sick chicken, please advise

Merlin1650

In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 26, 2012
23
0
22
We have 6 RIR laying hens in our backyard. We've had them about 8 months and they are good egg layers, energetic and always ready to eat. One of them this morning is not eating and just standing in one place not moving with her mouth open slightly. the other ones are ignoring her and going about business as usual. MY children handle these chickens often picking them up etc. Is there any danger to our children and what do you think is wrong with the sick hen?

Thanks!
 

scratch'n'peck

Crowing
12 Years
Oct 31, 2008
5,925
676
401
West Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
It is very, very, very unlikely that your children are at any risk from her malady. Try to check her over. Listen to her breathing, feel her belly and check her vent. She may be egg bound (egg stuck in vent). Chickens sometimes do open mouth breathing if they are in pain. You might want to take her into the garage and put her in a big box or dog kennel with food and water to keep an eye on her check her symptoms and try to figure out what is bothering her.
 

Merlin1650

In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 26, 2012
23
0
22
Her breathing is about 1 respiration every 2 seconds or 30 a minute. She just won't move, she will let you hold her normally but we have to catch her and then she is usually very alive and ready to get loose when you let her go. Now, she doesn't struggle at all. Sometimes when we were holding her her eyelids were shutting about halfway. I watched a video about being egg bound and we gave her a little olive oil and she ate it. We then put some around her vent area. She doesn't seem agitated at all just completely lethargic. Is she going to chicken heaven you think? I did put some fence post in the ground yesterday and used quikcrete to hold the fence post in the ground. Maybe she got into some of that before it dried all the way?
 

casportpony

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She needs to be where it's warm, like your house, with access to a heat source, food and water. Can you take her to a vet?
 

Merlin1650

In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 26, 2012
23
0
22
Please don't take this the wrong way. We care about her and want to help if we can but being around livestock and farms alot (only chickens for a short time) we're not ready to go spend a bunch of money on a $10 chicken. Again, if we can help her we will but we also believe in nature running it's course, if it's her time then so be it. If she dies it will be a good life lesson for our young children.

It's 80 degrees out right now so she is plenty warm I'm sure. She is right next to her fresh water source where she is now.
 

casportpony

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This is a copy and paste from another post of mine. I'm not suggesting that you do anything but get your hen warm. Once warm and stable, you might want to proceed.
When mine get sick, this is what I do:

  • *Thorough* physical exam which includes inserting a gloved, lubed finger into the cloaca to check for an egg, check for cuts, bruising lumps, smells, etc.
  • Dust for mites/lice with poultry dust even if I cannot see any. DE does not work.
  • Weigh on digital kitchen scale (see avatar), record weight and weigh daily. any weight loss is bad.
  • Place bird in a warm, quiet place on towel with food and water that it can't drown in.
  • De-worm with Safeguard or Panacur, liquid or paste (fenbendazole 10%) 50mg/kg by mouth and repeat in 10 days. Warning - Safeguard/Panacur should not be used during a molt.
  • Once warm, if not drinking and crop is empty, hydrate with warmed Pedialyte or lactated ringers with a feeding tube - 30ml/kg every 6-8 hours.
  • If not eating after 24 hours and crop is empty, tube feed baby bird food mixed with Pedialyte
  • Inspect poop.
  • If I suspect a stuck egg, treat for egg binding.
  • If I suspect a bacterial infection, treat with antibiotics.
  • If I suspect a fungal infection, treat with Nystatin.
  • If I suspect coccidiosis, treat with Corid (amprolium).
  • If I suspect canker or histomoniaisis (blackhead), treat with Metronidazole.

From: http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/avmed/cam/07_emergency_and_critical_care.pdf
Supportive Care
SICK-BIRD ENCLOSURES
Sick birds are often hypothermic and should be placed
in heated (brooder-type) enclosures



b (Fig 7.7) in a quiet
environment (see Chapter 1, Clinical Practice). A temperature
of 85° F (29° C) with 70% humidity is desirable
for most sick birds. If brooders are not equipped with a
humidity source, placing a small dish of water in the
enclosure will often supply adequate humidity. A moist
towel that is heated and placed on the bottom of a cage
or incubator rapidly humidifies the environment, as indicated
by the fogging of the acrylic cage front.

FLUID THERAPY
Oral Administration
Oral administration is the ideal method of giving fluids.
This method is more commonly used in mildly dehydrated
birds or in conjunction with subcutaneous (SC)
or intravenous (IV) therapy. Oral rehydration (30 ml/kg
PO q 6-8 h) also may be used in larger birds (eg, waterfowl)
that are difficult to restrain for parenteral fluid
therapy.

