Sick NHR


10 Years
May 31, 2009
I have a 2.5 year old NHR (hatchery) who has had very runny, at times watery stools for several weeks (about 8). ( I posted before.) Throughout all this, she still walked around with head a tail up, ate well, maintained a good weight, preened herself and continued to run the flock. But she drank a lot of water.

I've fed her scrambled eggs and other healthy delectibles, put her in a cage with only water and liquid nourishment for two days (that resulted in less watery stools and more substance to them), wormed her, and just generally watched and babied her a bit.

Her apparent health ended today. When I got home from work about an hour ago, she came out to greet me with her tail down and a bit hunched up. I lifted her up and felt her all around and checked her vent. Still watery stool, still a fair amount of padding on her keel, but she's very swollen around her vent from the wings back, and it's tight, not soft.

Her crop is soft and she's kind of weak. I had to lift her on the roost tonight.

I'd like to treat her, if it's treatable at this point. But if it looks grim, then I'll come up with a way to end her suffering. I would not like to take her to a vet, but will if the consensus is that she'll make it.

I raised all these girls from tiny, tiny babies and it breaks my heart to see her sick now and to think that one of them will be leaving.

Thanks for your reply,

Yes, I have checked for an egg. Her abdomen's very tight and I'm afraid of hurting her.

I let my girls rest during the winter and the last egg I got was early November from my Australorpe. Copper molted late and has laid nothing since.

For a while, she had a small lump in her crop in the morning when I checked her. It was soft and I was able to gently break it up. Tonight, her crop is full, but feels soft and mushy, like she's not been eating today. No, there's never been a foul smell from her mouth.

I think I'll hit the feed store before it closes for some antibiotics (it will most likely be for cows or something) and maybe start her on a run tomorrow if she makes it through the night.

She could be eggbound. Try soaking her in a container of warm water up to her sides, gently massage her underside front to rear for about 20 minutes. Put on a disposable glove and put olive oil on your finger and insert it into her vent checking for a stuck egg or broken egg shell. Remove your finger and lube her vent area with olive oil. The warm water will expand her innards and the massaging will help the egg move along. Lubed finger in the vent stretches her and the olive oil will make the egg slip out easier. IF that's what it is.
If there's broken egg shell inside her vent use a large syringe without needle, mixing 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 quart of warm water. Use a full syringe of the mixture and insert it in her vent and flush. Use about 3 or 4 syringefuls, the liquid may or may not flow out of her vent afterwards. This procedure will prevent a bacterial infection.

Thanks for the input and I'm considering this as an option. However, it's dark here and has been for over an hour and pulling her off the roost and inserting a finger up her might be considered a tad impolite. Can it wait until morning?

On the way back from the feed store, I remember that she had a similar incident of a swollen belly in August that resolved in a day or so without any mishaps. She's had a tendency to stop suddenly while walking in the grass and lay down.

Could she be eggbound with only diarrhea as a symptom for two months? Also, last winter when I let the girls rest, they stopped laying in October and didn't resume until Feb, so I'm not even sure that she's bringing down an egg. She doesn't squat and her comb is still fairly pale. This is a couple reasons why I didn't think she was egg bound.

I feel somewhat bad about letting this go, but in my defense, she was not acting sick except for the diarrhea and I thought that might be a slow crop so I treated those symptoms. For a couple of days now she's been acting very hungry when I give her her supplemental food. I've not been able to give her some for a couple of days because it's dark when I leave for work in the morning and when I get home.

The only thing the feed store would sell me is Duramyacin. Hope it works.


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