2016
    Eggcessive covered my suggestions and then some. In my opinion, what is a waste of money to one person may not be to another. The vet is right about a birds recovery being difficult, but it is possible.I've had many chickens recover and I've had some that did not. All of them are very dear to my heart and many may think I am crazy about how much money I have spent on vets throughout the years,but if there is a chance of recovery I want to give them that chance.It has to be up to you and how you feel. You are Daisys owner and I'm sure you know what is best.Best of luck! Daisy will be in my prayers.
  4. Maddly

    Maddly Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 12, 2015
    Thank you so much for the feedback, I really appreciate your advice and help.

    Daisy is still hanging in there, but only barely. We've been able to feed her small amounts of feed dissolved in water and the occasional piece of grape or mellon, but she refuses almost everything and is definitely at the point of starvation. We've picked up supplies to try tube feeding, but are worried about causing her more pain or discomfort. We want her to pull through, but we don't want her to suffer. It's so hard.

    She never fully regained use of her left wing, but it no longer drags on the ground. We kept it in the splint for two weeks, and when we removed the bandages she seemed to be able to hold it up fine, but never flaps it. We're very worried about Marek's disease, but since there isn't much we could do about that we decided to try treating her for every other possibility first. She is still standing on her own just fine and doesn't seem to have any leg paralysis, but she barely moves at all and seems to have trouble with her balance when she does move. It's hard to say if she is just weak from not eating or is having more serious problems. :(

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