Sick Chicken - For the past two days my Rock has been acting very lethargic. She is eating and drinking but just sits in the corner with her head down. She is normally very active (5 months old) and recently she is just very sedate. Any suggestions?
It could be a lot of things but at her age I think I'd start by treating with Corid in case she's trying to fight off a case of coccidiosis. Has she started laying yet? Also check her over carefully for mites.
Most feed stores as well as Tractor Supply carry Corid, often you have to look in the cattle section for it. Comes in liquid or powder, either is fine.
Dose for the liquid is 2 teaspoons per gallon, make it up fresh every day and treat for 5 to 7 days.
Dose for the powder is 1 to 1.5 teaspoons per gallon, same otherwise.
Watch to make sure she's drinking enough, they often don't when they feel crummy. You can give her the medicated water with a dropper or needleless syringe every couple hours the first day or so, until she's drinking well on her own.
And again, this may be something else altogether but since chickens can be very hard to diagnose at the best of times we often just have to start ruling things out as a way of trying to figure them out. Good luck with her.
Someone suggested i check for egg binding. Not sure how to check for egg binding. I feel down there but don't feel anything unusual but i'm not sure what i am checking for. I assume it would be obvious if there was an egg there that would not pass? I went to TSC and got some Cordin (is that an antibiotic?) I gave her a small syringe at 6pm, another at 7pm and will give her another before i go to bed at 11pm.
Corid is amprollium which mimics thiamine in the coccidia organism, causing it to die. It is not an antibiotic, although other antibiotic sulfa drugs can be used also. to check for a stuck egg, put on a rubber glove, and insert a finger 1-2 inches inside the vent aimed upward. If you feel an egg, give a calcium tablet or Tums, and soak in a warm shallow bath for 30 minutes while massaging the lower abdomen toward the vent. this can relax the muscles to help pass an egg.
Thank you eggcessive - so i assume you cannot tell if they are eggbound from an external exam? Ok now for a stupid question - ( i have only had four chickens since April and this is my first sick one) is there only one hole back there? i.e. do they poop and lay eggs out of the same hole? I have look closely and only see one hole. It did have like a little flap over it. It looked so small. Almost like no way my finger could go up there. She is pooping but it goops up all over her tail feathers because she won't stand to poop. Could she still poop like this if she was egg bound? Thank you all for your help. I hope i can figure it out soon.
There is only one vent opening where both the large intestine and the oviduct come together into the cloaca. There are valves that prevent stool to contaminate the egg, or to back up into the oviduct. So when feeling inside for an egg, you want to aim upward a little--just an inch or more is all that is needed. I would do this and it will make you feel better just knowing that she is not egg bound. Have you mixed up the Corid like the instructions in post 4? Below are diagrams of the anatomy of the oviduct and the large intestines:
I did mix the Corid like in post 4. I went out this morning to see what the neck/crop of a health chicken feels like and i definitly think it is impacted crop. She has a lump at the base of her throat on the right side like i read on the internet. I massaged it, at first it was quite hard/stiff and as i massaged it it softened up. i was holding her over the sink, pointed downward but she never threw anything up. She has been on Corid since yesterday afternoon. I mixed 1.5 tsp to one gallon of water. I gave her a small syringe of it at 4pm, another at 5pm, another at 8pm and another at 11pm. I woke up at 4am and gave her another dose and another at 8am this morning. There was a lump on her throat right at the top of the breast bone (i think that is where the crop is) so i put her over the sink and massaged it but nothing came up. She does do the swallow reflex when i give her the meds. If it not parasites or something like that i assume the meds can't hurt her and will soften/lubricate the crop. I have not switched food. Have always used Dumor crumbles and they are allowed to occassionally free range for only about an hour in the evenings. Given the knot on the right side of her throat i think i have narrowed it down to impacted crop. Just not sure what to do now. According to what i have read i should point her downward and massage the crop and she should throw it up. I did that. At first the knot was quite hard/stiff but as i massaged it softened up but she never threw it up. Thank you all for your help. I'm doing all i know to do.