Silkie hen getting worse... And also fox alert! ... In great need of advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wild--Star, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. Wild--Star

    Wild--Star Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My silky hen has been getting worse since i last posted.
    I have now been taking her on walk out in the yard away from the other hens which she thoroughly enjoys. I had previously thought she was getting better and had high hopes of reintroducing her to the flock but thats clearly not going to happen at least anytime soon.

    I will get straight to the point. I am really worried it could be Mareks disease, which is what i believe my last silky had and unfortunately died from or at least from secondary infection due to having already developed Mareks.

    I really do not want to lose another hen, i have grown so close to little Sky and would be absolutely devastated if i lost her. She is so loving and used to be so full of life.

    -She has been constantly shaking and scratching her head for a few weeks now with no sign of (and has been treated for) mites.
    -Before that she was not eating from what i thought was depression from loss of a friend and being isolated from the rest of flock due to her not looking well (You can see my last posts for details.)
    -Recently i have discovered she has not been eating well like i thought. She is SO skinny and incredibly light. I can pick her u and carry her around in one hand with ease, which i couldnt dream of being able to do with my other silky, so this is very bad.
    -And she seems to have lost her depth perception. When she actually wants to eat she tries to peck at her food but misses. She seems to be aiming mostly right but she just pecks thin air, and misses a few inches above her food. She even cocks her head often when looking at a particular thing like her food as if she is trying to look at it from a new angle like she is having trouble and cant work out why. She must be o confused poor baby. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    I haven't been able to look at her eyes because her top feathers cover her eyes and when i try to push them back to look she closes her eyes.
    Also should i try to tube feed her and if so how as she bucks her head wen i try to look down her throat or touch her head/face.


    Anyone know anything or have any suggestions?

    Is thee any natural remedies or other remedies i can give her???? Is there ANYTHING i can do?
    She is on some kind of antibiotics in her water and i also put apple cider vinegar in her water also but i dont know if shes drinking. Her poo seems normal and she walks around and chirps like she is happy but just doesn't seem to have much energy probably from malnutrition from not eating.


    i just hope its not Mareks and hope she gets better but with my luck..? [​IMG]


    ???????????????? Help?





    Also I spotted a fox up near the chicken coop which is quite close to the house in the middle of the afternoon! about 4 or 5pm daylight savings time, so its still quite light. It was crazy i went outside to find a big fox which i believe was stalking my hens as it was going up that way towards the chickens. Luckily they were locked up due to the recent rain but I am worried it may come back. is been about 2 days and i haven't seen it since i chased it all the way down the back (we have 7 acres of bush as our property but the hens only stay up the front). I cant be out there to watch them all the time and the dog didnt notice it until i did so i am worried that the fox knows where they are now and will come back again. It was so close, right near the house, so gutsy!

    Any suggestions other than baiting or trapping as i dont believe in that kind of treatment to any animal.?



    Thanks all... I feel like a pest, so many problems all the time but hey, what are the forums for? [​IMG]

    ~Wild
     
  2. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm so sorry to hear about Sky, but before you begin to believe it is hopeless, I want to tell you about my special-needs silkie, Mavis.
    Mavis, as with many silkies because of their crest, got a brain injury right when she was feathering out. An adult chicken landed on her head by accident and she nearly died, suffering oxygen loss and the like. We brought her inside, and ever since then she had shown all the symptoms that your silkie is showing. She couldn't eat because she seemed to be unable to see properly (we thought she was blind at first but she pecked at brightly colored objects), she would walk in circles, she shook her head and yawned all the time, she was unable to live with other chickens, but she was very sweet and loved walked out in the warm sunlight with me.

    Silkies can get brain damage and they can still live happy, healthy lives. It just takes some changes in how they are cared for. First, you should trim her feet feathers and head feathers so she can more easily see and feel where she is going. Mavis seemed to search out food by touch as well as sight. She lived in our basement and would walk in circles until she found her plate, then walk in more circles and refind it to eat some more. She learned how to drink on her own as well.

    We did not have to tube-feed Mavis, but it took a few days of force feeding her canned cat-food, scrambled egg pieces and wheat-bread soaked in water before she begin to learn to eat well. We would pry open her beak and place it far back on her tongue and she would swallow on her own, though certainly not without a lot of struggling. She got thin, but soon gained her weight back.

    Now, I don't want to say yours couldn't have some disease, but it sounds very similar to brain damage instead and since silkies are prone to it, that would be my guess. She will need a warm, secure place to stay since she may be unable to stay warm. Mavis would walk into corners and get stuck and she walked along walls a lot, so a place without many obstacles and where she can't get trapped or lost would be best. Provide easy access to water that she can't fall into and food that is easily reached such as a plate or dish (I would spread it out on the floor for Mavis).

    I really hope your chicken begins to get better! Feed her lots of vitamin and mineral rich foods such as scrambled eggs. I hear yogurt is good as well.

    I have no experience with foxes, but I hope someone else can assist you with this.


    To finish my story, I do have to add, I accidentally neglected poor little Mavis. It was devestating, but right before I could try introducing her into an outdoor crate to live in, she got sick from the moist, cool basement where she lived. I force fed her medicine, I let her soak in the sun, I kept her in a warm crate, but it didn't work and she passed before her first birthday. However, this was my own fault and not because of her brain trauma (to my knowledge) and does not mean yours will do the same thing. I know I shouldn't blame myself, I gave her a good life, but I wish she were still here, I wish she didn't have to get the injury her first night outside. R.I.P. little Mavis.

    This is Mavis before her injury, with her standard sized siblings and silkie mother (they were kept in the basement until old enough because they were hatched during the winter)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mavis taking a walk in her cozy hat
    [​IMG]

    Mavis and her siblings and mother under the heatlight
    [​IMG]

    Mavis perching on my hand
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Wild--Star

    Wild--Star Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, Thank you so much,
    I hope it is not a disease, though it still sucks if it is brain damage but i think it would only be quite minor as she is not bumping into things or anything like that but just has trouble with her depth perception and head shaking/scratching. Brain damage does seem very plausible, I hadn't thought of that.

    I am deeply sorry to hear about your little Mavis but you are right, you cannot blame yourself and so long as her life was happy that is all that matters. She looks like she would have been a lovely little companion. It is always hard to lose someone you love but just know that if she was loved and happy than her life was good and that is all you can do but try and make your pets have the best life they can under certain circumstances.

    I got my little Sky to eat some Farax (which is baby formula, rice cereal) with yogurt and mixed a few seeds in it yesterday and she ate some eventually when i held it up in the little dish for her to peck at more easily and did the same with her water. She seemed to like the food but didnt want it all. How much are they supposed to eat/drink per day? And do you think I should keep her on the antibiotics?
    I will definitely take your advice on trimming her feathers and feeding her etc. thanks. I never thought of cat food (I assume the fish ones) but I could do that as I also have cats. And i have boxes and hay in her little bird aviary, this is where we first kept the hens in when they were chicks before their coop was set up, so I think it is suitable, she seems fine in their. Do you think it would be unwise to let her see her friends just in case it is a disease though?


    Thank you for all your advice. xx Best Of Luck for the future
    ~Wild
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  4. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Its hard to know the exact amount chickens need, but if you can feel that their crop is at least semi-full after eating then they have had a good meal. They should have at least two good meals a day.

    If she continues in the same or show improvement over a week or so she can probably be reintroduced without a problem, just make sure the others don't bully her.
     
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  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Let me know if you want to learn how to tube feed.

    Water - she needs no less than 5% of her body weight per day (50 ml per 1kg).

    -Kathy
     
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  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Just double checked, and it looks to be more like this:
    Water - 12% per day (120 ml per kilo)
    Food - 5.7% per day (57 g per kilo)

    -Kathy
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
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  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  8. Wild--Star

    Wild--Star Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok Thank you all heaps x

    GitaBooks- Thanks thats is helpful to know

    Kathy- I might just take up that offer on learning how to tube feed thanks. I thought i could do it no worries as its not the first time but i have mostly only dealt with baby birds a few years ago and my last sick chicken and this chicken seems to buck and shake a lot when i try and touch her face so if i could learn any proper methods that would be great thanks
     
  9. Wild--Star

    Wild--Star Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks heaps to everyone that has helped and is still helping, i greatly appreciate it but if anyone else has any advice on this topic, either on my silkie or the fox issue, that would be great thanks. I havnt had any feedback on how to keep the fox at bay but I guess thats a hard one.
    Anyway thanks again.x

    P.s. I was feeding my little silkie they baby formula rice cereal with yogurt and crushed dried mealworms and I started to panic as I remembered I had heard u cant give birds rice so I jumped straight on the net and looked it up but found out it is only raw rice that expands in their stomachs. I was really starting to freak out for a second but I think I am alright with feeding her this as it is ground up and already is soaked in water when I make it up. That was a relief...
     
  10. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I was worried about feeding my chickens rice as well, but was also reminded only raw rice is dangerous. My chickens love the left-over rice from our meals. [​IMG]
     
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