Sick Chicken - Please help me!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nardi Homestead, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Nardi Homestead

    Nardi Homestead Out Of The Brooder

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    My 4 1/2 yr olds bestfriend Betty Bob is very sick. She is a beautiful black silkie hen that adores my son and he absolutely loves her! He does everything with this chicken, including trying to bring her in the house to watch TV, and is extremely heartbroken that she is so sick. Okay here is the story:

    My daughter takes care of the chickens now becasue Im pregnant and cant move around too well due to sciatica. Well shes not the most observant so Im not sure how long Bob has been showing signs of illness but my husband went out to the coop the night before last to check on the chickens heat lamp and found Bob face down in the coop. He came in to tell me and I went out to get her. Once i picked her up I realized she had lost a considerable amount of weight, shes a small bird as it is, and her legs were badly affected my scaly leg mites. Also upon further examination I found signs of lice. I feel like the worst chicken mom ever right now. Ugh :(
    Anyway Betty Bob's breathing was labored and but she was able to stand but used her head as a kickstand! We force fed her warm sugar water and I soaked her in warm water to help her legs and help if she was egg bound. No egg was produced though. We continued to give her sugar water thruought the night and then I introduced mashed banana and oatmeal yesterday. We of course were forcing her to eat it but she seemed to willingly swallow it once we got it in her beak. Last night she seemed to be very fiesty and actually pecked at and ate off a spoon while I had my hand under her neck to help her hold her head up. Everytime we let go of her head/neck area she immediately tucks in under her body like she cant hold it up on her own. When we put her back in her box she tucks her head under and then it looks like the water comes back up through her nose maybe(?). Her breathing is np longer labored and no eggs have appeared. She seems alert when we are giving her water and feeding her but she just stands in the box we have her in with her head tucked down, which Ive been propping up with towel to prevent the food and water coming back up. She hasnt layed down once and just stands with her head as a kickstand kind of!

    What can I do? I have no idea whats going on and my husband refuses to bring the hen to the vet. My son is beside himself and I cant stand to think about her not being in the back of his power wheels tractor going for a ride or swinging on the swingset with him!

    Should I use ivomec to get rid of the parasites or is she too sick? Should I get vetRX or some other anitbiotic? PLEASE HELP ME! We have never had a chicken get sick like this. We have battled with the lice and thought we had them gone but I guess not. Ugh I really feel like the worst chicken keeper ever. :(

    Thank You Thank You Thank You! Sorry for such a long post!
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Don't give bananas or oatmeal. Don't use Ivomec since it is worthless for mites and lice. Use a few spritzes of Adam's flea & tick spray or Frontline (the spray type). Do it just under the vent, mid-back, breast, and base of the neck. The bird sounds weak. It could be weakness from a louse/mite infestation depending on how many are on the bird. It could be an impacted crop so the bird isn't getting the nutrients, thus losing weight. It could be coccidiosis. First thing to do is check the crop. Is it perpetually full, grainy or spongy feeling first thing in the morning before the bird is fed? Is the bird defecating? If so, what does it look like?
     
  3. Nardi Homestead

    Nardi Homestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 14, 2013
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    Thank You!

    Her crop is not apparent at all! I think Im checking the right area... under the beak between the wattles right? If thats where it is then its def not full at all!

    Im really thinking its due to my lack of attention because of my lack of mobility. I think the infestation got out of hand and I need to do something drastic. She seems to be improving a tiny bit and gets a little more alert when we give her water and the bananas which she prefers over the oatmeal. Oh and she has pooped everytime we give her water and food and they are def not normal at all. They are watery and have green globs and yellow in them. Maybe worms? We have never 'wormed' our birds we just gave them garlic and pumpkin as natural womers. Could this be a total parasite infestation? We have tried to keep our coop chemical free and natural because we want to limit the chemicals our children get. I guess its back firing on us huh?
     
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Make sure you are treating both the lice/mites and the scaly leg mites. For the lice/mites I would dust or use the spray. You will need to repeat every 7-10 days until you are certain they are gone. If it is mites you need to replace ALL bedding and nesting material and clean all of the living spaces. I would mix DE into the new bedding. If one bird is has mites then they likely all do.

