Sick, lethargic chick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mama24, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    3 month old bantam cuckoo Marans. Not one single other chicken is acting off, just this one. My son found him yesterday with his head drooped all the way down. He's very very weak, has liquidy clear/yellowish diarrhea with small bits of brown and green mucous. Yesterday, he had some solids mixed in, so I think he had probably been eating ok up until them. He is not paralyzed at all anywhere, he's just so weak he can't hold his head up. Eyes look normal. No wheezing, no fever. I've been giving him water with a dropper, and this morning, I gave him some water with honey in it thinking maybe the energy would help him more than plain water. He barely had the strength to swallow it. [​IMG] I am pretty sure he's dying, but I am really worried about the rest of my flock. Any ideas what it could be? I just put Wazine in their water today thinking it might be worms. It's probably been about a year since I wormed them, but we just moved to this place 3 mos ago, so I didn't think worms would build up so fast. I had so many people tell me they don't bother worming, I thought I'd wait and see if and when they got symptoms before worming again. Thinking that may have been a mistake! I did notice a lot of runnier brown poos under the roosts in the morning, not sure if that is related. So maybe others have had milder diarrhea, but it just looked like a variation of normal, to be honest. He is the only bantam cockerel in the group of 10 adult hens, 1 adult bantam rooster, and about 30 3-4 month old chicks, mostly girls, but plenty of lf boys. My 12 year old son thought maybe the others hadn't been letting him eat or drink since he is the smallest cockerel, but I honestly can't see that being a problem. I have several waterers around, though they seem to prefer to find puddles! And 2 big feeders that always have feed. It is possible he got into a fight and lost. Or also, we just got goats a few days ago, and one keeps climbing the fence to get into the chicken yard and eat their feed
    9i'm adding a line of electric to stop that, as soon as it stops raining.) I don't see how he could have gotten hurt by the goat without being able to easily get away, but it is entirely possible, especially if he got trampled when I chased the goats out of the coop.
     
  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I do not want to sound like I am preaching but something is sick it is ill advised to just throw things at it. You just said others have advised you to NOT WORM (good advise) unless there is definite signs for reasons concerning worms. Did you see worms in the stool or worms hanging from the rear end of your little guy? Here is a chart that will surprise you about what good poop and bad poop really looks like. It is such a huge range of poops that may look horrible but are still considered healthy. http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0

    Sounds to me if he is the little guy in the bunch he is not getting his fair share of most of it. Separate him for now and isolate him to be nursed back to health. You need to set up an infirmary of sorts. An old dog kennel a huge box or something in a controlled environment like the garage. Next get an eye dropper and do not squirt but drop some water with liquid vitamins in it like Vita-Sol. Not water and honey but sugar or Poultry electrolytes - for boosting the system. Next feed him if not already proteins, proteins and more proteins. Bland foods of proteins like egg yokes or mashed eggs ,crushed flax seed and some warm oatmeal with his medicated chick feed feed, he is still a baby and need the extra vitamins and minerals until 20 weeks as a bantam. He has been deprived of eating from the sound of it and the big girls and full size boys just intimidate him into standing back and not allowing him any share of the foods offered. He is unimportant to them experience wise, size wise and doesn't command any respect and is considered a throw away and the way the survival of the fittest works is he is literally dead meat on the pecking order. You can't have an inferior in a group of voracious animals and expect a bantam to make it among 50 other hungry birds including but not less than baby 30 / 16 week old birds that will peck him into submission. Check his entire body for lice, mites and such to eliminate that anyway. While you are there you will be able to look for peck marks on his head and back. I got to tell you the worming was not a great idea at all and cease and desist with any other worming treatment bc it makes them want to poo poo and he needs to hold in anything he is able to get into his mouth and crop. He will be fine. You may want to get some organic apple cider vinegar and add it to the water also. Good luck if you caught it soon enough he will survive this round but will not survive in this lifestyle with the flock he is in and not a part of any tribe if you know what I mean. You might consider re-homing him to a flock of his own size.

    Ha forgot the chart!! silly me
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  3. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He's been inside since yesterday. He is by far my biggest bantam. I honestly do not think he has been excluded from food. I do have one other bantam cockerel that I forgot about. He is half the size of my bantam Marans and runs with the big boys just like he did up until yesterday. I asked my son what he meant about the chick not eating and he said he actually meant since we put him in the cage, no surprise there. He said this little guy is always with the others eating and drinking just fine. Our grown hens can get snippy with the young ones, but they have plenty of room to run and places to get food. I have always had mixed bantams and lf and haven't ever had any problems. If anything, the bantams are meaner to other chickens!I am planning on separatingmy lf and banties, though, now that I have lf roos i plan on keeping. It's all set, just waiting for the rainto stop to put up the fencing.

