Sluggish Chicken, won't eat

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JimZ, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. JimZ

    JimZ New Egg

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    Jan 21, 2011
    I have a Blue Cochin who was paired with another hen. We were away on vacation and had our neighbor taking care of our hens. When we returned late Friday night I went down to the coops and locked the girls in. In the morning I went down to let the girls out and found a hen dead in the pen. She must have died that night but I didn't see her because it was dark. I assumed they were both in the coop. There was no sign of trauma on the dead hen and no sign of any predators. Now the Cochin is very listless and drinks but will not eat. Her eyes are clear, her comb is bright and there are no signs of respitatory distress. Our neighbors said all was good all week with the usual egg production until the sudden death of one of the hens. They had seen them at 7PM and both seemed to be doing fine. I'm hoping that the one that died simply fell of the ramp or otherwise died of some other trauma but there were no visible signs on the body. A vet who I contacted online said it could be a viral disease that causes sudden death but again, I see no signs of it. Could it be that the Cochin just misses her coop mate or do you think it could be a disease? Hens in our other coop next to this one are doing fine and show no signs of any problems and were taken care of by the same neighbor.
     
  2. chickenbaguette

    chickenbaguette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 2, 2011
    The most likely thing is a viral disease - Marek's Disease? It causes internal lesions and causes sudden death. Sorry, I know that's not much help. :L But that could mean your Cochin could have it too. She will stop eating a bit after the death of her friend, if you only had two chickens, though, as well.
     
  3. JimZ

    JimZ New Egg

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    Jan 21, 2011
    Thanks for the info. Chickens were inoculated for Mareck's and I was told it is very rare on the east coast (NY). I was told by a vet to try dry cat food which chickens will eat when they will not eat anything else.
     
  4. hencam

    hencam Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 5, 2007
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    It's impossible to come up with an answer - but it's easy to come up with a few more questions [​IMG]
    Cochins are susceptible to heat stroke - all of those feathers. How's the ventilation in the coop?
    How old are the hens?
    Do they free-range? Could they have ingested something toxic? A dose of epsom salts will be a good preventative. Directions on my blog http://www.hencam.com/henblog/2011/02/the-epsom-salt-cure/
    Have
    you felt her crop? Is it impacted? Or feels like a water balloon?
    I have had a hen fall off of a sloping shelf and die (shelf now removed!) but that's not too common. Hens do die suddenly for no obvious reason, and it's rarely contagious. Chickens hide signs of illness. They can have all sorts of things going wrong inside and you'll never know until they die.

    I hope your hen recovers!
     
  5. JimZ

    JimZ New Egg

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    Jan 21, 2011
    We thought of the heat stroke idea too and gave her a bath to cool her down. Her coop is in the shade all day and there is plenty of ventilation. It is cool today (rain) and she has not improved. The hens are about a year old and free range at times with our other coop hens which show no signs of anything wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011

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