Sick (?) Cochin hen, running out of ideas

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JBandRio, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. JBandRio

    JBandRio New Egg

    Oct 10, 2012
    I'm new here, though did at least go do my intro thread first :D I warned over there I was headed right here to get some help :)

    My Cochin hen is about 7 months old. A couple of weeks ago I noticed she was cleaning her vent area a lot, and discovered she had diarrhea. She was otherwise very normal - eating well, perky, avoiding being caught LOL Nobody else was in the same boat, so I just watched her. After a few days we washed her, hoping it was done with. Nope, still runny. Washed her again and clipped her feathers, which at least made her not feel like she had to clean all the time.

    It continued, and toward the end of last week I noticed she was starting to feel a bit puny. The morning she ran out of the coop and just stood in the sun instead of running off to forage was the day I brought her inside the garage in a dog crate and heat lamp (and food and water ;)).

    Friday night I started her on Tylan 50.

    There are *no* vets around here who treat chickens. I ended up calling a vet friend several counties away to get the advice of the tetracycline.

    She has been laying, but I have not figured out which are hers, AND I have some hens who are not laying in the coop (a whole 'nother issue I have to get straightened out somehow), so I can't tell you when she last laid. Please don't beat me up for that :)

    I have looked into egg binding, and it seems like she should be dead by now if that was the case. However, I'm still not convinced that's not a problem - more in a bit.

    Her poop consistency has improved while on the Tylan (last dose last night), but only to the point of being loose - better than just water, but still not remotely firm enough.

    Her appetite is interesting - she's eating on her own, but she eats better when offered food. I caught a dozen crickets yesterday and she actively ate them all. We have some little black beetles that are common this time of year, and I caught several for her last night, much to her delight. Due to the heat lamp, there are several moths fluttering around, and the ones I've managed to catch, she gobbles up.

    I had her layer pellets in the crate with her, but she was only moderately eating those. She pooped in the saucer, and when I noticed her going after the soaked pellets (ack) instead of the dry ones, I offered her soaked pellets instead - she liked that a lot better. I have since given her free access to chick starter meal for the higher protein at the moment. She'll eat some applesauce too. She also *loves* a pre/probiotic I have that I offer her twice a day.

    So, back to the egg binding - never having had reason to investigate the hind end of a chicken, having only palpated one of my healthy hens, and having done the same AND seeing (due to feathers being clipped) this one, there is definitely something off. It IS hard, it DOES feel like an egg. I have already done a steam bath with her - about 4 hours on top of (not in) hot water, covered with towels, heat lamp on top of that. The only thing that happened was *maybe* the shape around her vent change, like an egg that shifted a little. But no egg has come out (this was 3 nights ago).

    Last night I got as brave as I could, washed her again, and got the KY Jelly out to have a feel. Not really knowing just how far I could go, I really didn't get in very far. The most interesting thing was some "pebbly" type stuff right inside the opening, on the right side. Not hard, sort of like hard rubber, possibly something like mucus-covered grit is the best way I know to describe it. I lightly tried to see if I could scrape any of it out for a better look, but it wasn't coming out/off so I didn't press the issue. The left side was smooth.

    Soooooo, virtual cookies to anyone who read all that, but I believe in offering up all details even if I think they might not be pertinent (yet). What now? How far can I get a finger in there to see if it's really an egg? Could she really be egg bound AND still be alive? What are other possibilities? I have also never seen her, since being in the crate, settle *down* to sleep - it's always standing up. So it seems obvious she's uncomfortable down there :( I did manage to take a quick pic on my phone of her freshly washed and KY's hiney last night, if that would help (I have to get it loaded somewhere first)

    Here's my Cindy hen, just so you know who I'm talking about :)
  2. Nslangton

    Nslangton Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2012
    I don't know about being egg bound, but about a month ago I poisoned my hens with some sort of weed. They were not eating, had diarrhea, and not laying at all. Two of the hens plucked their rear feathers due to the poop being stuck to them and being uncomfortable back there. They are all great now but it was a horrible experience. We also have no vets to see chickens only one willing to do a necropsy;however, I found several to talk to. The general consensus was to try and keep eating til the toxins passed through them without any giving any meds due to their systems being compromised. The diet consisted of creamed corn, plain yogurt, and scrambled eggs. Probiotics/Digestive aid in the water. It took about two weeks for them and their poop to return to normal. They are all back to laying every day. I would try her on this diet for a few days to see if there is an improvement, maybe she ate something that isn't agreeing with her. Hope she gets better soon.
  3. JBandRio

    JBandRio New Egg

    Oct 10, 2012
    Thanks - I'd tend to go along with all that - something she ate - if it weren't for her hard butt :( My phone is charging now so as soon as I can I'll get that picture loaded.

    I forgot to add - tried oatmeal, not a big fan, but she wasn't a big fan when healthy either. She's been getting hardboiled eggs as well, shells and all. I also dewormed her Saturday with fenbendazole, just in case.

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