Sick Hen - Lethargic, stands w/ eyes closed

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by amyhbass, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. amyhbass

    amyhbass Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2012
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    Hi - I am new here & new with chickens. I've had my chickens (light brahmas) for ~3 mo - never wormed or de-loused. All seem fine but this one, except for somewhat poopy vents ( I read this is common with light-colored fluffy breeds, which they are) & poops on the ground look fine. I don't see any worms. The sick one has been standing around for 2 days, lethargic & not going to roost on her own at night - stands around with her eyes closed mostly - poop is very watery but color seems normal (not yellow or white or foamy). I examined her and see no obvious problem - no worms in the poop on her feathers, no hardness around vent or crop, no bumps or redness on skin. She coughs occasionally, and it sounds phlegmy. I am going to isolate her (indoors) and treat her with something, but I'm not sure what. Should I give her an antibiotic (teramycin?) first or wormer (Wazine?) or delouse (with what?). I've been reading here & understand now that I need to de-worm & de-louse the whole group reguarly, but what should I do immediately for this sick one? I called my vet & he had no idea about chickens, and I looked on the internet for another vet around here (Dothan, AL) that might help and found nothing. I would appreciate your input.
    Thank you - Amy
     
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  2. amyhbass

    amyhbass Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2012
    Near Dothan, AL
    Oh - forgot to mention - her stance is with her tail down. She's not losing feathers. She doesn't run away when I go to handle her, but she does walk away a few steps after I do.
     
  3. farmtotable

    farmtotable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to the world of chickens! Sometimes it's really hard to tell what's going on with them if there's no physical symptoms that make it obvious (hard or squishy crop, etc). Whenever I have a hen that seems a bit off or troubled, I always put them in the "hospital box" we built in the garage, which has food/water, heat lamp, clean shavings, etc. I also put an electrolyte in the water (try chick saver brand) or even just plain apple cider vinegar. My 50+ hens all free range, and just recently some of them got into some mushrooms which I've since discovered are poisonous - could that be it for yours? I live in the pacific NW, and apparently it's been a banner year for this particular type of mushroom because it's been all over the news. I went through our acreage and tried to remove them all. You might want to check also to make sure they're not eating long peices of grass, and make sure they access to grit at all times. Do your hens free range? Sometimes, too, I've noticed that chickens from feed stores just don't seem to do as well as chickens I've bought locally or hatched here on the farm. If her poop is super watery, it sounds like maybe she has diarrhea, so an electrolyte will definitely help. Personally, I don't like to load up a sick chicken with a bunch of medication (delouser, dewormer, etc) unless I'm positive what the problem is..... Anyway, I would isolate her in a safe warm place and see how she does. It sounds to me like maybe she got into something that's disagreeing with her.
     
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    That's correct about putting her in a hospital box, and the sooner the better. She is very sick. chickens don't exhibit symptoms until they are. Don't deworm her, it might make her sicker, it can be debilitatiing. You can do it later if you need to. Coughing AND diarhea, I'm not sure. Here's a site you can try. www.firststatevetsupply.com. Peter Brown will give you advice, I think you have to email him and there is a small charge. He's an expert and has saved many birds.. And he has meds to sell; he'll telll you what type to use. Terramycin is very weak and pretty useless, but if you want to start her on that, it's better tnan nothing. I think the dosage is 4 tsp per gallon of water. Seriously, don't waste any time. And ACV is ok as a preventative, but I think she needs more than that in this case. Make sure you watch the others for signs of illness also.
     
  5. amyhbass

    amyhbass Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2012
    Near Dothan, AL
    They are not free range (my own dogs make that impossible), so it couldn't be anything like the mushrooms. Their pen is fairly large, but they have removed all grass from the ground. We have sandy soil, so I have not been giving them any additional grit - maybe that's a mistake. I feed them a good quality chicken feed and kitchen scraps (veggies, starchy stuff, & dairy), so it's possible that something I fed them is disagreeing with her. I have her inside, and I've been able to get her to drink a little water now and then. I will add a little apple cider vinegar to it - maybe that will help. She is indoors now, breathing well and resting. FYI - These hens are all about 10-11 months old and came from a hatchery - BUT - and I think this could have been a terrible newby mistake - I bought some cute bantam biddies from an auction - thought they were hens, but they were not - (such a newby) - but I had them in the same pen with my brahmas for a few weeks before I finally figured out they were roosters and sold them. They might have introduced some disease or parasite that is just now becoming apparent. Either way, I will baby her and hopefully she will pull through this. I will keep a close eye on the others.

