Silkie Chicken Sick

lpaigek

In the Brooder
Sep 24, 2019
10
19
36
Hi i’m very new to this but I have a 5 year old Silkie hen who has been getting worse the past couple of days. About a week ago i noticed she was limping and brought her inside for inspection. Her right foot was clumped with rock solid mud but i gave her a warm bath and gently got it all off and checked for any injuries, and she seemed fine after that with no visible openings in her skin. Yesterday though i realised she was extremely unwell. Unable to stand and super lethargic. I’ve been keeping her inside to monitor her, but she isn’t getting any better. She hasn’t eaten or drank anything, and doesn’t seem tempted by her favourite treats. At first, her poo was liquid and yellow - almost like wee. Now, it’s white, but still not solid. She is unable to stand up and falls forward whenever she tries to, and last night she was breathing strangely, almost rasping - but that has since stopped. I have tried to open her mouth and give her some water, as well as probiotic yoghurt and boiled egg yolk mushed together, but she desperately doesn’t want to eat or drink. She’s definitely a fighter, as I thought she was going to die in my arms yesterday, and it sounds harsh but my mum doesn’t want to take her to the vets, as she is old-ish and hasn’t been laying very well for a while. Is it just her time? or is it a disease of some sort that we need to stop our other chickens from getting? It’s been awful seeing her like this and I’ve tried everything I’ve felt safe and necessary for her. Just need some friendly advice. I’ve added some pictures of her from last night.
 

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lpaigek

In the Brooder
Sep 24, 2019
10
19
36
I’d also like to know if there’s anything else I can do. I’m pretty much doing all of the care by myself as my family aren’t chicken people, so I’m trying my best. I’m terrified to tube feed her but I feel like I might have to, since she isn’t eating and hates it when I open her mouth. Thank you
 

Wyorp Rock

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At first, her poo was liquid and yellow - almost like wee. Now, it’s white, but still not solid. She is unable to stand up and falls forward whenever she tries to, and last night she was breathing strangely, almost rasping - but that has since stopped. I have tried to open her mouth and give her some water, as well as probiotic yoghurt and boiled egg yolk mushed together, but she desperately doesn’t want to eat or drink.

she is old-ish and hasn’t been laying very well for a while
Welcome To BYC, I'm sorry to hear about your hen :hugs

Where are you located in the world, that is helpful when making recommendations.

If you can get a photo of her poop, that may be helpful too.

Check her crop and tell us what that feels like - is it empty, hard, squishy, doughy, fluid filled, does her breath smell bad?
She hasn't been laying eggs very well for a while - explain that - are the eggs soft shelled/shell less, she hasn't been laying at all, etc.
Have you looked inside her beak for any sores or canker?
It's hard to see her face and feet very well, but her legs and feet look like she may have Scaly Leg Mites - if possible can you get some more photos in better light so we can see her face, legs/feet?
Have you checked her for any lice or mites on the body (around the vent, under the wings, neck, top of head)?
Has she ever been wormed or treated for worms? Can you get a sample of poop tested?
Can she hold her head up?

I would try to get her hydrated. If you need to, hold her as shown in the video below, hold a water cup to her beak to see if she will drink on her own. Try some poultry vitamins that contain B1 and Vitamin E, if you have them - her holding her head like that reminds me of the symptom Wry Neck.

If she can't/won't drink on her own, then you can drop fluids beside her beak or press a wetted q-tip to the side of her beak and let it roll in. Placing liquids directly inside the beak you risk aspirating. Tubing fluids into her is an option, the second video shows you how. IF she is having crop issues, then you would want to be careful tubing too much into her though.
Hold a chicken to help them eat/drink

 

lpaigek

In the Brooder
Sep 24, 2019
10
19
36
Where are you located in the world, that is helpful when making recommendations.

I’m in the UK! East Midlands to be exact.

i’ve inserted a picture of her face, she’s super messy at the min cause i’ve been trying to tempt her with crushed egg shells and stuff!! She hasn’t been laying at least for about 3 weeks, we have 12 others so sometimes it’s hard to keep check on who’s laying, but I’m certain she hasn’t been laying for some time- we just assumed she was getting old, and the weather has been very temperamental!

Here’s also a picture of her poo, she hasn’t been pooing much since being inside, in fact I believe she’s only poo-ed maybe four times and it almost looks like white paint, it was very watery before.