    His problem is diarrhea for sure. I think getting fluids in him definitely helped. He was standing for the first time since yesterday when i checked on him a few min ago. He spilled his water, hope thatmeans he was trying to drink it. He still hasn't touched the harboiled egg I gave him last night though.

    Any ideas on what could cause diarrhea like that? Should I be worried about the others?
     
  4. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought he was a stand alone Bantam. try something like rice and see if that can get him to nibble something
     
  5. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the water with sugar worked. I gave him some electrolytes later. Then he ate all of his hardboiled egg. Diarrhea has completely stopped. I gave him some scrambled egg and oatmeal and he is acting normal again! Yay! Thanks for your help. Any ideas on what it could have been? Just wondering if there may be something going on with the flock. Ah, well, all's well that ends well, either way. Hopefully no one else will catch it, whatever it was!

    He's not my only bantam, just the only bantam young cockerel (other than the one I forgot about for a little while--we thought that one was a girl for the longest time! But he's crowing away now, no more doubt. lol)
     
  6. BamaSilkies

    BamaSilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He was probably getting pushed back and not getting enough to eat. I would keep him in maybe a couple of days to build up strength and maybe add an additional feeder or two on opposite ends of the coop that way everyone has a fair shot.
     
  7. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you look at a chickens digestive tract its very straight forward to be sure he is had enough food at the end of the day make sure his crop is full by feeling the base of his neck, at the bottom of the base of his neck is a crop pocket and at night it should be bulging a bit to stuffed hard. In the morning if he is digesting his food correctly and pooping over night it will have been reduce substantially. Without water chickens have have very little desire to eat so he technically was dehydrated. The chickens digestive tract is extremely simple. Beak to crop to gizzard and ground up to the liver and into the intestines and out. They need water to help with the grinding of the food in the gizzard. http://www.ca.uky.edu/poultryprofit...natomy_and_Physiology/Chapter3_digestive.html
     
  8. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:His poop was normal this morning. Very green, but more normal shaped, no more diarrhea. [​IMG] I'll keep him in at least for today, maybe let him back out tomorrow if he's still better. I wonder if he got into something that none of the others did. He was happy and clucking away when I checked in before I left for work at 5:45. Very bright eyed and alert, no more droopy head. He was definitely dehydrated from the diarrhea. I just wish I knew what had caused it. They do eat a lot of grass, and since it's winter, maybe he ate some weed that didn't agree with him. Most of the grass is dormant, but all the weeds seem to be staying green!

    As for my other chickens, their runny poops don't really look like any of the pictures in the link you posted, but since they've been pooping the same way for months, I have to assume it's normal.
     
  9. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:His poop was normal this morning. Very green, but more normal shaped, no more diarrhea. [​IMG] I'll keep him in at least for today, maybe let him back out tomorrow if he's still better. I wonder if he got into something that none of the others did. He was happy and clucking away when I checked in before I left for work at 5:45. Very bright eyed and alert, no more droopy head. He was definitely dehydrated from the diarrhea. I just wish I knew what had caused it. They do eat a lot of grass, and since it's winter, maybe he ate some weed that didn't agree with him. Most of the grass is dormant, but all the weeds seem to be staying green!

    As for my other chickens, their runny poops don't really look like any of the pictures in the link you posted, but since they've been pooping the same way for months, I have to assume it's normal.

    I am very happy for you. It sounds like he is back. [​IMG] The lesson here is don't panic. [​IMG] I am so happy [​IMG]
     
  10. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now I have a large fowl hatchery dark Cornish (purchased as a 1 day old through mail order), same age (almost 4 mos), who is coughing. [​IMG]

    So far these are the only 2 who have shown any signs of anything! I have 40 birds, several breeds, mostly LF, several bantams. The DC is running around and drinking like normal, but he's just coughing. No nasal or eye discharge, no swollen anything just the coughing and a little bit of gaping, but that might be from me chasing him to catch and look at him. Looks perfectly healthy except for the cough and slightly rapid breathing. He's holding his tail up and strutting like normal. Think these are separate or related? Maybe I should run to the feed store for some abx just to be on the safe side? But I hate using them if I am not sure they're needed. [​IMG]

    On the bright side, the bantam Marans is back to normal and running with the big boys. They think they're so tough! LOL. Their new trick the last few days is to try and catch one of the big girls, who are really not interested in these young boys, which usually leads to a beat down. I haven't seen the bantam Marans try it, but the LF black copper Marans and blue Andalusian think they're hot stuff!
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011

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