sick hen, PLEASE HELP ME!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cr8zy4chickens, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. cr8zy4chickens

    cr8zy4chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 14, 2010
    Eastern Oregon
    Hi everyone, I haven't done this before, but I'm at my wits end with this hen of mine. Last Monday she started acting like she wasn't feeling good. I watched her and she was still kind of pecking around, but wasn't mingling with the other hens and she is usually the dominant hen. On Tuesday morning I went to check on her and she had slept in the nesting and when she attempted to get out she fell out and was really wobbly. I picked her up and felt her crop and it was impacted so I brought her in the house and put her in a box with some yogurt and water. I fed her some yogurt mixed with water and olive oil and massaged it around. I continued this for the day and she didn't seem to be getting any worse. On Wednesday her crop was bloated and so I figured that it had soured and I continued to feed yogurt to her. Finally the 3rd and 4th day her crop went down, but she is still very weak and wobbly. She had been eating a little yogurt and drinking water. Now she is not eating or drinking. I made a mush of cooked oatmeal with yogurt and protein powder this morning because she is so thin. I don't want her to die. Like many of you out there I love all my chickens!!! I just don't know what to do now. Her poop in the box seems fairly normal, but when I set her on the kitchen floor then she had a watery white and yellow poop. Can anyone out there help me?!!![​IMG]
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Sometimes it is difficult to figure out what they have wrong with them. So all you can do is go by the obvious symptoms. Since she seemed to have crop problems, check her crop. If there is a hard lump in it, it is may be impacted. Only on impacted crops do you want to use olive oil. The oil helps break down indegestable foods in the crop and intestines. It is other wise very difficult to digest and should not be used if the crop is sour. You mentioned she was pooping, so things seem to be moving so I doubt impacted crop.

    If the crop is squishy and full of gas or the like, than it is a sour crop. You don't want all that gunk staying in her crop too long, so you can hold her like a football in one arm. Support her well as you lean her forward, (never backward) and while leaning her forward you massage the crop so she will "vomit" the gunk out. Hold her like this for no more than 10 seconds at a time so she can breathe. If anything comes out, you can try again. You will never get it all out, but anything helps.

    If you think she does have a soured crop, you need to get her on raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. 3 tablespoons in a gallon of water. If she is not drinking, you can squirt this down her throat with a syringe. She will need hydrating and the ACV will aid in killing off the yeast/fungal infection in her crop.

    Make sure she is not egg bound. When was the last time she layed? Feel around her vent and abdomen for an egg, although you said she was pooping, so chances are she is not egg bound close to the vent. Feel up her abdomen near to her legs and see if you can feel an egg somewhere.

    Stick to easy to digest foods, like the yogurt. Try hard boiled eggs, cereal, cooked rice, even crackers. Anything to get her to eat. I have found that sometimes you need to feed them what ever they will eat just to keep them alive.

    Does she have ANY symptoms of respiratory illness? Runny nose, coughing, sneezing, etc.. Check her for mites. Look around the vent and the front and back of the neck. The skin may have welts or red bumps on it. Bugs can suck the life out of a bird to the point of death.

    Has she been wormed recently? Worms will also drain the life out of them to the point of death.

    She could have an internal infection, or other internal issues. If you suspect anything, you could start her on antibiotics. Feel over her entire body for anything suspicious.

    And the most important thing you can do is keep her warm. A cold bird loses calories and makes them sicker. So keep her indoors or under a heat lamp outside at night, even during the day.

    Right now I am dealing with a girl that has been off her feed and water for almost one week. I have been coaxing food down her throat for days and she has been under a heat lamp for the past 5 days. Just yesterday I started her on antibiotics as other than her having no interest in food or water, she has no symptoms. So I am thinking internal infection. She was not drinking as of yesterday so I was squirting antibiotic water down her throat every 3 hours. Today I did see her drink on her own.

    So if you are unable to figure out what she has, do your best to keep her comfortable and warm. Get her to eat anything she will eat, but try to keep it easy to digest. You may have to force water down her throat. Do all you can until what ever she has passes. If all else fails, you can try antibiotics. Make sure to use plenty of yogurt or probios after antibiotics if you use them.

    Keep us posted and good luck! I am right there with you on this one with my girl. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  3. cr8zy4chickens

    cr8zy4chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 14, 2010
    Eastern Oregon
    Thank you for replying to my plea.[​IMG] I'll check for mites and such. I've never wormed my chickens. Honestly don't know what to give them. What kind of antibiotics would I give her? She hasn't laid in quite a while. None of my hens have been laying because they have been molting. I've just now been starting to get one egg everyday or so out of 11 hens. So I haven't thought much of her not laying. I put her outside for a bit because it is sunny and fairly warm (40's) and I put one other hen out in the yard with her so that maybe it would encourage her to eat a bit. She did go over and eat a few green beans (cooked) and some applesauce. I thought maybe I'd kept her in so long that she had gotten weak. I've had chickens for about a year and a half and haven't had any problems. One of my hens died last year and I'm thinking that she probably had impacted crop, but I didn't really know what to do then. I've been keeping this hen in and will probably do so until she seems to be acting normal. I'll feel her over for a possible egg problem when I go and get her. Thanks again for the info. I'll keep you updated. [​IMG] Oh, I was going to ask, what does Apple Cider Vinegar do? Should I have it in my regular waterer for all my hens? I've never added anything to their water. Any suggestions?
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    It is best to use the raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar you get from an herb or health food store. The filtered kind you get at the grocery store does not have the benifits that you need in it. But in a pinch the filtered stuff will work. However unfiltered ACV has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It causes the body, humans and chickens alike to lean toward the acid side. Bacterias, yeasts and fungus's like a high ph to thrive. The ACV will cause their bodies to be more acidic, lower ph, and not allow these bad things to grow. It has wonderful health benifits, even to humans and it is good to dose all your chickens at least once a month in their water, for maintenance.

