Sick Leghorn Bantam .. Any Advice Please?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Teila, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hi out there in BYC-land

    I am hoping someone may be able to help?

    Britney, Bantam Leghorn, no idea how old as she was a rush purchase from the produce store when Cilla lost her friend to a Staph infection; 6 months or so ago :-(

    Anyway, Britney has laid one egg since September 19th, it was very small and perfectly round. She seemed healthy and happy, eating well, a poopy bottom for a few weeks that needed washing weekly but she does have lots of butt fluff. Last Saturday, let everyone out as normal, she seemed OK ... mid morning she starts getting lethargic and her tail is drooping. She was moving around a little but appeared to be straining. I let her go until Sunday and as she had not improved, I was thinking she may be egg bound, so I gave her a warm bath for 20 minutes; no change. Couldn't really feel anything that would indicate a stuck egg.
    Even though I give them Apple Cider Vinegar with every change of water, I wondered if it could be worms; no evidence in her poop though. PS. Dusty is fine. So Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I was sprinkling crushed garlic on their food and disolving powdered garlic in their water. No improvement, still going downhill. Thursday I rolled out the big guns and started them on Tetracylcline. I saw her drink some Thursday night and Friday morning. Thursday night she appeared too weak to jump to her roost and slept on the straw. Friday morning I left for work, thinking the worse would happen while I was at work. Get home last night and hubby has let them out for a free range, she is in the garden with Dusty, having a peck around, still a bit lethargic but her tail was not so drooped and she even had some cheese at treat-time! Last night she jumped back up on her roost at bed time.

    I got up this morning expecting to see even more improvement and she is back to looking poorly!

    Last night she did her first reasonably solid poop for a week, even though it was very small. This morning, the poops under her roost were runny (sorry about the grossness)

    I was hoping before she went to bed last night I would see her drink the fresh antibiotic but she went straight to her roost. I can only guess that she drank more this morning when she got up.

    So to sum it up:
    * No real eggs since September 19, but seemed healthy.
    For a week:
    * Diarrhoea
    * Lethargy
    * Her comb has always hung over (big) but it is a very dark red, not bright red like Dusty's
    * Loss of appetite

    * No obvious discharges
    * No breathing difficulties
    * Only real signs of straining were on the original Saturday and Sunday

    If it was not for the diarrhoea I would say she was sulking/broody except she is not 'nesting'? I have a broody who successfully hatched 5 eggs and now has 5 beautiful 2 week old bantam silkies.

    Any ideas? I am at a loss. Maybe she perked up because she got a good dose of the antibiotic but hasn't had enough?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    I would have guessed egg bound, but if you've checked her over, it probably isn't that. Except for being runny, do her droppings look like the normal color? Coccidiosis causes droopiness and lethargy, and sometiems bloody droppings. Worms are possible too. Apple Cider Vinegar does not really help prevent worms. You'd be better off just worming her with a dewormer like Safeguard or Valbazen. Both dewormers are safe, and kill almost all worms.

    What does her crop feel like? Is it hard or squishy (or can you not feel it--check her at different times of day, as it should get larger before nightfall). If its hard, it could be impacted crop, and could cause her to not be hungry. If it feels hard, massage it and give her some olive oil. If its soft and squishy/balloon like, she could have sour crop. I don't know a lot about sour crop treatment, but you could do a search for it on this website, and I'm sure you'd find some information.

    Does she have any mites or lice? They can sap the energy of a bird. Look around the vent, under the wings, and beneath the tail feathers.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    If you're using ACV daily in the water, it dissolves calcium quickly and can create a calcium deficiency in the bird, as well as upset digestion. The average hen utilizes 7 grams of calcium to produce one egg. Too much garlic will certainly cause diarrhea. Garlic granules are within the formulated feed I use, but the percentage is nowhere near what you have been providing in both feed and water.

    Stop the tetracycline, and simply provide water treated with vitamins-electrolytes, and Probios dispersible powder for 3-5 days. Feed only a balanced layer ration. You can moisten it if you need to to encourage eating. If after 3 days you see the same symptoms, I would treat with Corid for coccidiosis. The treatment dose for 9.6% liquid is 2 tsp per gallon of water, or the 20% powder is 1 tsp per gallon.

    Like Wyandottes7 mentioned, check for mites/lice.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
    2 people like this.
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Thank you both!

    Definitely no mites/lice.

    I'll try stopping the ACV and have already stopped the garlic; I only tried that as it was suggested as a means to 'dislodge' possible worms so that evidence could be seen in the poop, if any.

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