Sick pullet, moping, runny poo, help please. WARNING poo pics included

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Debbienmousey, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. Debbienmousey

    Debbienmousey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi all. I wasn't originally going to use this basic format but I decided it would be the easiest way. I've tried to provide every detail that I can think of as useful, but if you think you can help but you need more info PLEASE ask more questions and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability - after all I just want to help my little pullet get better. I apologize ahead of time for such a long post [​IMG]

    1) What type of bird, age and weight.
    She is a Columbian Wyandotte mix pullet, a little over 8 months old. I'm not sure of the weight but she's a decent weight for her size. She is also cross-beaked. She isn't named :\\. We just call her the "cross-beaked chicken" lol. Poor thing.

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    Kinda moping around, loss of energy, no scratching, head and shoulders hunched up, wings drooped, tail down, runny poo on fluff under vent, slight loss of appetite, possibly increased thirst, taking baby steps instead of regular walking or running, vomiting. She was also tucking her head under her feathers yesterday.

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    Moping started around Sunday I think (If not Sunday, then Monday), droopy wings, loss of energy, and runny poo wasn't really 'til Wednesday.

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?

    No, everyone else is looking great. Very active and good appetites - even with the colder weather.

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    No. I looked her over for mites and didn't see any. Eyes are bright, nose is clean, and her comb and wattles are their regular bright red color. No sneezing or breathing problems either. No disturbing smell around face/head.

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    Nothing that I know of. She free ranges with the rest of the flock and has been for at least two months now, none of the other chickens pick on her at all. If anything it would have to be the cold weather. Sunday was really cold and I don't think Monday got much above 26 F. Sunday through Wednesday were also very windy along with the cold. Thursday was still cold, but Friday was pretty nice - just bordering on chilly during the day.

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    Normally she eats whole corn and a scratch and laying pellet mix. While being in a seperate cage, she has been eating the scratch and laying pellet mix with some canola oil mixed in. She also had some kale yesterday. For water I've been adding an electrolyte mix called "Quik Chik".

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    I haven't seen a really fresh poo yet, but the ones she's done seem very runny and wet (More-so than normal) and seems to be a lot of white, with some dark kinda solid-squishy blobs.

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    No "treamenet" exactly. I've moved her to a warm seperate cage, given her as much feed as she wants, and she has some hay in with her. The only treatment might be the Quik Chik electrolytes in her water.

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I want to treat her myself. We don't have an avian vet and right now we can't afford one either.

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    Yes I do.





    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    The flock lives in a very roomy coop (Sorry, I'm not good with measurements, lol) with good ventilation and fairly good insulation. By this time last year we'd already had some frostbite on the roosters combs but none yet this year so that's good news [​IMG]. I think the ventilation has been quite improved since we added on to the coop. We have a regular light that goes on at 5 AM and turns off at 8 AM to encourage the ladies to lay. There are only 5 adult roosters (three are kinda banty) and a few other younger roosters which this pullet was raised with. There hasn't been any over-harrassment of the hens yet, as all the older hens have been keeping the cockerels in line, lol! We have plenty of roosting space, some roosts are small trees, which we used to give a more "natural" look, trimmed of branches and going length wise. (Like you'd install any regular roost) The rest I think are 2x4s with the shorter side up, although we have been hearing a lot about putting the wider side down so that they have to sit on their feet, but I haven't seen any signs of frostbite on the toes so I think they're doing fine there. Some of the birds sleep under the roosts instead of on them. They have a good sized chicken door which I have been shutting every night for the past week or more because it's been so cold and windy. For bedding we use hay, and we like to keep it nice and deep. Half of the coop though doesn't have any hay on the floor (That's the new add-on part), but it has some dirt. The flooring is plastic slats, the kind you'd put on your windows when there's a hurricane or tornado warning. We have one waterer inside the coop, which does get dirty sometimes even though it's on a cinder block, but I try to keep the floor/bedding dry.

