sick chicken? please advise

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickachicka, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. chickachicka

    chickachicka Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Hi,
    I noticed my 4 girls aren't eating as much layer pellets these last 2 weeks. I usually have to fill up the feeder every 3 days but I still haven't had too. They love thier table scraps of lettuce, apple peels, etc. I let them free range for about 45 minutes every few days. I give them scratch every other day. They just started laying in late December. So they are young. I noticed a few runny poops. None any more except from one hen, the black star. It was liquid & very dark in color & it stunk. Haven't seen her make any more though. She hasn't laid any eggs in awhile. She is sluggish, just stands around all puffed up. I have seen her drink & she is interested when I bring out scraps. I felt her crop & it was a bit hard but still mallable. She would not let me hold her like usual though. She is usually very active & eats EVERYTHING. The other hens are acting & pooping fine aside from not chowing down on the pellet layer feed.

    Any ideas what is going on with my black star or why the sudden lack of interest in feed for my other girls??

    Thanks for your time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  2. chickachicka

    chickachicka Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2009
    I am new to chicken keeping & have never wormed or dealt with sick chickens before. They have been doing well until this.

    1) What type of bird , age and weight?
    Black star, 6 months old

    2) What is the behavior, exactly? sluggish not as active as usual. Sits in one spot puffed up & moves around only a bit. not laying for a week now. interested in eating but not layer pellets
    doesn't let me hold her like she used to. Her crop feels a bit hard but still mallable.
    She doesn't seem too bad but I don't want her to get worse......

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    about 5 days

    4) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma?
    NO

    5) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation?
    nothing it has been warmer out here in NY...Long Island.....30-40 degrees then 50 yesterday

    6) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all?
    I have seen her drink but not today. She eats the scraps I give them...lettuce, peelings from cuccumbers, bread, & pasta.

    7) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    It was runny & very dark brownish green. I haven't seen her poop today at all.

    8) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    Tried giveing her bread with olive oil on it but she wasn't interested in it. Started putting RAW ACV in the water today.

    9 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    Don't really have access to a vet & I would like to help her out as best as I can.

    10) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

    11) Describe the housing/bedding in use.
    pine shavings deep litter method that I started in November in the almost 4 by 4 wooden coop. they have a 4 by 18 ft run with sand & gravel in it, along with some dirt spot they dug.
     
  3. untamed_spirit

    untamed_spirit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2010
    Witley, UK
    When our chickens started going off the layers pellets, we let it soak over night so it turned to mush, then fed it like that. They absolutely gobbled it up!!
     
  4. chickachicka

    chickachicka Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2009
    thanks I will try that for my girls. I never knew they would get sick of eating the pellets. Picky critters!
     
  5. untamed_spirit

    untamed_spirit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2010
    Witley, UK
    You're welcome [​IMG] Hope your sick girly gets better soon!
     
  6. chickachicka

    chickachicka Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Thanks!! [​IMG]

    I soaked the pellets for an hour & fed it to them & they LOVE it! Sheesh, who knew?! Now I feel better that they are eating again. Even our black star is eating it. [​IMG] Maybe this will help her a bit.
     
  7. untamed_spirit

    untamed_spirit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    lol, you're very welcome! I'm so glad they are all eating again now. I spose if I had to eat the same meal day in day out, I would get pretty bored of it to!!
     
  8. GreenGoddess

    GreenGoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    St Pauls, NC
    Glad to hear your babies are eating again.. Just from my own experience, I was feeding mine start and grow crumbles.. When I switched them to layer pellets, I was still mixing in the crumbles for a while because the older girls was just then at POL but still hadn't been laying yet so I kept the mix pretty high with grower with just a bit of pellets.. When I switched completely to layer, they got very picky and I noticed a lot was being wasted.. For some reason, they just didn't want it.. They ate enough to survive but I noticed they were also losing weight and with winter getting ready to hit, I couldn't have that.. I switched to layer crumbles and problem solved.. The funny thing is, their feeder broke from being weathered so i was just throwing a bunch on the ground everyday.. If the food had been in a feeder, I wouldn't have noticed it as fast as I did with it all sitting on the ground...

    Goddess [​IMG]
     
  9. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2009
    Colorado
    Hi, sorry you're having trouble but here are some thoughts.

    Dark, runny, smelly poops are not unusual - that's cecal matter. There's a poop page that tells you what's normal. I think it's in the learning section.

    It's unusual for chickens to "grow tired" of the same food unless they are incredibly spoiled and given more scraps or scratch than food. Their layer feed is a complete ration and supplements are great but they don't need their crops filled with tasty, yet nutritionally deficient, food. Scratch and treats are just that. Just as we would not fill a person up on ice cream and cookies, then serve a nutritious meal, so must we do with the chickens. I know how tempting it is to see that spark in their beady little eyes when we bring on the good stuff. Chickens, even sick ones, will eat their pellets softened with water. They might be eating less because they're getting too many treats or because you are having a spell of warmer weather, they don't need as much.

    Check the feed to make sure that it's not getting moldy in the warmer temperatures. In a humid environment like Long Island, things mold quickly.

    What is of greater concern is the behavior of your little Black Star. If she's hunched up looking distressed, she most likely is. If she was reliably laying and is now not laying, you might have reason to worry. You say that she's a little better and eating which is a good sign but there are some checks you can do. First, look for mites or parasites. Shine a flashlight on her vent area and look for black specks like grains of sand. Runny poops in general aren't unusual, but can signal an early cocci infection. Were they on medicated feed? A vet, even one who doesn't treat chickens, can often do a fecal study for you to check for parasites; worms or protozoa. Then you can go from there for treatment.

    Check your Star's crop in the morning. It should be empty. If it is still somewhat full and squishy, she's not emptying it. She may have gotten into some tough weeds while freeranging or have a slow crop. Then you can treat her for an impacted crop. If she's not drinking, action must be taken. I would try to isolate her in a warm environment and dribble some water along her bill to get her to drink. You can get chicken electrolytes or Poly-Vit-Sol at the baby section in the grocery store (without iron) for vitamins. Chickens must stay hydrated. It was a good idea for the olive oil and bread but if she's off her food, extra protein is needed. The best way is by scrambling an egg and feeding it to her. I would limit her intake of other food just in case. If her appetite's poor, make sure what she eats is good.

    Good luck with her. I hope I've been of some help.
    Mary
     
  10. chickachicka

    chickachicka Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2009
    yes, I read all about the cecal poops. Funny how you can be happy to look at different kinds of poop!

    I wouldn't say my girls are too spoiled. [​IMG] I read alot about giving them "treats" so as not to take away from their main food. I actually slowed down during the days I noticed they weren't eating the pellets. When it was real cold they ate alot. It did warm up so I thought that was it. I did check the feed & freshened it up.
    They were never on medicated feed. I have seen no signs of bloody poop. Or even any more runny poop. I have been keeping an eye on that.
    I will be checking tomorrow for the mites & such. Thanks. I haven't thought of that. This morning I did check her crop. It was smaller than yesterday but it wasn't empty like the other hens....I tried to massage it but she wasn't having it! At least she is still fiesty but I want to massage it more cause I read that helps alot as long it is not too hard.

    Thanks so much. [​IMG] I will check her out more tomorrow.
     

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