Sick Hen - Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LuxLuxray, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. LuxLuxray

    LuxLuxray Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2015
    I have a 3 month old leghorn who has just started to act strange this morning. Her eyes seem a bit more dim than usual, and she won't walk. I was just thinking that she's just a bit overheated (it was 97° today) but it seems to be more than that. We got her cooled down and she drank some water through a syringe - but she can't seem to reach her food. When we offered her some, she pecked at it but she doesn't seem to reach it. It's like she can't see it. Any recommendations? I'm beginning to fear the worst.
    [​IMG]

    UPDATE: She's still unable to coordinate her eyes to reach food, but we fed her some bread soaked in cold water, so she should be okay with water and food. She can walk pretty far without lightly stumbling and pecks at the ground just like she usually does. The only thing I'm concerned about is her eye coordination. I'm watching her for the time being as I'' afraid of leaving her with the others.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hello, don't leave her with the others. Hopefully you have a separate pen you can put her in where she is separate but can still see and hear them. She's definitely sick. Have you dewormed your flock? If not, start with that...take a fecal sample to a vet, and they should do a fecal check for you. It's common for them to miss their food like that when they are sick. It's possible that she could have Marek's or another neurological problem also, but start with the simple things first. Just don't delay, because yes she is sick, and when she is sick enough to show symptoms like that, you can't waste any time. . IA vet should be willing to let you have some Panacur suspension, which is a broad spectrum dewormer, and let you know if it's worms.
     
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi. Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
    Sorry she is sick. Have you seen her poo? Or felt her crop? What are you feeding? Including treats? Do you free range?

    I wouldn't start deworming without confirmation. It could make the bird sicker. [​IMG] A fecal float at my vet is $25. A regular visit is $45 but won't include tests or meds. Keep an eye on your others in case any present with symptoms.

    I would offer electrolytes. Recipe is- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or white), mixed into 2 cups warm water. Give full strength.

    Sorry I can't be more help. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  4. LuxLuxray

    LuxLuxray Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2015
    Thank you for the electrolyte recipe, I'll be sure to use it. Her poo was liquid this afternoon (from no food) but is now plenty more solid after feeding her bread drenched in water to make sure she had enough water. We've been feeding her regular lay mash and corn, and as well as pumpkin seeds as a dewormer. They've been in a large sized coop for a while now, but we let them out to pick at the grass each day for about an hour.

     
  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Pumpkins seeds may help a bit with deworming, at least many people think so, but they are not a cure all. Our vet charges 15.00 for a fecal float. If she has Capillary worms, believe me, pumpkin seeds will make no difference. Cap worms are not only very common, but also very hard to get rid of once a bird has them. you need a commercial dewormer.....and a good one. Panacur, Valbazen, Levasol, are all very good, and usually, necessary in most flocks. Usually, several dewormings are necessary to get rid of capillary worms in a bird infested with them.

    I agree that she does need to be a bit stronger perhaps before you deworm, but you need to find a vet asap who will help you. If you don't have one, I would work on feeding her up and getting the electrolytes going, and then ttry deworming anyway after a couple of days, because you won't have anything to lose, except the bird, if you do nothing. Capillary worms also kill if they get a good hold on the bird. Try soaking some of your bread in buttermilk instead of water and offer her scrambled eggs or chopped hardboiled ones, banana, cottage cheese, oatmeal, applesauce mixed with crumbles (this is a favorite of our birds), tomato, to get her to eat. Anything she likes. She must eat and more importantly have fluids, or she will die. That is why applesauce and also buttermilk are good choices, because they get fluids, too. It is good that she's eating the water soaked bread and it that's all she will eat then by all means keep it up.
     
  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It does sound like worms or maybe coccidiosis to me. Fecal float will tell you for sure. Don't delay and all the best!! Please let us know how she does.
     
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Thought maybe cocci, but 97 degrees is pretty hot and I've never had a bird with cocci act like that.
     
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Lay mash has WAY too much calcium for a 12 week old bird and WAY too little protein. Corn just further diminishes the nutrients in the feed. And that looks like mealworms in the background of your pic... Sounds nutritional to me... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Too little protein (layer is usually 16%) does not support a growing bird or molting birds. Too much calcium (layer has 4 ish%) for either can cause kidney damage long term.

    My white leghorn that I was told would lay at 16 weeks didn't start until 22 weeks. All birds are individuals and lay when they are good and ready. I use Flock Raiser now (20% protein) for mixed age and genders. Otherwise I would feed an unmedicated starter or grower and offer oyster shell free choice on the side. Only the ones who need the calcium will eat it and the others will be able to avoid it until they are ready. Then switch to layer (if you want) after all your girls are laying. Never give more than 10% of feed in treats. And corn digest extra hot.... so people give it to their chickens right before bed as a way to keep their body temp up. Probably not helping your heat issue.[​IMG] All this being said, I HIGHLY suspect nutrition along with heat.

    I am of course no expert. But the information I am sharing is correct.

    Worming may be an issue. I have never wormed yet in 4 years. But I will approach that when I feel the need. I know it can be very serious. I actually bought a microscope to do my own float tests. Too many animals to hit the vet every time I suspect something.

    How long have you been feeding layer? Do you know the protein and calcium content? No judgement here, just trying to get an accurate picture. Also when birds are young it is most appropriate to use weeks instead of months for age as things change so rapidly during that time.

    Best wishes!
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    That's true, you shouldn't be giving layer to a pullet until around five or six months at the earliest. I don't like feeding layer all the time at all to any of our birds, even our mature hens. We alternate it with crumbles and sometimes a little cracked corn.

    I have had birds act like that with cocci, but usually the cocci is secondary to something else in those cases.

    Starter/ grower crumbles are best for growing birds, and you can use it for a flock of mixed ages. Purina Flock Raiser we use a lot of, but Dumor and Producer's Pride are good too.

    Mealworms are ok to give as treats.

    Another thing I like to use for sick or injured birds is Rooster Booster B & K poultry vitamins...they are are premium vitamins and they really do give a boost to sick birds. 20.00 for a bottle, but it goes a long way.
     

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