Sick looking hen can't open eye, missing feathers, Please Help!

akachanChick

Chirping
7 Years
Aug 20, 2013
8
14
79
Hi, one of my hen (Peanut) appear sick today all of sudden. She can't jump up to the flock's normal feeding/play area (~2'-3' high) and not her normal self...acting rather weird, looking like she went thru some trauma.... but I don't see any clear visible injury except for the missing feathers (see below). I have isolated her from the rest of the flock with her own water and food hoping that would help her get there easier as the other girls are much more aggressive. However, seems she is unable to see well nor much interest in food or drink...

Some basic info and observations- please see photos attached (Some are live photos. Not sure if you can see the short clips format as attachments here but if you can, you can see a little bit of how Peanut behave and move with her head and eye...)

1. She is a Buff Brahma, 10 months old, not sure of her weight but she is at the bottom of the pecking order and I believe has always been on the lighter side than the other hens
2. Her neck(head) appears to be bit stiff & tilted slightly to her right side
3. Her right eye is shut tight unable to open on her own. While her left eye/face appears to be normal, at times appear to want to close like she is sleepy, barely able to open it. While examining her more closely, I tried to open her eyelids a bit with my fingers, her eyeball was red... not like her good eye but no visible discharge or blood otherwise that I can tell.
4. Her chest area is clearly missing some feathers... I suspect there may be a bully in the flock because another low ranked hen has been systematically picked at, missing more and more feathers everyday... (she is Blue - easter egger in picture.. bald all the way to her chest! :( I don't know what to do and how to stop it! :( ) Blue is however perfectly happy & healthy otherwise (she often peck at Peanut to keep her away from feeding) Sadly, I still have no clue who the bully is... and now looks like the bully is moving on to the next victim?!
5. She did not eat or drink much nearly all day and seems to be quite slow/inactive (but does not look roached back though). When she finally did show a little sign of interests in food or water, she seems to be missing the target... rather slow and hesitantly, not really able to peck at the food or drink the water too well. Perhaps is her eye sight causing this? she also does not seem to be able to lift her head up to drink... water keeps running out of her beak down her chest after she dip her beak in the water bowl...(mostly I have to help, tilting the bowl so her peak can reach the water)
6. She did have one or two very watery poop with some greenish and little white substance. Is this bad?
7. I have no idea what the cause might be, nor if the feather loss is related to the other illness symptoms, or both hens' feather loss are from the same cause...
8. I have not found any signs of lice or mites... but I will do more exams when I have a chance. The hens (5) are in the 4'x4' coop with pine bedding. I am going to start using diatomaceous earth in their bedding but haven't yet.
9. I am rather new at this, will need to look for an avian vet but I might not get to until Monday at the earliest. I am hoping that this is not very serious, if it is something that I can treat at home it would be preferred. Cost is a major concern for me right now, but I will if I must.
10. Lastly, I recently started a new homemade organic whole grain chicken feed diet, it has been only about 5 days... don't know if this new diet have anything to do with Peanut's illness (?) The other girls seem to be doing okay (not too thrill though) and continue laying eggs well so far... (even Blue has not stop laying with all that feather loss). I also started feeding them daily, or every other day, hard boil eggs to supplement their diet/protein for new feather growth. They also get veggies and occasional treat like crickets and black oil sunflower seeds etc.

By the time I finish writing this post, Peanut thankfully seemed a tiny bit better, eating/drinking a small amount and seem to be able to settle some in her lightly heated fleece hospital bed (fleece bedding in a large cardboard box). We have never had a sick hen or full grown hen inside the house overnight before, hope that Peanut is going to be okay.

Sorry for the long post, but want to give as much info as possible. Anyone any ideas what is the matter with my hens? Anything I can do to treat Peanut or Blue? What is the best way to stop the feather picking by the mystery bully? If it is that. Any suggestions or thoughts you can share would be so appreciated!

-Catherine
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CluckerFamily

Enabler
5 Years
Feb 14, 2016
10,370
61,110
1,131
Wisconsin
If you haven’t already, you will want to add neosporin over her eyelid.
Electrolytes can be added into her water.
The bullying can be happening at night.
How big is your run?
 

akachanChick

Chirping
7 Years
Aug 20, 2013
8
14
79
If you haven’t already, you will want to add neosporin over her eyelid.
Electrolytes can be added into her water.
The bullying can be happening at night.
How big is your run?
Thank you, I will try that! Her bad eye is now open up but not completely and the eyelids do look slightly swollen and whitish...

To add to more observations, with each drink of water she takes (water with drops of apple cider vinegar added) her stomach makes this gurgling noise much like her stomach is not so agreeing with her... but she is wanting to drink which I take it is not a bad sign? Also noticed no new bowel movement since last night (2 very watery w/ greenish and whitish substance), though she really did not eat or drink much... should I be forcing down more water or food into her?

My run is about ~7' x 15' plus a small ~5' x 5' feed/play area ~3' above the run.
 

akachanChick

Chirping
7 Years
Aug 20, 2013
8
14
79
Please help! She is worse today, her head tilting even further back and lie entirely on her side like she is dying... her bad eye is now mostly open only slightly swollen on the lids, but looks ok. However, I think she is bit warm like a fever? I am not sure how to tell if she is...so I tried to give her an aspirin solution and bit more electrolyte water, she closes her eyes and twists her neck way back like she is having a hard time swallowing & giving up... meanwhile she is also making some clearly labored expand & contract movement on her neck as she breaths and swallow the solution... she has been super quiet otherwise, no wheezing, coughing or any raspy noise other than the little gurgling noise after feeding her water/aspirin solution.

I don't know what else to do to help her... I am worry she is really sick, barely standing or able to walk when I right her to feed her water/meds. (I thought I found her dead twice lying on her side with her head twisted awkwardly back and tuck under her body...)

What do you think she may have? I am also worried that it may be contagious to other birds... she is isolated from the other hens outside but I am also caring for two other baby parrots in the house (both in separate rooms from the sick bird).

Can anyone please help me?

Many thanks!
 

Myrshine

Songster
May 30, 2020
1,010
715
201
USA
She could be dealing with something mild as for respiratory, like MG. As for her neck, have you tried treating for wry neck? Wry Neck is a vitamin deficiency, more specifically a vitamin E deficiency. Though with both of these symptoms, and possibly VERY UNLIKELY, could be Newcastle Disease. Before assuming it as NDV, I would try treating with vitamin E for the deficiency and get testing done for the respiratory symptoms. She very well could be wheezing because of the Wry Neck. First priority is to get her Wry Neck under control.
 

Eden83_haaretz

Songster
Jan 5, 2021
346
732
173
Mexico, Puebla
A broad spectrum antibiotic could help if she has some sort of pulmonary distress, had a chicken. A while back trembling, flopping her neck downwards as of she couldn't hold it up (I guess she had some sort of pulmonary disease). We were worried it was Newcastle, but with the antibiotic administered for five days she got better.
If you can, take her to the vet asap if you don't want to risk giving her medication , no point in prolonging what might be treatable.
 

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