Sick Chicken--Cold waddles

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by deborah, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    129
    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    My husband just came in from locking up the hen house and he found one of our hens roosting on the floor. He noticed her waddles are cold, while the other chickens have warm waddles. He put her up on a roost and she stayed. He also noticed she has had diarhea and there is a drainage from her vent.

    She's been acting strange for the past couple weeks. She's been going in to roost early, often a couple of hours. If we checked on her, she would be asleep. In the morning, she's often been the last one out.

    She is a 3-year old Barred Rock. We are worried she may be dead by morning. Any ideas and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Cocci pops into my mind. Is she sleepy throughout the day and wanting to sleep where ever she is? How's her poo look? Do a search on cocci and see if maybe that's not it. From what I've read, it mostly happens in younger chicks but it's happened to older ones as well. Hopefully that can be a start.......

    Good luck!
     
  3. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    129
    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    She made it though the night, but she seems very listless. When we opened the hen house this morning and everyone else was rushing out, she just stayed settled on the perch. My husband noticed her crop was still full this morning. He said it feels like grain, not fibers. I'm careful not to give them any fiberous kitchen scraps; though I do put them in the compost bin and chickens sometimes hang around there. He tried massaging her crop, but it didn't seem to have any effect. She is very docile and doesn't complain about being handled.

    We segregated her in a dog cage we have set up in the run. We put some anti-biotics in the water in there. She was drinking, at least yesterday.

    Isn't cocci very contagious? Our flock is not vaccinated. Hopefully it's not that.
     
  4. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
  5. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
  6. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    129
    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    Thank you for the links. We are thinking it's sour crop. We given her a few droppers of apple cider vinegar/water and yoghurt. We've massaged her crop downward every few hours. She seemed happy to eat the yoghurt. I don't think there is much change in the crop yet, but she seems to be feeling a little better. She's less listless than before. She's not out of the woods, but we are hopeful we will be able to bring her through this.
     
  7. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Glad to hear she's making a little progress.
     
  8. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    129
    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    It looks like it is NOT impacted crop.

    Things weren't improving. My husband kept massaging the crop yesterday. He said he could get it to go down, but an hour later, it would be back. It wasn't hard; it felt squishy.

    We read a lot about crop surgery and we did it this morning. What was in her crop was seeds and mush. NO fibers. (My husband performed the surgery; I just held her. It was amazing how relaxed she was once we started. He cut back some of the feathers, cleaned it alcohol, sliced through the skin and then the crop. Squeezed out what was in there and used his finger to clean it out. Washed it off with water. We put a single stitch using a regular needle and thread. We brought her inside and put anti-biotic cream on the wound. If she heals, she's going to have a big scar.)

    The food in her crop wasn't eatten recently. She has lost a lot of weight. Her breast bone is prominent. After some more searching on the internet, my husband thinks it my be impacted gizzard, but there doesn't seem to be a cure for that. Most sites suggest culling, but we don't want to do that.

    We given her oil soaked bread crumbs and yoghurt, as well as plenty of water. She seems to like the yoghurt. After the surgery, she had very loose poop, but it wasn't all liquid.

    I don't know what else to do. We are not going to cull her and we will do what we can to help her, but we've resigned ourselves to the fact that we will probably lose her.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  9. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    So sorry to hear that the problem wasn't solved....(but way to go on the surgery [​IMG] )sounds like you both have done your best and sometimes that's all you can do. Maybe just time, isolation, and special foods will help her body get strong enough to get better [​IMG]

    It makes you just wish that they could tell you what was wrong with 'em so that you could fix it.
     
  10. deborah

    deborah Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    129
    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    She died this morning around 11AM.

    It was very sad, especially because we weren't sure what the problem was. My mother-in-law suggested my husband cut her open to look at her gizzard. When he did that, he found that her egg canal was swollen and pressing against all her other organs. When he opened it up, it was lined with eggs. No shells. It looked, and smelled, the way cooked eggs look and smell when you make an omelet or scrambled eggs. It was rolled up in tight layers, like a jelly roll. He could actually unroll it. It was dry.

    This poor hen. She couldn't digest her food because the eggs were pushing up against her intestines. It was pushing on her lungs too. There were a couple of blood clots inside her too.

    A month or so ago, we had a couple of shelless eggs laid, but we didn't know who they were from. They eat organic laying ration. I put out some free choice oyster shell. The shelless eggs stopped and I didn't think any more of it. Now I'm thinking they must have been from this hen.

    We are trying to figure out how we would have known she had this problem. We don't know which of our hens are laying. We have 10 nest boxes (one of those 2 tiers of 5 metal things), and usually all the eggs are in 2 or 3. All but one chicken lays brown eggs, so we don't know which eggs belong to which hen.

    And if we had know, what could have we done?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by