    I put the pullet in a dog carrier on Wednesday (which was the day I noticed the runny poo on her vent feathers, and the carrier is in a seperate run from the main run which I keep my bantam birds in), so that she could get some rest and also in case her condition is contagious. Her appetite has been okay, although not the best. She seems to be drinking water well. Her poos have been messy. I let her out for just a little bit yesterday, but when one of the bantam hens tried sparring with her she lost her balance, which I thought was odd (Kinda did that thing where they fall a little and droop there wing down more to catch themselves sort've) and she vomited a little yellowish/creamish colored liquid. So I decided to put her down in the coop with her food and water and see how she acts. (This is the only place bigger than her carrier that I can put her so she's completely alone) She pecked at her food a bit, drank some water, pecked at a little food on the floor..Walked around a tiny bit, and at one point almost looked like she was going to jump up onto some cages that are built-in to the coop walls but she didn't. Occasionally when she would have her head pointed down and peck at something she'd then tilt her head back and act like she was swallowing water or something. And I did see her vomit a little of the same yellowish/creamish liquid as earlier. I'm thinking the head-tilting was her trying to keep the vomit down? Remember she is cross-beaked, so possibly it's not that at all and it's just something cross-beaked birds do? (Although I have a cross-beaked Silkie cockerel from a hatchery, and I've never seen him do that) She ate a little bit of kale yesterday also, but not much. She ended up walking over to one of the human doors and just stood there in the corner, head tucked in a bit. I decided that was it so I put her back out in the carrier. I didn't get any time today to take her out as it has been raining most of the day. I've been keeping her outside at night with an old thick curtain wrapped around her carrier, but tonight I put her carrier in the coop and wrapped the curtain around it and I think she'll be plenty warm.

    My friends down the rode had an adult hen back in May become sick with a few of the same symptoms. She was very thin, wouldn't hardly eat, wouldn't drink much, her comb had turned mostly a purple-ish color, she had runny poo on her fluff, and all she'd do is stand in the same place with her eyes closed. My friends mom had given her a warm bath hoping it would help clean her up a bit and possibly help if she were egg bound. Unfortunately she died the next morning [​IMG] Cause of death was unknown. (I just thought I'd add this part, I don't honestly know if it'll help at all..)

    Again I apologize for the long post [​IMG] and I thank you ahead of time for your help!! (I may very well edit in more stuff later or post on this thread with things that I've forgotten - because I'm sure I've forgotten something lol. Always do :p)
  2. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm probably not able to help much but since I have a cross beaked chicken I'll ask - does she have access to grit and can she actually pick it up with her beak the way it is? In one pic it doesn't look as bad as it does in a couple of others. My cross beak doesn't tilt her head except to look at me to see what I'm going to feed her.
  3. Debbienmousey

    Debbienmousey Chillin' With My Peeps

    We don't provide actual grit. We just figure they'll get all they need from being out and about scratching for stuff. Her beak is not too bad I guess, since she's done fine 'til now and has been keeping a good weight. I was concerned when I saw her beak going crooked that she'd have a hard time eating and keeping up with the rest of the flock, but she hasn't.

    As an update for today, I let her out in the coop for a bit and when I opened her carrier door she almost ran out. She walked around more normal and pecked at a little food, took a little water too. Then she walked over to the low roost and hopped up. When I was ready to put her back she put up more of a fight then the other days, but still not like a fully well chicken might struggle. Her poos seem to be getting a little more back to normal, and she's still looking bright eyed. I'm definitely either going to need to bath her or trim her fluff under her vent though. And she ate a little more kale today and some peas and red beans.

    Hoping she's on the mend!

    ETA: She does, of course, always have food and water in her carrier also.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    red beans are cooked right? I trim my hens feathers around their vent. they are messy with all that fluff, I give a good trim but not clear to the skin.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  5. Debbienmousey

    Debbienmousey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, they were cooked.

    And okay about the feather trimming. I've never really had a problem like that before (my friends have though) so I haven't bother to trim fluff on anyone. She's definitely going to need a bath though I think, her fluff is really dirty.

    She is getting more active, likes to come out and walk around, and spill her water lol. She puts up more of a fight now too when we want to catch her. Saw a poo today, was good and solid but not too dry or anything. I would say she's almost better but one thing is still worrying me - she still isn't quite eating like normal and she seems to be losing weight. And, just to add, I only gave her the electrolyte water for about 2 days.

    Guess I'll just try enticing her to eat by giving her more goodies and stuff. Hoping she's on the mend.

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