Pullet Refuses To Eat And Does Not Feel Well......

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TwoCrows, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    I have 4 Black Australorp pullets that started laying about 3 weeks ago. Yay!! I had some trouble with getting the girls to start eating the layer feed at first after the switch over from starter to layer feed, but after wetting the food down, I was able to get them get back to eating with gusto.

    However I have one girl that has decided that she will not eat this layer feed. She stopped eating it about 2 weeks ago. Now they have a run of 20'x30' which to pick around in and dust bathe, etc...All of them have eaten all the edible things in this area which is now mostly dirt. There are a few weeds that nobody seems interested in, so I will assume they must not taste very good.

    This particular girl has not eaten any of the things she used to eat, as I have tried everything to get her to eat. She used to love to eat her chicken feed, grass hay, the leaves of Alfalfa Hay, but now she refuses. She would rather pick around in the dirt and eat crud than eat anything that is good for her. There is nothing left to eat out in this area but dirt and more dirt.

    Now she will eat treats, such as veggies, fruits and of course scratch, but I have cut way down on the goodies trying to coax her into eating her layer feed. But she plain out refuses. So I have no idea what she is eating, however what ever it is, she now is not feeling well.

    All last week, she had black diarrhea. There was no blood present in it, just black. Yesterday evening she didn't come for a small treat I had brought out for them and was shaking her head and neck like something was stuck in her crop. So I held her upside down and massaged her crop area and a ton of clear liquid came out her beak. Her crop was huge and mushy.

    That seemed to help her out somewhat, but again this morning, the same scenerio with the crop. So again I was massaging it and more liquid came up. It doesn't have any smell or anything, just clear.

    So I decided to pull up all the remaining weeds in the area just incase these weeds are making her sick and I have been giving her a crop soothing mix of ginger and cinnamon powder and she does feel better.

    But what am I to do with her? I can not get her to eat anything that is good for her other than scratch or broccoli slaw, which is about all she will eat anymore. I don't want to put the others at risk of going off the feed by feeding too much other stuff. There is nothing wrong with the feed..it is not moldy or old.

    How do I get her to eat? Dont tell me she will eat it when she gets hungry enough, she hasn't eaten her food in 2+ weeks and has taken to eating plants that might be making her ill. What do I do!!! Please help before she gets really ill....Thanks, Leyla
     
  2. extraordinaryfowl

    extraordinaryfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you sure she isn't crop bound? This is when straw, grass, feathers, anything long gets twisted into a ball in the crop. It makes liquid catch in their crop and can lead to "sour crop". It doesn't stink at first but if her crop feels mushy that might be what it is. I get hens every so often with this, and one even died once when the grass didn't pass. Give her a warm drink of water and/or inject yogurt or oil or all three down her throat and massage her crop in a downward motion. If that is what it is, you should be able to feel a small ball in her crop.

    Otherwise, if you wetted the mash maybe even with some milk or whey that may encourage her to eat. Are you sure she isn't getting enough to eat between the other things your feeding her? Or maybe she has a cold or something that is just passing.

    Best of luck!
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Yes, I do believe that she does have a blockage in her crop. After I wrote this post, I took some olive oil and squirted a medicine dropper full down her throat. I have been watching to see if she is pooping and I don't think she is. So I am watching her.

    But I still believe that this crop issue is because she wont' eat right.

    How often do I need to give her the oil...again today, 2 times, 3 times a day??

    Thanks so much for your info!
     
  4. extraordinaryfowl

    extraordinaryfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I usually did it once or twice and it helped, but for the one hen I had who died I was doing it several times a day, I'd say 5+ and it still didn't help, so I would say the more the better, just make sure you don't give her too much and drown her, though you shouldn't worry about that. Yogurt is said that once it gets in there it helps break it up too. Also, when their crop is compacted their comb and wattles usually turn pale. I read one account of someone turning them upside down and pushing the wad out, and someone who used to operate on them. Though I prefer the simpler less messy options.
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Should I separate her and not allow her to eat? She just came out of the nest box after laying an egg and I was tempted to lock her in the coop so she wouldn't graze around and impact her crop more. For now she is still wandering around.

    I am going to give her another dose before bed so it has time to soak.

    Thank you so much for your help. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  6. extraordinaryfowl

    extraordinaryfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know if I would take her food away, but I would definitely confine her so that she cannot eat any more grass, straw, long feathers, etc.. And she should definitely have water. Make sure you massage her crop for a good while each time. Hope she gets better! MW
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Thanks so much MW...you have really helped me and her out! [​IMG]
     
  8. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    Might be a good idea to bring her into the house and keep her there for a while. That way it is MUCH easier to monitor her poop, etc.
     

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