ORAL NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
Below are listed some of the oral nutritional supplements

that can be gavage-fed to debilitated birds. Various
hand-feeding formulas are on the market and, as a
whole, are far superior to the homemade formulas used
decades ago that contained monkey biscuits, peanut butter
and ground seeds. Commercially available hand-feeding
formulas for baby birds are often utilized in the treatment
of sick and debilitated adult birds. The quantity
that can be fed at one time to a sick bird is greatly
reduced from that of baby birds. On the average, a baby
parrot can accommodate 10% of its body weight per
feeding due to the elasticity of the crop and its rapid
emptying. Adult birds have a greatly decreased crop
capacity, averaging 3% of their body weight. Additionally,
sick birds are less tolerant of food in the crop and care
must be taken to avoid regurgitation and/or aspiration.
A sick or debilitated bird should always have its
hydration corrected prior to attempting to initiate
oral gavage-feeding.






Here is a list that I'm working on. Let me know what else I should have!

Medications - With the exception of Clavamox, all can be purchased without a prescription for tropical fish or pigeons. If you need help finding any of them, let me know.
  • Metronidazole 250mg, 100mg and 50mg/ml liquid (banned for use in food animals)
  • Nystatin (antifungal)
  • Amoxicillin 250mg
  • Cephalexin 250mg
  • Tylan (tylosin)
  • Clavamox 250 mg
  • Baytril 10% (banned for use in food animals)
  • Corid (amprolium - coccistat)
  • Sulmet
  • Terramycin Antibiotic Ophthalmic Ointment
  • Neosporin
  • Safeguard wormer (fenbendazole 10%)
  • Praziquantel
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D

Supplies
  • Pedialyte for tubing
  • Catheter for tube feeding
  • Baby bird food for tubing
  • Catheter tip syringe for tube feeding
  • Lactated ringers for tubing or SC fluids
  • Heat lamps
  • Heating Pad
  • Boxes and crates
  • Poultry dust
  • Digital kitchen scale
  • Gram scale
  • Needles and syringes of many sizes
  • Mineral Oil
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Vet Wrap
  • Gauze Roll
  • Gauze Pads
  • Telfa Pads
  • Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Latex Gloves
  • Betadine
  • Epsom Salts


Books
  • Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook
  • AAAP Avian Disease Manual
  • Diseases of Poultry
  • Clinical Avian Medicine
  • Penn State Poultry Health Handbook

Online poultry books:

[URL]http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/avmed/cam.html[/URL]
Download the entire book (two volumes): Clinical Avian Medicine
(Large file - please allow several moments to download)


Another two book set:
[URL]http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/avmed/chapters.html[/URL]

Penn State Poultry Health Handbook
[URL]http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/agrs52.pdf[/URL]
 

casportpony

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BYC Staff
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 24, 2012
113,100
308,008
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Please don't take this the wrong way. We care about her and want to help if we can but being around livestock and farms alot (only chickens for a short time) we're not ready to go spend a bunch of money on a $10 chicken. Again, if we can help her we will but we also believe in nature running it's course, if it's her time then so be it. If she dies it will be a good life lesson for our young children.

It's 80 degrees out right now so she is plenty warm I'm sure. She is right next to her fresh water source where she is now.

 


I understand... My chickens don't go to the vet either, just thought I should mention it.

As for life lesson, depending on their ages, a backyard necropsy might be a good science project for them. Sorry if i sound insensitive, I really don't mean to be, it's just that necropsies have taught me soooo much.
 

Merlin1650

In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 26, 2012
23
0
22
Well, she didn't make it through the night, she went into the coop on her own but was dead this morning. We have 4 young children and they want to bury her so I guess we'll do that. Now we're down to 5 layers but I think we'll get two more and the kids are already excited about that.

The other 5 seem as healthy as ever so I'm thinking the one that died got into something that killed her maybe? Is it possible she ate the wet concrete I was using and that somehow killed her?
 

IrishAcreFarm

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 18, 2013
281
17
98
So sorry for your loss :( My only suggestion would be tha if you get more, try to get babies, as it is so easy to introduce other diseases to your flock with adults ! It can be a disaster, I would hate to see you loose any more :(
 

Merlin1650

In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 26, 2012
23
0
22
That's exactly what we're going to do. We only really can handle 7 where we're at so we're thinking of getting a couple of babies from TSC--is that OK. The six RIR from where the one just died came together and had been raised from birth so I'm really curious to what happen to the one that just died. But as I said, the other 5 are as chipper and vigorous as ever this morning.
 

MANNA-PRO

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