Her crop feels hard, almost like a bone? and I think it feels quite empty, especially compared to how my other chicken’s crops feel, but she has definitely lost quite a bit of weight as she feels very bone-y anyway, which is worrying. I think her breath smells okay, but I can’t be quite sure. What should I be smelling??

She can hold her head up, and she’s fine standing up currently, but she just seems to tip forward as she goes to sit down. She definitely does have scaly leg mites, I’ve been treating her for about a week with a spray designed to get rid of that. We also had an awful outbreak of grey/red mites not that long ago, but we managed to get a hold of it and she doesn’t have any visibly on her anywhere. Nor lice. I did think it could be Wry-Neck, but she seems okay holding her neck up until she tries to sleep and then it naturally drops and her front half just tips forward too.

I hope this helps. I’ve been cuddling her and she definitely feels warmer than she did yesterday, her feet were ice cold for majority of the day - I did think maybe she has been bullied out of the coop, and potentially roosting outside of the pen at nighttime and maybe got too cold? I can’t be sure though. Whatever happens she’s staying inside for the meantime. I definitely will try to hydrate her. I have hope for her yet! She’s a tough cookie!!
 

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lpaigek

In the Brooder
Sep 24, 2019
10
19
36
she has just started drinking, but she is drinking a lot and keeps opening her mouth and throwing her head back after taking sips? please help?? is this normal? and this was her most recent poop
 

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Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
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Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
I’m in the UK! East Midlands to be exact.

She hasn’t been laying at least for about 3 weeks

Here’s also a picture of her poo, she hasn’t been pooing much since being inside, in fact I believe she’s only poo-ed maybe four times and it almost looks like white paint, it was very watery before.

Her crop feels hard, almost like a bone? and I think it feels quite empty, especially compared to how my other chicken’s crops feel, but she has definitely lost quite a bit of weight as she feels very bone-y anyway, which is worrying. I think her breath smells okay, but I can’t be quite sure. What should I be smelling??

She can hold her head up, and she’s fine standing up currently, but she just seems to tip forward as she goes to sit down. She definitely does have scaly leg mites, I’ve been treating her for about a week with a spray designed to get rid of that. We also had an awful outbreak of grey/red mites not that long ago

she has just started drinking, but she is drinking a lot and keeps opening her mouth and throwing her head back after taking sips? please help?? is this normal? and this was her most recent poop
How is she doing?
With her age, not laying eggs in a while, the weight loss and the color of that poop, I would lean toward reproductive problems, but it's really hard to know. Can you feel her abdomen between her legs, below the vent - any swelling or feeling of fluid there?

I would try to keep her hydrated, poultry vitamins that contain E and B1 would be good too. Then see if she will eat a little for you.
Since you are in the UK you can use Westgate labs for testing of worms or check with your vet to see if they can do that for you. https://www.westgatelabs.co.uk/
 

lpaigek

In the Brooder
Sep 24, 2019
10
19
36
How is she doing?
With her age, not laying eggs in a while, the weight loss and the color of that poop, I would lean toward reproductive problems, but it's really hard to know. Can you feel her abdomen between her legs, below the vent - any swelling or feeling of fluid there?

I would try to keep her hydrated, poultry vitamins that contain E and B1 would be good too. Then see if she will eat a little for you.
Since you are in the UK you can use Westgate labs for testing of worms or check with your vet to see if they can do that for you. https://www.westgatelabs.co.uk/


She’s okay at the minute. She’s been drinking on her own and made it through the night, and her body temperature is better than it was. She’s sleeping standing up now though and does keep occasionally opening her mouth, not quite like a yawn, but like she’s breathing through her mouth and she also occasionally shakes her head. I thought it could potentially be gapeworm, but I can’t see anything down her throat and I can’t hear her breathing or coughing. No swelling on her abdomen, I can feel her breastbone I think - she’s lost a lot of weight. I will try to add some vitamins into the water, I did put organic apple cider vinegar in there yesterday and she’s drank a lot, but will give her vitamins too. She’s definitely better than she was, but it’s a mystery. I will contact the vet to see if they can test for worms (hopefully free of charge!) Thank you. I’ll keep you updated on her health, just strange not knowing what’s wrong with her.
 

lpaigek

In the Brooder
Sep 24, 2019
10
19
36
She passed away this evening, a couple of hours ago :( For the sake of the rest of the flock I might get her tested as it was a really unusual sickness/death (for us anyway!) I’m glad she’s at peace now. It was a horrible experience watching her deteriorate like that. Thank you for all of your help and advice.
 

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