Showgirl sick, bobbing head, one eye closed, little wobbly

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jesusfreak, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Jesusfreak

    Jesusfreak New Egg

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    Feb 11, 2013
    She and her sister have been broody for the past week. On Friday, she came out and then started acting weird and laid tucked up under the stairs to the coop in the run. When I would approach her and pick her up, wherever I set her down, she just stayed there. She was obviously not feeling well, so I pulled her out right away and brought her into the house in a cat carrier with a towel.

    She is just over a year old, her poop looks normal. I have been spoon feeding her the layer crumbles mixed with water to make a mash, as well as water. Their normal diet is the layer crumbles, fruits/veggies, and dried mealworms I throw into the run every night. They have grit and oyster shells available.

    After doing as much online research as I could (without really figuring out what is wrong with her), I started mixing in some cat food with the mash, as well as added a little honey and ACV to the water I'm spoon feeding her. I have been able to get her to eat off the spoon, but today, while I am at work, my husband texted that he hasn't been able to get her to eat or drink since I left.

    The head bobbing thing seems to be uncontrollable. She tries to tuck her head back into her feathers to rest, and her head kind of bobs back over to the front. She will finally kind of rest it on the bottom of the carrier.

    I have examined her and can't find anything wrong with her physically. Since she isn't eating much, her crop feels empty.

    I'm not interested in taking her to the vet, but would like to be able to try to treat her at home before having to cull her.

    Unfortunately, I named my 3 showgirls after actual showgirls, and this one is named after my grandmother, who really was a showgirl. Sigh...
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It's hard to say what is wrong. I just lost a hen today with a similar story. Just examine everything you can--you already noted her crop, but check her vent, check all over and under the vent for lice and mites, look at her eyes for bubbles or swelling, check her breath, and look at her poo for color or diarrhea. Could she have been exposed to a new strain of coccidiosis from a new chicken or is she a recent aquisition? It is tempting to start an antibiotic when you can't figure out the problem. Has she been wormed? The ACV is good, and you might give her some plain yogurt every day.
     
  3. Jesusfreak

    Jesusfreak New Egg

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    Feb 11, 2013
    We did add two new Plymouth Rocks to the existing girls a week before she got sick. However, the other showgirl and the two anacanas are not showing any signs of sickness or distress.

    I did give her some yogurt yesterday mixed into the mash -I'll try that again. I guess I'll research coccidiosis now. I just didn't see the head bobbing tied to that.

    I just started having chickens last year and this is my first sick hen. It is so frustrating to not be able to know exactly what is wrong, even after researching her symptoms. Also hard when I have to go to work and leave her during the day, wondering if she'll be alive when I get home. She doesn't seem to be able to eat and drink on her own because of the head bobbing - seems like she can't control the movement.
     

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