Sick Chicken... Don't Know What to Do

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SunshineChick14, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. SunshineChick14

    SunshineChick14 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2015
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    We have 17 hens, 7 are Columbia Rocks and 10 are Red Rock Cross. One of the RRC hens has been acting lethargic for over a week now. I thought she might be egg-bound, and I could feel a lump in her abdomen, but I couldn't see anything. I separated her and gave her part of a TUMS tablet dissolved in water, because I read that calcium should help her pass the egg. I haven't seen her lay an egg in about a week though. Her vent is dirty, covered in poop, and she strains often but only gas comes out. I have been giving her Epsom salts dissolved in water as a laxative, to help her poo, but haven't seen any signs that it's working.

    She will drink water from a syringe/dropper and from the waterer, but she doesn't want to eat any crumble. I've been giving her watery mash, but she only eats a little of that. I have also been giving her electrolyte water each morning, when she doesn't get enough to eat.

    I've researched a lot, but I haven't been able to figure out what's wrong with her and what I should do to help her.

    And today, I've noticed that her comb is looking a little purple at the ends... Not sure if that is part of what's wrong with her, or if it's something totally different...

    We have had a lot of hens, and two roosters, die from various things (started with 25, down to 17 now). This is our first time having chickens, and we're still learning, so any and every piece of advice would be appreciated!

    Thanks!

    -Sunshine
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. How old are your chickens? Have they been wormed lately? Since you have lost quite a few chickens, you could be dealing with a disease such as coccidiosis or something else. Can you describe any of the symptoms you were seeing with your chickens you lost? I would stop the Epsom salts. She could have a blockage somewhere in her digestive system, but I would recommend treating them with Cord (amprollium) or Sulfadimethoxine or Sulmet for possible coccidiosis. Then I would give them a few days of vitamins and probiotics. Afterward, I would deform them with Valbazen or Safeguard liquid goat wormer. If you have another near death, I would contact your state vet or nearest vet school about getting a necropsy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  3. SunshineChick14

    SunshineChick14 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2015
    British Columbia, Canada
    Thanks for the quick reply! Our chickens are about 5-6 months old. We got them as chicks end of June 2014, and they were immunized for cocci and Merk's disease. We haven't dewormed them. All the other chickens are looking fine, it's just this one that is sick.

    The previous chickens died mostly from picking injuries, and one of our dogs killed 4 when the chickens were younger. (The dog is kept in an enclosure with our other dog, and is tied up as well. He shouldn't be able to get to the chickens anymore, as they are in a strong coop now.)

    There was one chicken that died just before this one started looking sick. She was also lethargic, and I separated her as well. I didn't give her any Epsom salts or electrolytes, because I didn't know about that at the time. She was looking better one day, but then the next day she died.

    This hen is still holding on, but it's hard to say whether or not she is getting better. I will stop giving her Epsom salts now.

    I had considered necropsy, but we live in a small town in British Columbia, Canada, and I don't know if the vet here would do that. But if we still can't figure out why they're dying, then looking into that would be a good idea.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  4. SunshineChick14

    SunshineChick14 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2015
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    So, just thought I'd update. My sick chicken doesn't look any worse, but not much better either. I have been putting her in a cage at night, so that the other chickens don't peck her while she's sleeping. Her vent is still quite dirty, with white-ish green-ish pasty poop, and she stinks. I haven't seen her lay an egg for a while. She's the only one like this.

    I'm not sure what's wrong with her, and I don't know what to do for her... She has been like this for close to three weeks now. Any advice would be appreciated!
     
  5. Rhetts

    Rhetts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you decide to de-worm your flock?

    I am having a hen with some similar symptoms same age too so I am interested in what happens with yours.

    Best of luck!
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    If you have not dewormed her I'd highly suggest doing so. If she's packed with worms she's not going to be able to get better on her own. Safeguard or Valbazen as Eggcessive mentioned will do the job. Make sure to repeat the dose in 10 days. Then you can at least have ruled out that problem. There are a lot of things this could be but chickens are very hard to diagnose at the best of times so all we can do most of the time is start by covering our bases and making sure that we've ruled out the most common possibilities first then go on from there.
     
  7. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you gotten a chance to worm your flock yet? It's possible she's overburdened at the moment.

    I would recommend isolating her completely. Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought I read your putting her in a crate at night, which I took to mean to let her out during the day. If you've already isolated her, great!

    If she stinks, it's possible she's got a sour or impacted crop. Does it feel large and squishy or hard and solid? Does she feel like she's lost weight (@casportpony would recommend getting a kitchen scale and weighing her daily to make sure she isn't losing too much weight)? If you're giving ACV in her water (which can cause issues being so acidic sitting in a crop), I'd hold off until we get to the bottom of this.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments <~~ Check this for different types of crop issues to see if something matches up.

    I'd treat her for sour crop (if that's what it is) THEN give wormer dosage. You've got to be able to get the wormer in her, though. :/

    Please let us know of any other symptoms that pop up. :) I hope your mama starts feeling better soon.

    MrsB
     
  8. SunshineChick14

    SunshineChick14 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2015
    British Columbia, Canada
    I have Diatomaceous Earth that I've been sprinkling on their feed every day. Hazel (the sick chicken) gets her own dish of mash with DT earth as well. I've just started this yesterday. I'm not sure when I'll see any results. And if the DT earth doesn't work then I will have to find a better dewormer.
     
  9. SunshineChick14

    SunshineChick14 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2015
    British Columbia, Canada
    I am sprinkling DT earth on the chickens' feed everyday, so I think that should help with deworming.

    Yes, I have been letting her out during the day so she can get some exercise. I put her back in the cage whenever she needs her quiet time.

    I don't think she's got impacted or sour crop. She doesn't eat a lot, so the crop isn't very large or hard. It doesn't feel very squishy either. She has lost weight though. Whenever I pick her up I can feel her breastbone a lot more than the other chickens, and she is very light as well.
    I have been giving them ACV in their water everyday, so I will just do it a couple times a week now.

    Thanks! I hope she gets better too :)
     
  10. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    DE will not deworm your birds. The products previously mentioned will take care of most worms chickens gets.
     
    1 person likes this.

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