    For the scaly leg mites I believe you need to use vasaline and coat the legs and feet generously. I have not personally had this problem so search the threads and double check.

    The crop is not between the waddles it is down in the chest area on the front of the bird, slightly to the right. Look at this image:

    http://www.poultryhub.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Anatomy-of-the-chicken-with-text.jpg

    Crop issues are very serious but treatable so you want to make sure that is not what you are dealing with.

    I would feed scrambled eggs if you can get her to eat. Be extremely careful when force feeding or watering a chicken. Make sure you are allowing her to swallow on her own and not putting anything in or down her throat. You do not want to get anything in her lungs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    The crop is that bulbous area on the front of the bird's chest which gets full after they eat. Finely mashed scrambled egg/ watered down yogurt in a syringe would be better than oats or banana right now. The droppings could be enteritis,cocci, or Cholera which are common. If the bird can drink on her own run sulfadimethoxine in the water according to label directions for 3 days and see how it goes. Garlic and pumpkin do absolutely nothing for worms. You want to use Wormazole, Enzum, or Zimectrin Gold ( a small pea sized amount). I worm 3 times a year using Wormazole/Neokil. You do it once and do it again 10 days later. As far as chemicals in the coop, Oxine is a very safe disinfectant, and so long as you follow label directions, Ravap or Permethrin sprays are safe and the most effective. DE causes respiratory problems unless it is formulated in feed. Even then, it won't keep your birds free of worms. Environmentally "hip" methods for the control of chicken pests aren't all they propose to be.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  6. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

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    Sounds like she also has wry neck. If you can give her a vitamin supplement every day she should come out of it in about 10 days.
     
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  7. Nardi Homestead

    Nardi Homestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 14, 2013
    Western NY
    Thank you! We use DE reguraly and weve used a pyrmethrin dust on the birds before. I just think we are going to have to be brutal and nuke all the parasites. Thank you for all the suggestions! I greatly appreciate it. My husband went to Tractor Supply and picked up a whole bunch of stuff to help Betty Bob and also the rest of the flock. We have 12 regular laying hens and then I have my 7 hobby bantams. I dont want to lose any of them! I already lost my fav Roo becasue he broke his leg over the summer and even though I splinted it and wrapped it for several weeks it healed in a way that he alwasy held it up. He learned quickly to get around on one leg and did okay until we had a really really cold spell and couldnt keep up anymore. :( My chickens are my therapy! I love to just sit and watch them because it truly relaxes me!

    I will check into the crop issues. Hopefully we can get her on the road to recovery soon! She hasnt laid in two days though. Could this be due to her being so sick?
     
  8. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    You're welcome. Investigate that crop and get back on. I wouldn't use anything dusty around birds. Hens are all laying sporadically this time of year when it is cold out or when you have an old flock like mine. Regard what PipsandPeeps said about wry neck. read up on some of the diseases mentioned on this thread and it will keep you prepared in the future. Buy some crop bound capsules to keep in the med cabinet too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  9. Nardi Homestead

    Nardi Homestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 14, 2013
    Western NY
    Okay I felt for her crop and felt absolutely nothing. We have vetRX, electrolytes and wazine. We are going to deworm everyone, dust with sevin and coat legs tomorrow when it's a bit warmer here. I'm making her some scrambled eggs, which seems really wrong to me, and ill give her some watered down yogurt.

    Ill be sure to put together a good emergency kit as well! I will keep you updated and thank you so much!

    Can anyone instruct me on the best way to give the vetRX? I read the instructions but I'm not sure how much to give her and how often. It says to put one tsp of solution in one cup of warm water. But then it says that you can put a drop of warm vetRX directly down the chickens throat every night. Does anyone have any experience with vetRX? And how do you get to a chickens throat or can they just lick the solution?!?
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  10. Nardi Homestead

    Nardi Homestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 14, 2013
    Western NY
    Update!! Bob ferociously gobbled down the egg and yogurt mash I made her!! She held her head up by herself when we kept our hand on her bottom to steady her. Hopefully she will begin to regain some strength!
     

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