Sick pullet won't eat/ is lethargic

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by polishchickens111, May 23, 2012.

  1. polishchickens111

    polishchickens111 Songster

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    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
    Sesame, my 10-month-old NH Red pullet, usually a heavy bird, now very skinny.
    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    I saw her drooping her head and closing her eyes a couple days ago. This behavior has continued. I put it down to enjoying the sunlight. I also noticed her holding her wings away from her body, but actually she's really skinny. She won't eat her food, and reluctantly nibbles hand-fed scratch. Egg production has stopped. She also has lost her sense of balance.
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    A week or so.
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
    No.
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    No.
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    No change that I am aware of.
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    I believe she's drinking, it's hot here and she seems pretty normal. However, she doesn't eat. I give them egg producer feed and a handful of scratch everyday, sometimes with grapes and tomatoes as treats.
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    Green, gritty (as if she's been eating sand) and very loose. It's all stuck to her butt feathers.
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    None, didn't know what to do.
    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?
    Would prefer to treat myself, but if I need to see a vet for minor things that's OK.
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    [​IMG]
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    Coop- 4x8, shared by six pullets, and an 8x12 run that they have access too at all times. The coop has wood shavings, the run sand. Both are kept clean. They free range on the weekends.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  2. polishchickens111

    polishchickens111 Songster

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    Update: She is eating some clover and grass, but had not touched food. We put her in a pen. We tried contacting a vet but all of the local ones are closed.
     
  3. polishchickens111

    polishchickens111 Songster

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    I separated her and I'm making an oat-honey-yogurt-egg-PolyViSol mix.
     
  4. polishchickens111

    polishchickens111 Songster

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    Unfortunately, she passed away on Saturday.

    I'm a little bit angry that I received absolutely no help from this forum. I can usually regard this as a helpful and supportive forum, but seeing as this thread received no answers, help, or well-wishes my opinion is changing.
     
  5. 2greenboyz

    2greenboyz Songster

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    I am truly sorry your hen lost it's fight. It is always hard to lose one of these beautiful birds. I'm also sorry no one answered you, sometimes one does slip thru the cracks with zero responses. This last w/end was also a holiday, with many people not even logging on and others were busy with family or friends. In reading about your hen, and from my experience, I will say you really had little chance to save her. All anyone could have done was offer you moral support and I'm sorry no one did that. By what you said even she was skinny and she was not eating. She had also lost her sense of balance. You were fighting a losing battle, you did a great job in trying to save her but sometimes it just isn't possible.

    This forum is helpful and supportive, but sometimes answers come too late. I've also had your experience of slipping through the cracks. I prefer not to let it cloud my opinion because there is a ton of knowledge on here, plus I feel I have a lot to offer others. I think you do too. Again, I'm sorry for your hen.
     
  6. fyrbyrd

    fyrbyrd Hatching

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    So sorry you lost your girl! I lost one just a few days ago, and have another not doing good. There were no symptoms on the one I lost, was fine at night - dead the next morning. Not so with the ill bird, some of the same symptoms, yours had. Not eating lethargic, but stretches her neck up and down like its hard for her to swallow. Went to the vet, not worms, thinks she may have ingested cardboard, or something of that nature. Did a throat culture and didn't think it was related to a wild bird problem, as here we have little of that. Poo had lots of undigested grains in it, would only eat if released so she could scratch or free range. Craw was spongy and empty, until last night after free ranging. Then she had some substance in it this morning. Removed her from others, and waiting until I get report back from autopsy on other one. Will post info here.
    Interesting side note: Found a sick wild turkey next to one of the runs today, it was very ill looking, and could hardly walk. Went to get something to catch it with, and it was gone when I got back. The vet says "not likely related", but it seems like a weird coincidence.
     
  7. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Songster

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    I am so sorry that I didn't catch your post. I try to catch them all but it was such a busy weekend that I missed quite a few. It is very frustrating to ask for help and no one available to answer.

    I'm sorry for the loss of your hen [​IMG]

    Those symptoms point to Marek's disease. I would have instructed you to have had a necropsy done so that you could rule this out as a cause. If another one of your birds exhibit the same symptoms, I would have her euthanized and a necropsy performed to find out the cause. I'm hoping that it waas something altogether difference and she will be the only one affected [​IMG]
     
  8. hensonly

    hensonly Songster

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    Another disease with similar symptoms to Mareks is Avian Leukosis. My two-year-old hens have it. It's generally passed from carrier hen to chick, right in the egg. It's a virus. The chicks are therefore born with it. It manifests at 4-8 months of age, and there are no symptoms until 2-3 days before the hen dies. She quits eating, becomes very lethargic, comb/wattles go pale, and she dies. I had one of my dead hens necropsied, and this was the diagnosis. It's hard to find information on the Web that's written in layman's terms, but the pathologist that did the necropsy was most helpful about answering my questions. However, if you understand veterinary language, you will find info if you Google Avian Leukosis. There's no prevention (except keeping healthy birds away from infected stock) and no cure. Once they have it, they have it for life. They don't all die from it (I still have six hens from that flock), but I did lose half my ladies, plus the rooster. It affects only chickens and you can still eat the eggs from infected hens. The virus is easy to kill; it dies on its own pretty quickly once it's out of the hen (in poop, etc.). So the premises can be used for healthy birds if you disinfect thoroughly between flocks, both indoors and out. If you lose another bird suddenly like that, you might want to have a necropsy done. Refrigerate the bird (don't freeze her) as quickly as possible after death. Hope you don't have this disease in your flock...
     
  9. fyrbyrd

    fyrbyrd Hatching

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    In answer to polishchickens111, I took the hen that I lost to have an necropsy done on her and said I'd report it here.

    The preliminary report was that the liver ruptured. "Hepatic rupture and associated internal bleeding is a syndrome that has been recognized for several years in very obese laying chickens with livers that have an extremely soft texture. This soft texture is often (but not always) associated with fatty livers in birds consuming high energy diets. Cases are more often seen during the summer. The actual etiology (cause) for this condition is unknown."
    Italics are mine!

    Remember this is NOT a full report, just the initial finding. This was a black minorca about 11 months old. Was a small and thinnish bird. My birds are on a organic laying pellet, scratch, and free range. The only table scraps they get are vegetables. So I'm still stumped, but if it helps anyone at all, I'm thankful it will.
     
  10. polishchickens111

    polishchickens111 Songster

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    Everyone, thank you for your condolences. I was just so sad and frustrated. I do realize that you're busy too. We took her to the vet and he deemed it respiratory.
    Thanks you I understand.
    I'm sorry about your birds, it's hard to lose them. [​IMG] Thanks.
    Thanks. She was vaccinated as a chick, and my area has very little of that kind of thing. I've checked the other birds, and they're OK.
    Avian Leukosis actually sounds very possible. She exhibited all of those symptoms! Fortunately, she is the only one of that breed I ordered from the hatchery. I don't think the disease will spread.
    She wasn't obese, and we've already identified the most likely cause. My chickens get the same diet.

    The vet also said he felt a lump in her abdomen, like a tumor. He said it was not an egg, it wasn't firm enough, but it's rare for birds that young to get them. I'm not sure we'll ever know for sure; I buried her this weekend and don't particularly feel like digging her up.
     

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