Sick Chicken, don't know what to do :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jamie78, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. jamie78

    jamie78 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2011
    My year and a half old Leghorn hen is sick. I've had her inside for the last 5 days. She was standing in the yard, tail drooped, back hunched, all poofy. Her comb was dark so I started some home remedies. I bathed her in water with epsom salts and gave her water to drink with a very small amount of the salts in that. Her comb has cleared up, but she is still lethargic.
    She is very thin, although she has always been scrawny, it seems to be worse than normal. She will eat a few bites of food a few times a day, but that doesn't seem to be nearly enough to sustain her. I don't want her to starve to death. She was drinking well before, but hasn't been drinking well the last 2 days.
    Yesterday she passed some odd looking yellow thing. I threw it away, I do not have a picture and I couldn't find what it might be by looking online. She seemed to perk up slightly after that, but is back to doing pretty poorly again.
    Does anyone know what is wrong with her? Is there another remedy I can try? If she doesn't start getting better, at what point do I make the decision that she is not going to improve and 'give up'? Another thing, she hasn't laid an egg in a few months.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    It might be good to consider worming her. Weight loss is a sign of worms, but of course can be from other things too.

    Some vets will do a fecal test for worms for a small fee, but false negatives are possible (they can also test for coccidiosis). Some just give the medication (eggs must be thrown away since wormers aren't approved for laying hens and only Wazine is approved for poultry). Some give other wormers off-label and BYC has many threads on this...ask if help needed or search.

    Another thing to check is her crop. Does her crop feel full and squishy, or like a water balloon? Is it empty (which would be the best scenario) in the morning?

    Also I'd definitely dust for mites/lice and spray the coop with poultry dust/permethrin spray, repeating in 7 days just to be sure because there are mites that can hide in the coop and attack at night only. You would not know they are there as they hide in the cracks unless you check at night. Ideally you also toss the shavings too.

    I hope she is feeling better soon and you can get to the root of the problem.

    (One other thing- wormers are VERY hard on hens, and if she is sick with something that is not worms, worming medications can actually kill her if she is too frail. But worms and mites can kill chickens.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  3. jamie78

    jamie78 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2011
    Thank you. I will look into that. Her crop seems to be empty. We took her outside and she walked around, slowly, but she walked. She even ate any worms and other goodies we could find for her. At one point she RAN a few steps to get to where I was trying to unearth some treats. Tomorrow I will take her out, fence her separately and see how she does. Hoping for improvement.
     

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