Strangely Starving Polish Crested Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChicknCharm, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    Alpine
    We have a buff polish crested hen who has been pining away for about one and one half weeks.

    10 days ago we noticed how thin she is, and also that she was not walking much, her wings are low down, tail feathers, too, both dragging the ground.

    We brought her inside and she seemed interested in food. We isolated her in our broody coop and made sure she had food and water easily accessible. Inside we gave her bread and yogurt and chick-saver with water. Outside just chick feed with medication and clean water. She was isolated in the broody coop about 7 days.

    We left on a camping trip, hoping to come home and find her recovered.

    But, she seems worse, she can barely stand and does not walk.

    I just force fed her a scrambled egg. She still drinks water and even tried to peck the egg up herself. She pecked at yogurt and bread, but did not seem to be able to get it in her mouth to swallow? Not sure, she could really be that weak, so then I started force feeding the egg.

    She has a dirty bottom, but that is also from being in the pet carrier, I would guess. No bad smell.

    My daughter thinks her pom pom hairstyle is too long and she could not see and therefore began starving. Can this happen? Her top beak is a bit curved over the bottom, could she be starving from not being able to pick up the food?

    Her feathers are lovely, no apparent injuries, I looked down her throat as far as I could, no running nose, sneezing, or oozing eyes.

    Are there things I should treat for that are huge candidates for the cause of starvation? Worms? Any disease (we have no other symptoms)? Broad spectrum antibiotic?

    Thank you for sharing knowledge with us. She is a valued pet and egg producer. Poor thing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  2. GA_in_GA

    GA_in_GA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 2, 2011
    Southwest Georgia
    How old is she, and is she still laying at her normal rate? (bump)
     
  3. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alpine
    Not laying an egg since we isolated her, she was very emanciated by then so I am not surprised.

    She is between two and three years old, we have her two twin sisters here and they seem fine.

    The girls free range, so I do not really know who lays an egg each day, we just collect nightly.
     
  4. danischi24

    danischi24 Loves naked pets

    Aug 17, 2008
    Australia
    Cut the crest & check her eye sight. It sometimes happens with heavy crested breeds.
     
  5. Sportsterjeep

    Sportsterjeep Creekside Acres Farm

    Jun 1, 2010
    Mill Hall PA
    Very doubtful it is the crest. I have very large crested show quality polish and they don't have problems seeing to eat. Check her over and look for mites. Look through her crest and look at the dirt you described on her bottom. Crested breeds seem to attract mites more than other breeds, and if she has them it will cause her to become enemic and eventually die. Look closely at the feather shafts for clusters of tiny white balls in the feather down. Also look at the skin and see if you can see tiny red, black, or brown critters flitting about. Crest, vent, and under the wings are favorite spots for these vermin.
     
  6. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    Alpine
    OK, she now has a haircut and looks like a native american in head-dress. She is alert and looking around, but still not steady in standing or walking.

    Checked the now altered crest very well, all over back, neck under wing and in clean area close to vent. I see no sign of mites, but can easily give her a drop of topical ivomectrin. I was avoiding medication since she is so thin.

    Please keep the ideas coming, we are out of good ideas here.
     
  7. Sportsterjeep

    Sportsterjeep Creekside Acres Farm

    Jun 1, 2010
    Mill Hall PA
    If her beak is overly long, trim it back to a natural length. That is not the culprit of her condition, but it will be an annoyance to her for eating. From reading everything you've posted and answered so far here is what I would do if she were mine.
    1) Caged in the house where I can keep a very close eye on her.
    2) Trim the beak.
    3) 3 drops of poly visol vitamins (without iron) twice a day for the next couple days
    4) Fresh water and her normal feed in the cage.
    5) 1 scrambled egg 2 or three times a day, remove it after about a half an hour if she shows no interest or doesn't eat it all. I also add just a little bit of canned cat food to the morning or noon ration, less than a tablespoon.
     
  8. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alpine
    We can do all that easily, the force feeding is the only new thing we have tried today (and the hair cut).

    I am scared to trim the beak, I don't want to start a bleeder. I may keep hand feeding her the eggs and then if she perks up, watch to see if she has problems eating on her own?

    She was maybe messed with too much today, now she is hunkered down all flat and her head is drooping. I put her in a dark corner to see how she does.

    Can I give her a small portion of my kid's gummy vitamin (they cut up easily), no iron on the label?

    Thanks, any suggestions are so welcome, she is such a pretty bird. geeeessssshhhhhh, the downside of loving chickens.
     
  9. Sportsterjeep

    Sportsterjeep Creekside Acres Farm

    Jun 1, 2010
    Mill Hall PA
    I've never tried the gummy vitamins, it's doubtful that there's anything in it that would hurt her. If you do try that, I'd use about 1/4 of the vitamin, and then make sure that it's in small enough pieces for her to get down.
     
  10. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    Alpine
    I'll go get the baby liquid vitamins, now is not the time to experiment, I am sure.

    Should I give her a topical dose of the internal/external parasit stuff....it is called Eprinex, an ivomectrin product that you can put on their necks to kill all parasites. I just worry that she is already struggling, not sure if this kind of stuff is hard on the liver?

    Any other suggestions out there?

    We have a scissor beak that is 3 years old, she looked starved last year and we hand fed her, took her to the vet for deworming, and pretty much kept her with us in a picnic basket, she did recover. I am hoping this poor gal will come back to us.

    Does anyone know how a bird with cancer would act? That is something I am wondering about, with the extreme weight loss and no other symptoms. She has not completely lost her appetite, though, she does peck at food....but not greedily like a healthy hen.

    Thanks!
     

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