Saving Frida

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HollyWoozle, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. HollyWoozle

    HollyWoozle Songster

    142
    238
    126
    Jun 12, 2018
    United Kingdom
    One of my ex-battery hens has been unwell for more than a week now and I think her days are numbered, but I would like to save her if I can.

    She was looking a little under the weather last week so I separated her for a bit of TLC. I noticed then that she was riddled with lice and mites, including lots of lice eggs around her back end. I feel awful about it - I have been treating the coop and the chickens for parasites but clearly failed. I immediately treated her with a mite powder (not DE) and kept her separate with good food etc. She has not seemed keen to drink at all lately but was eating, but very hunched up with a messy back-end.

    I didn’t feel that the powder was very effective so I sprayed her with a permethrin solution (for birds) and also did the rest of the flock. I dismantled the bits of the coop that I can, burned the perches and some other old wood parts, sprayed everything with new mite killer and powdered the floors. The hen, Frida, seemed to perk up a bit over the next day or two so I let her in with the others - they didn’t seem to bother her and she seems to eat better with her friends. One other hen also showing similar symptoms at this point.

    Essentially I assumed the problems stemmed from the infestation which is why I haven’t done more sooner. Frida and the other hen have stayed pretty much the same for several days now, not getting better or worse. They are fussy about food but yesterday they ate a lot of raw liver with some avian probiotics and some scrambled egg. Frida has been sleeping on the floor instead of the perch with her friends. The two hens are puffed up and hunched, slow to move, slow to eat and spend most of their time stood with their eyes shut.

    This morning my mum saw our rooster mount Frida (which I have actually never seen him do I don’t think) so I immediately separated both the poorly girls again this morning. Frida’s back end was really gross and she would only eat one tiny piece of liver, although she did pick at some layers pellets. The other hen, whilst still hunched and slow, is eating and does seem alert with a bright comb.

    This afternoon I decided to take more drastic action, wondering if Frida may actually be egg bound. She has soaked in a warm bath and I can feel no egg stuck. There are still lice eggs around her vent and a sort of scabby patch, neither of which will come away (I cut away some of the feather with eggs on). She is currently here in the house in a towel and looking pretty ropey, although she has eaten half a strawberry and I forced her to have a few drops of water and some ‘poultry drops’ I bought. She opens her eyes every five mins or so and eat a bit of strawberry and goes back to sleep... I know that’s probably not the best thing to feed her but she is not interested in much else.

    Is there anything else I can do to help her? I’m sorry for the length. Pics attached showing the lice eggs and scabbed backside.

    Oh, I should also note that there are STILL mites on her face sometimes. She has been sprayed twice and I can’t find them anywhere else on her body. I have put a bit of Vaseline on her face to stop them crawling on her eyes which was upsetting her and I have ordered some ivermectin.

    6F3B3F7D-2414-44FB-B4D5-8295FD7D960C.jpeg 7670FCF9-F207-44CD-8BFA-B3AB39AAE5F4.jpeg 11F32B10-571B-4CA8-9ACA-947BC2456F72.jpeg
     
  2. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

    3,659
    6,054
    431
    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    She may have an underlying reproductive problem, her stance in the one picture looks very wide legged, is that how she stands and walks now? Does her abdomen feel bloated? Reproductive problems are not uncommon, especially in hatchery birds bred for prolific laying, matter can build in their abdomens causing the wide stance or waddling when they walk, and can make it harder for them to push droppings out which can result in dirty rears. And unfortunately, lice and mites will often find a bird that is weakened by something else.
     
    micstrachan, MomJones and HollyWoozle like this.
  3. HollyWoozle

    HollyWoozle Songster

    142
    238
    126
    Jun 12, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Thanks for your reply. I did wonder if she may have an underlying issue, I just figured originally it was because of the parasites and not the other way around. :( Especially since Runa showed the same symptoms.

    Her abdomen feels fairly normal to me but I have to say I haven’t felt that many so I will feel another chicken later to compare. She has done a few droppings, mostly just water since being inside. I know when she was in our hospital for a few days she didn’t lay an egg and I haven’t seen her in a nesting box in a long time.

    She does always have this stance now but seemed normal prior to this period of illness (ie. it came on quite quickly if that makes any difference).
     
    micstrachan likes this.
  4. MomJones

    MomJones Songster

    173
    271
    132
    Feb 22, 2019
    South Carolina
    I'd read that also, that lice/mites are often not the cause but are secondary to the main problem, a weakened immune system or body.
     
    micstrachan and HollyWoozle like this.
  5. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

    3,659
    6,054
    431
    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    They are incredibly good at hiding illness, often until it's very advanced. Certainly the mites can really weaken them and leave them open to other issues because of their weakened state, so taking care of that is a good idea regardless. How long have you had them? Do you have any idea of their ages? Sometimes two can have problems and it's simply coincidence, or it could be related. Often it's a process of elimination trying to figure out what is going on. If they are fairly new to you and your property then coccidiosis could be a consideration.
     
    micstrachan and HollyWoozle like this.
  6. HollyWoozle

    HollyWoozle Songster

    142
    238
    126
    Jun 12, 2018
    United Kingdom
    I have had them for just over a year and they were 18 months old when they arrived. We have 19 chickens altogether and 5 are rescue hens from the same farm.

    One of the others, Helga, looked a bit under the weather a few weeks ago but made a full recovery just after a bit of rest (don’t know what was wrong with her).
     
    micstrachan likes this.
  7. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

    3,659
    6,054
    431
    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    Since they have been there that long, then coccidiosis would be much less of a risk. It can happen to a bird with a weakened immune system, but usually older birds do have some resistance. Birds over the age of two unfortunately tend to develop reproductive problems rather commonly.
     
    micstrachan likes this.
  8. HollyWoozle

    HollyWoozle Songster

    142
    238
    126
    Jun 12, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Thanks @coach723. I guess I have to face up to that.
     
  9. HollyWoozle

    HollyWoozle Songster

    142
    238
    126
    Jun 12, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Is there anything one can do to help prevent problems with their reproductive system?
     
  10. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

    3,659
    6,054
    431
    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    There really is not. It's unfortunate that the genetics of modern hens has been selected for lots of eggs, rather than long life. If you want to lessen the odds then buying heritage breed birds, that are bred for a standard and for health can reduce the odds, but any hen can develop reproductive problems. It can be infection, which often will not respond to antibiotics, internal laying for which a suprelorin implant can stop them laying, but it needs to be identified early and it's usually expensive and has to be redone every 4 - 8 months, or many times it's cancer and there really isn't a treatment. It's a frustrating thing since there is so little that can be done for them.
    http://www.poultrydvm.com/drugs/deslorelin
    This is a very informative video posted by another member, there are graphic necropsy photo's at the beginning, then just information.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...e-video-graphic-photos.1201052/#post-19020612
     
    MomJones and Shadrach like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: