RIR sick with dark dry comb, lethargic, pasty butt? Please help.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sherry57, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. sherry57

    sherry57 In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2009
    I'm new at chickens, have a small backyard flock of 7 RIRs, and this is my first sick chicken. [​IMG] [​IMG] She stares at me and moans. I almost just want to put it out of its misery immediately. Please help! Please tell me whether I should even try to recover her, or really just stop her suffering. Should I isolate her? I don't want the others to get sick. It would be easy to separate her since she's been just wandering slowly or sitting in the nest. If I isolate her, what do I do with her? Keep her in one of those big plastic bins in the house, or just let her roam free outside while the others stay inside?

    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    RIR, about 1.5 years, and right now she's very light. I don't know, about 2-3 lbs? Less than the small bag of onions at the grocery store.

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    My chickens are mostly not tame. They were raised on a farm with lots of other chickens and not much human contact. I can tell she's sick because she doesn't go away from me and hardly fights when I pick her up. She's weak, lethargic, and will fall asleep in my hands (!!!). Her comb has been drying up and turning blackish for the last two weeks, and her feathers are turning a black red. Not vibrant like the other ones. She's got white stuff on one side of her beak, but her nose doesn't look like its running. She'll watch the other chickens when I feed/water but doesn't touch it herself. Her butt is pasty from poop...diarrhea? She's STILL laying, though. When I look at her feathers/skin, I don't see mites, but her skin is puckered. I think she may be dehydrated. Since I've never touched a healthy crop before, I don't know what it's supposed to feel like, but hers is a soft round squishy bubble on the right side of her chest. She looks puffy, like she's keeping warm.

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    Comb and feathers turning dark for about two weeks. I only noticed she's stopped eating/drinking about three days ago. She got a pasty butt just today.

    4) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    5) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    No idea.
    6) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    7) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    What's stuck to her bottom is a grayish paste. I haven't seen her poop.

    8) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    Nothing! I thought she was moulting.

    9 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I can't afford to bring her to a vet. I'm willing to try to treat her myself.

    11) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    About 4-6 inches of pine shavings over DE over cement. Housing is 7x7 plywood with half-side a screen door and an always open chicken door. This sits inside a roofed shed-like area, with an attached run that used to be grass but now is just wet dirt. We've had really rainy cold weather lately and the dirt just won't dry up.

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