Sleepy, lethargic bird

Joekun

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2020
16
4
13
Hi everyone. I have a barred rock, about 6 months old, that is usually energetic. She has become lethargic and sleepy for the last 3 days. I only found out about it this morning.

Her crop seems ok (going to check it in the morning to be sure), she is eating and drinking, but also having diarrhea.

Thanks for any advice.

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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,387
38,499
1,142
Colorado Rockies
Where are you? US? Europe? Asia? Africa? Canada?

Has this pullet begun to lay yet? If so, any egg quality issues?

What has she been eating? How about free ranging and digging in a compost pile just prior to becoming ill?

Have any other chickens in this flock come down with similar symptoms? Any unexplained deaths in the past?

How many in the flock? Ages?
 

Joekun

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2020
16
4
13
Where are you? US? Europe? Asia? Africa? Canada?

US, Southern California

Has this pullet begun to lay yet? If so, any egg quality issues?

No eggs yet.

What has she been eating? How about free ranging and digging in a compost pile just prior to becoming ill?

She’s eating layer crumble, and just recently some dried metal worms as treats. No free ranging. I do have a little chicken yard where they forage in the dirt. No compost.

Have any other chickens in this flock come down with similar symptoms?

I had one bird that was attacked by my old flock (introduction didn’t go well). A few weeks ago that chicken was scalped, and died 10 days later. She was weak, but I assume she died from the injury rather than sickness. Couldn’t say for certain.

How many in the flock? Ages?

5 birds. All 6 months. The old flock moved away.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,387
38,499
1,142
Colorado Rockies
More questions. Have you checked for parasites? Lice. Coop mites. Intestinal worms.

Do you have a vet that you could ask to run a fecal float test on a stool sample?

Is your chicken yard wet and soggy?
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,387
38,499
1,142
Colorado Rockies
What is the source of these pullets? Did you raise them from hatchery chicks? Were they started pullets from a hatchery? Or did you get them from a private breeder or some place like Craig's List?
 

Joekun

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2020
16
4
13
More questions. Have you checked for parasites? Lice. Coop mites. Intestinal worms.

I don’t know how to do this

Do you have a vet that you could ask to run a fecal float test on a stool sample?

I found a vet not too far that treats chickens, but there is a week wait to be seen

Is your chicken yard wet and soggy?

No, it is dry.
 

Joekun

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2020
16
4
13
What is the source of these pullets? Did you raise them from hatchery chicks? Were they started pullets from a hatchery? Or did you get them from a private breeder or some place like Craig's List?

I got them from a farm a couple hours away from me. They hand deliver the chicks. I got my previous flock from them, and they were very healthy. Just sent the last two I had to a sanctuary. They are 5 years old and very healthy. It seems like a good source.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,387
38,499
1,142
Colorado Rockies
Call the vet and ask if they would run just a fecal float test for worms. No need for the chicken to be seen right now. It would be good to rule out a worm load that's making her sick.

To my eye, she's acting like a chicken with a bacterial infection. Along with a fecal test on her poop, another test can be run on the poop to determine bacteria and it can tell what kind. It's called a gram stain test. It's always a good thing if you have access to a vet to take advantage of it. Otherwise, you'd be like many of the rest of us, trying to narrow it down to something you can try to treat, but not knowing for sure you've nailed it.

That's the position I'm in. I have a vet but he knows nothing about chickens other than how to euthanize them for $5. He is always willing to help me by running the fecals every so often. I obtain my own antibiotics, but if you have a vet, they might be able to diagnose what infection she has and prescribe the best antibiotic to treat it.
 

Joekun

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2020
16
4
13
Thanks, I appreciate it. I’ll check with the vet about a test. I’ve never been to see them, but they do see chickens. Hopefully they know them well if I do have to have her seen.
 

Joekun

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2020
16
4
13
So I’m new to feeling chicken crops, but this morning she has a hard bulge at the base of her neck still. I compared this to the rest of my flock as a comparison, and my two black sexlinks also have this (they seem just fine). I gave her some solid coconut oil and tried to massage it, but so far no change. Also she walks kind of unsteady.
 

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