Sick Chicken ..coccidosis?? or just old?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by luckydawn, May 21, 2016.

  1. luckydawn

    luckydawn Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2015
    Hudson Valley NY
    I am new to chickens but generally good with animals and I have a very sick hen, or she is old and dying. I first noticed it after a skunk got the other brown hen from the henhouse. She was not moving and puffed with her head tucked. She was not eating, or she was deferring to the other hens with food. She was the favorite of the rooster so is a bit beat up all the time.
    So she sat quietly and alone for a few days and I thought maybe she was sad. It didn't get better and she started looking worse. 5 days ago I saw blackish liquid coming from her beak. I took her inside, bathed her, and started to watch. I gave yogurt which she ate a little, grower crumble, oats, fruit. she only pecked a little at the yogurt, I don't think she has eaten in a week. It was sunny and warm yesterday and I let her go out. She found a shady spot and sat.
    Her poop is gray/green and white and looks reqular but small there is yellow around the area on the shavings. I went to tractor supply and got electrolytes and tetracycline but don't know how to get her to drink it. 2 ml in a dropper doesn't make any difference. I got here and 5 others as a rescue. I was told they were 2 but I'm thinking they could be much older...I have no idea how to tell a chickens age...and it occurs to me that she could just be old. Any help is appreciated. She's not going to finish the weekend without some quick help.
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Whether your hen is two years old or 8 yrs old, she definitely sounds very sick. When I read about "blackish liquid coming from her beak" it makes me wonder if she has an impacted crop or sour crop. Here's an old thread about the topic: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/702383/impacted-crop-symptoms

    Have you felt her crop during this time? Does it feel hard/tight? If so, maybe try the olive oil/massaging it...

    But honestly, if she hasn't eaten in a week, I don't know that I'd go too far toward treating her, as the stress of it all might be worse than just letting her pass. Of course, for future reference, if a chicken hasn't eaten in days and you suspect it's on it's way out, you might consider putting the bird down yourself if you're able to. I hate the thought of an animal starving to death or suffering...
     
  3. luckydawn

    luckydawn Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2015
    Hudson Valley NY
    thanks for your response. I am being kind to her and avoiding stress. I would have to feel she was in pain to put her down. she just sits quietly. The other hens ignore her but when she is outside one of them will always stay close to her. I'm sure if I spoke chicken they could tell me what's going on. I just watch and guess.
     
  4. luckydawn

    luckydawn Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2015
    Hudson Valley NY
    the crop is empty. My best guess fro the black liquid (doesn't smell) was sour crop. Not that, not impacted. Nothing feels out of place. A bacterial attack is my best guess. ..or she is old. How do you know how old a hen is?
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    You really can't tell how old they are. Supposedly the vent will look rather dried up if they're no longer laying, compared to a fully, pinker/healthier vent of a young hen. But while one hen may stop laying and "dry up" at 4 yrs, another may "dry up" at 8 yrs. Or a sick bird that's even younger and has stopped laying may look "dried up" back there. So really it's more of an indicator of laying or not than true age.

    Nutrition/stress will play a big part too. I took in a hen three years ago - the people were moving away, and she was the last bird they had left...the rest had been picked off by predators. The lady told me the hen was three years old and was "spent" - didn't lay eggs any more. Within a few months of being here, with good food and low stress, that hen began laying eggs again, and lays eggs for us now, three years later (only a few per week, but she's no spring chicken). So you just never know with chickens...
     
  6. luckydawn

    luckydawn Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2015
    Hudson Valley NY
    thanks everyone for the help. The brown hen is returned to the flock-which is amazing. I gave her some antibiotics and electorlytes and let her get sunshine. At the beginning of her recovery the other hens were mean to her we protected her. Bringing her in at night and letting her in the yard during the day. after about a week she was strong enough to sleep in the hen house but couldn't get to the top roost. Now she is fully back wiith the others but no eggs yet.
     

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