Pullet Quit Eating

brahmorp

In the Brooder
Dec 22, 2020
17
10
13
Hello all. You may recall seeing my posts about respiratory illness the last month and a half. I'll mention that after tylosin for all and SMZs on one of the hens, the sneezing is still present, and some have snot. At this point I don't know what to do for them, I'm considering switching substrates to see if it makes a difference, and if not, just saving up money until I can afford a culture to really pinpoint the issue. But, that's not what this post is about.

Essentially, one of my pullets seems to have quit eating. I noticed it when her crop was empty every night, and on the occasion I'd pick her up. It confused me at first because I see her pecking around with the others when I throw treats out, and she loves to stand in the feed bucket and appeared to be eating. However, upon closer inspection, it seems she plays with the food more than anything and rarely actually consumes any treats. I don't know if it's related, but she is one of the "sneezier" birds as well. Everyone else (including other sick ones) usually have full crops at night.

I brought her inside at dusk to see if she was getting bullied and not eating, but she stood in the crate for 3 hours and didn't touch the pellets or scrambled egg I offered. During that time though, she did produce 3 big normal poops....so...I guess she is eating SOMETHING outside? I'm not sure.

It seems unlikely she's being bullied. She is smaller than the others but she's also younger than some, and quite frankly has been one of the meaner chickens in the past (to her flock mates).

Advice?! I don't want her to starve or get too thin, but I also don't know exactly why she isn't eating. Should I start preventative force-feeding? It's been almost a week since I first noticed, but I don't know when it actually began. Thanks everyone!
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
58,142
49,443
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southern Ohio
Be sure to check crops in early morning before they eat or drink, to make sure the crops are empty. You might try some plain Greek yogurt or probiotics to get her gut bacteria back to normal. A small amount of cooked white rice and buttermilk ia alao sometimes used for that. Most sick birds I have ever had will eat soft scrambled egg bits, canned tuna or salmon, and canned cat food. Those in small amounts can help to put on some weight. And B complex vitamin tablets 1/4 tablet daily can also help appetite.
 

brahmorp

In the Brooder
Dec 22, 2020
17
10
13
Thanks for your reply. Are you insinuating that perhaps her crop just feels different than the other hens, and it is actually full?

I currently have them on probiotics. I usually throw out some scrambled eggs as a treat and she still shows little interest, maybe I can try fish or cat food. I also didn't know about B vitamins so I will see what I can find in that regard.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
58,142
49,443
1,242
southern Ohio
No, I was suggesting to check her crop in the early morning to make sure that it is emptying overnight. If a crop is full or partly full, there could be a crop disorder, such as sour or impacted crop. When one has those, they may not want to eat.
 

brahmorp

In the Brooder
Dec 22, 2020
17
10
13
Ah, I understand. I will feel tomorrow morning, but at night it is completely flat so it doesn't appear there's anything to empty during the night.
 

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