Sick Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chickens77, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. Chickens77

    Chickens77 New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2017
    It is cold where I am and I noticed one of my chickens was laying by the heat lamp. At first I thought nothing of it but today she seems very lethargic and is laying with her head in the corner and her eyes closed. Her breathing is deep and labored and she refused food and water. Both chickens stopped laying before winter so I don't think it's a stuck egg. Neither of them have left the coop for more than just water most of winter but the sick one hasn't been out in even longer. She is also losing feathers on top of her tail and her comb is bent over. Her vent isn't clean but it's not horrible, she's white colored so it's been that way her whole life. Any suggestions???
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Chickens get stressed by the cold weather in winter, and if they are on the verge of illness, that may put them over the edge. So many illnesses in chickens to look for from internal laying, egg yolk peritonitis, impacted or sour crop, egg binding, mites and lice, worms, or organ failure. Bring her or both inside for observation. Offer some chopped egg or tuna, and add a small tablespoonful of plain yogurt to her usual chicken feed. Sometimes adding water to a small bowl of feed will entice them to eat.
    Feel of her crop to check if it is empty, full, soft and balloon-like or hard. Look her skin over for mites and lice around and under her vent and elsewhere. Feel of her breast bone (keel) for weight loss, and check her belly for swelling or tightness.
    If a vet is possible, I would at least take in a few fresh droppings on Monday to check for coccidiosis, worms, or something else.
     
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Of course eggcessive gave you the great advice.

    What is your winter temps and what are you feeding including treats? Age and breed of bird? Visit to my vet is $45, fecal sample is $15, should be close to an average price, just fyi.

    If it were me... I would administer electrolytes ASAP on top of the suggestion made already.

    Simple recipe is- 2 cups warm water, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar (white is Ok), 1/2 teaspoon salt AND baking soda. Stir until dissolved and serve full strength. Also, if she isn't drinking.... you can put your finger in the solution and drip on top of the beak below nostrils. She will gobble it instinctually when it rolls around into her mouth. I would do every 15- 30 until I had some in her and then every hour after that until I see some recovery or rather her drinking on her own. Those two things have saved countless shipped chicks for me. (I know it's a different situation)

    And up the protein.... feathers are 95% protein and it will help them to grow back in. I would switch from layer to a grower (18-21% usually) or flock raiser (20% protein) until I saw eggs again. Both have more protein and less calcium. In non laying birds, calcium long term can (not will, it depends on the bird) cause kidney issues.

    Hope she pulls through! [​IMG]
     
  4. Chickens77

    Chickens77 New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2017
    I've been syringing her the electrolyte solution and she's been semi protesting which I guess isn't a bad sign. If I'm correct as to what her crop is, it feels balloon like (under a bone that sticks out? ) I can't find any mites or lice and she's inside wrapped in a blanket. Should I give her a warm bath? What does the crop tell me? She won't open her eyes while drinking and her comb is bent over dry and discolored
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    The crop is on her right upper chest below her neck. Normally it will be empty first thing in the morning, and gradually fill up during the day with food and water. If it is balloon-like before she eats in the morning, it may be sour crop, especially if there is a sour or foul odor. Sometimes the crop will be slow to empty if they are sick with an illness. If you think that there might be a problem, there are some good links about sour and impacted crop treatments by doing a search on BYC, and looking for threads by TwoCrows.
     

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