    Thanks for the other web address - I will check it out.
     
  6. farmtotable

    farmtotable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck and keep us posted! This website also has a really good list of table scraps that you should and shouldn't feed the chickens. Sounds like you already figured this out, but I would be pretty careful about buying any sort of critter at an auction, and if you do, make sure you quarantine them for a good bit. Search quarantine on this site as well, you'll find more articles! I would still give them access to grit, even if they're on sandy soil (the grit is a lot hardier than grains of sand). They should also have access to oyster shells once they're laying. I put out both in separate free choice feeders (I use rabbit feeders for that, it works great!) in their coops. Find a feed store in your area and buy it in bulk, especially the oyster shells. It's like $10 for a 50lb bag, vs. paying more than that for a tiny bag at a pet store.
     
  7. farmtotable

    farmtotable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PS - don't worry about making "terrible newbie mistakes", because that's the only way you learn!
     
  8. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah ... you never wanna bring new birds directly around your flock(s), and you wanna clean up both before and after you go near 'em ... change out your shoes, too. Hopefully, this will work itself out, 'n they'll all be fine.

    You were wise to isolate her, but it's most probably somethin' they've all got at this point. You should not give 'em antibiotics w/o knowing what you are treating, as you can't know which (if any) will do 'em any good, w/o knowing which virus/bacteria you're dealin' w/ (or, it could be parasites, or mold, or some other cause).

    And, from now on? Start a thread, the minute you notice your chicken(s) have symptoms ... time is of the essence, w/ many illnesses/diseases.

    For certain, give all your birds an astringent solution of Apple Cider Vinegar at the rate of four teaspoons to the gallon (but never in galvanized metal containers). This will help them to more easily expel mucus, as the tannin in ACV 'cuts through' the coatings in the mouth, throat and intestines, which improves the uptake of nutrients/vitamins. This also creates a more hostile environment for internal parasites, which your flock may well have.

    I'm a big fan of Amprolium for coccidia, and fenbendazole for helminths (except I would suggest albendazole, if tapeworms were present). There can, indeed, be heavy loads of internal parasites, even when no worms or eggs can be found w/in their poop. As for treating when they're terribly ill? Amprolium blocks thiamine, which coccidia are 50 times more sensitive to than the chickens are. And, fenbendazole has been tested and proven safe at 100 times the suggested dosage of 10 mg/kg -- however, I've studied many abstracts of studies which show that 20 mg/kg is req'd, so as to eliminate most nearly all gapeworms. The same dosage of 20 mg/kg holds true for albendazole, so as to more effectively treat tapeworms (which fenbendazole will not do).

    There are links in my signature that will open in a new window ... read through the diagnosis of diseases based upon symptoms, but first w/o tryin' to identify her illness/disease: This will help to train you better in how to recognize specific symptoms that most folks would overlook. Then, study your flock for a while from a distance, in the hopes of finding others showing any symptoms. Same w/ the sick bird ... then, be sure 'n update this thread ~'-)
     
  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Worm them with valbazen liquid cattle/sheep wormer. Dosage is 1/2cc orally undiluted, use a syringe without a needle to administer. Redose again in 10 days. You dont need to see worms in poop in order for them to have worms and the signs are there. Also, pick them up and visually inspect them for lice/mites, especially around the vent area. External parasites prefer moist areas to feed and breed.
    Dont give them antibiotics.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    central Ohio
    Why not??? Antibiotics kill infectiions, and they help prevent secondary infections!!! When our flock had ILT, that was one thing the State vets told us to do...give them antibiotics to prevent any secondary infections. We were under quarantine and the vet's observation and advice the whole time, as well as that of the ChickenDoctor Peter Brown (first state vet supply).With their help, we were able to save three quarters of our flock, and many we still have today, though that was six years ago. They are NOT carriers. NEVER introduce new birds into an existing flock, without quarantining them for a month first!
     

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