Sick Hen, Please HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by redbuffalo, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. redbuffalo

    redbuffalo Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    I have a 8 month old Black Australorp hen who until a few days ago was the picture of health. I noticed two days ago she had a little bit of poop stuck to her butt, but she was eating and acting perfectly normal. Today, she is noticeably lethargic, her comb is pale and appears to have shrunk some. She was also opening her mouth to breath when I brought here in although that has since stopped. She is in a coop with her flock of 6 other hens and a roo. Everyone else appears fine. I have brought her inside and she is currently sleeping in a crate. I gave her about 1/4 cup of yogurt with some flax seed oil which she ate about half of. I have also given her a few dropperfuls of h20 with some vitamins and honey. Her poop is pretty runny, green, white and watery. I have done the whole egg check routine to rule that out and did not find any stuck eggs or swollen abdomen. Vent looks fine. I also gave her a warm bath to clean off her bottom and blew it dry. Her usual diet consists of organic layer feed, oats occasionally, yogurt 2x a week and she does free range although none of my flock has been wanting to go out given the chance lately due to the cold weather. We live in upstate NY. I have been researching on here and am at a loss to whats wrong with her. Any advice would be greatly appreciated:)
     
  2. taylorgirl6

    taylorgirl6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Has your flock been vaccinated for Marek's disease? The symptoms you describe sound like they could be a match.
     
  3. redbuffalo

    redbuffalo Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    Three of my flock have been for certain. Pretty sure she was as I bought her from a breeder. I have three others who I hatched myself, who were not vaccinated as we have raised them organic and they appear to be healthy. She did pass away overnight, very sad:( I am worried for the rest of my flock although they all appear fine. What should I watch for and what can I do to give them a immunity boost and keep them healthy?
     
  4. taylorgirl6

    taylorgirl6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2009
    I'd love to give you some advice, but the same thing just happened to me last night. One of our hens got sick very suddenly, and she died sometime during the day. We spent most of the night grieving, and now I'm concerned for the other five birds in our flock. All of our girls were vaccinated after hatching, so I have no idea what killed poor Norma Jean.

    I've done a lot of searching on the internet over the past day or two, and some people truly swear by multivitamin supplements you can get at your local feed store. Vitamins and hydration are the key to many illnesses. My understanding of Marek's disease, however, is that it is not curable. It is a version of herpes, and it is passed in droppings and such, so it can be nearly impossible to prevent it spreading to the remainder of a flock. My best advice (and please understand that I am a novice here) is to keep a watchful eye on your chickens. Wash your hands before and after handling them, change clothes and shoes so that you are not transporting anything in or out of the coop, and do not bring in any replacement birds until you know that your flock is healthy. The funny thing about diseases and parasites in animals is that we as humans tend to be the typhoid mary's. Most flea infestations in dogs and cats are due to humans bringing them in on clothes and shoes. Many intestinal parasites are also tracked into our homes on the soles of shoes. So refrain from handling other people's chickens, and keep visitors out of your yard for a few months.

    I hope some of that helps. I'm terribly sorry for your loss, and I understand how frustrating this can be.

    Best wishes,

    Robin
     
  5. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    Alaska
    [​IMG]

    Start with adding 1 Tablespoon Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to a gallon of their Drinking water in a plastic waterer (metal waterers leach metal toxins).

    That will help boost immunity and change ph in crop.
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    redbuffalo- I'm sorry for chiming in so late, and that you lost your hen. Green in droppings sometimes indicates bile, and therefore lack of nutrition. I know it is very difficult, but did you save the body to check for foreign objects or other problems? I'm wondering if she swallowed something like a screw , nail or fence staple and that she stopped eating due to pain. If this happens you don't get the usual swollen crop. I'm hoping it might be that not to simply console you but to rule out anything infectious. It sounds as though your others are fine. Again, I'm very sorry.

    Robin-I completely agree about biosecurity. Only my husband and I handle the birds and no one else is permitted any contact. We are careful about boots, and use Dri-kill and food-grade DE powder in the porch to the coop along with a little Stable Boy powder. The run is roofed and we treat the perimeter regularly and keep it clean. We're trying very hard to keep parasites, etc. out, and so far so good. If I go to a show to see others' birds I don;t wear anything I would wear to the coop and we wash our barn gear daily except for winter coats. Even with this and the foot baths some use, things can go awry, especially if you get an airborne virus. There's an ILT epidemic here, so I don;t go near any other poultry at this time. Our birds seem tough, but they can be knocked down by disease, so fast! It's difficult to do everything raight all the time!
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  7. redbuffalo

    redbuffalo Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    Thanks for all the wonderful help. I will switch over to the plastic waterer with ACV asap. I have a water heater due to the cold temps, will the plastic be OK on the heater?? As far as biosecurity, my girls and guy are pretty quarantined, they have a very well built coop that is bird and rodent free, so I am having a tough time figuring out how or where they could have been infected and with what. I took a close look at the girl I just lost and am at a loss. She does appear to have lost some weight, feels much lighter than normal. I am getting very concerned about my others. They all seem fine although the girls egg production has dropped off over the past week and a half. I had attributed this to a flux or the time of year. They have a light that goes on and at 3am to 8am and were laying like mad before, 5 to 7 eggs a day for 7 hens. I had one normal egg and one soft shell today from six girls. Now I am begining to fear the lag in egg production is due to whatever is going on here. Should I use Vet RX and if so where do I find some asap? What about antibiotics and whatever else can I do?? Where would I find these asap? Its New Years Day today, with stores closed what can I use until then? I am planning on cleaning out the whole coop in the am although I have hard time believing thats it as their coop is pretty clean with fresh pine shavings. Where else and what else do I do? This is awful:( Any advice much needed and tremendously appreciated.

    Thanks so much!
    Tracy
     

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