    If you have never wormed before, it is time. You can get wormers at feed stores or on line. Since you have never wormed before, start with Wazine in the water. You can get this at a feed store or even on Amazon. 12-14 days later, follow up with Safe-Guard Equine wormer. You can get this at a feed store or even walmart.

    Worming is easy and all chickens have worms. If chickens get too infested, they can kill your birds. As for mites, you might want to strip your coop down, remove all bedding and dust with Sevin powder, (you can get this at Walmart in the garden section), you can use DE or even a permethrin spray. This you can get in the parrot section of a pet store or walmart. Replace bedding with new stuff. (especially clean under the roost bars as this is where bugs like to lay eggs.) You can spray or dust your birds with all these products.

    You mentioned they are molting. They won't lay till all that is over. But check her just in case. Keep her warm, keep an eye on her and nurse her along until she heals.

    Oh, also, while you are at the feed store, they usually carry an antibiotic called Duramycin. A good antibiotic to have around for infections. You can also get this on line too. Easy to put into a chickens water if they get sick.

    Good luck with your hen and I hope she feels better soon. [​IMG]
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    About worming...most folks tend to worm their chickens when they molt in the fall since you can not eat the eggs for a while after worming. So fall is a good time to do it. You can worm every 6 months, every few months or once a year, depending on your climate, area and worm issues. [​IMG]
     
  6. cr8zy4chickens

    cr8zy4chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 14, 2010
    Eastern Oregon
    Thank you for all the info [​IMG] I wrote it all down. I checked her and couldn't feel any egg lumps and couldn't see any bugs on her. I clean out their chicken house every 2-3 weeks and rake all the pine shavings out and put fresh in. I also sprinkle with DE before I put fresh shavings in. I'll look into getting some Duramycin at the feed store. We don't have a Wal-mart nearby. Closest one is 80 miles away, but I do order things from Amazon. How much Apple Cider Vinegar do I put in their water? I have one gallon waterers. How long do I have to wait until we can eat the eggs after I worm? Can I feed the eggs back to the chickens or do I have to throw them away? Sorry I guess I have a lot to learn about having chickens. Thank you for your patience. My hen is laying in the box next to the woodstove. Should I just start giving her some antibiotics even though I don't know what is wrong with her?
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Use 3 tablespoons of ACV to a gallon of water for sick birds, 2 tablespoons for maintenance. However if one of them is sick, the entire flock can take 3 tablespoons.

    You can order Wazine on Amazon, I believe. One ounce per one gallon of water for only 1 day. You can not eat the eggs for 14 days. Do not recycle them back into the birds or you are delaying the time you can eat the eggs.

    12 to 14 days later, you can do the Safe-Guard. A pea sized amount on a piece of bread. Mush it in the bread so they don't taste it. Make sure each chicken gets only one piece, however Safe-Guard is safe to use and it won't hurt them if they get more than a pea sized amount. Again, wait another 2 weeks before eating the eggs, for a total of 28 days without eating eggs.

    I know that is a LONG time! [​IMG] I just wormed mine and the 28th day is not up til next friday!! [​IMG]

    As far as the antibiotics....That is entirely your call. I would try to get them wormed first as she could be suffering from a bad case of internal worms. If she starts to develop respiratory issues, than she could have an infection or a secondary infection. Then I would start the antibiotics.

    I let my sick girl go for almost a week before I started the antibiotics. She just did not heal over the time I thought she should have made improvements. She had been wormed and is on a good diet. However she did start to develop slightly wet nostrils. And being that she stopped eating all together, I had no choice but to try antibiotics. They won't kill the bird, although you don't want to use them if you don't have to. But when all else fails, you do everything you can.

    Tonight's temp is going to be a whopping ZERO with windchills in the minus 10 range. So I have my girl under a 250 watt infra-red heat lamp in the greenhouse. She seems to be improving over the past 2 days. So I am keeping my fingers crossed. [​IMG]

    Good luck with your hen! Ask any questions you need to. That is the only way to learn. [​IMG]
     
  8. cr8zy4chickens

    cr8zy4chickens Out Of The Brooder

    19
    1
    24
    Oct 14, 2010
    Eastern Oregon
    Thank you again.[​IMG] I'll get them wormed. My hen is in the house (75*) next to the woodstove and she seems to be comfortable. It's 29 out already. Not as cold as you though. I have to say, I never really minded the cold weather until I got chickens. Now, I'm always worrying that they are cold. Last winter was brutal with -12 degree temps. I do have a red heat light in their house, but hate to leave it on all the time because I don't think they sleep very well and are picking on each other. I have this one Buff that all the other chickens are always picking on for no apparent reason. She's not broody and I can't understand why everytime she comes out of the hen house they run her back in and bite on her. Any solutions for that? Reason why? She's not new to them and her sister is in with them and they don't pick on her. She picks on her sister too. I'm confused and don't know what to do about it. I bring her out and feed her individually every night just so she'll get some food and water otherwise she stays in there all day. Well, gotta go get dinner. Have a good evening. Thanks again.[​IMG]
     

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