Underweight young hen - eating little. Ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by judifur, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. judifur

    judifur Chillin' With My Peeps

    8
    0
    60
    Feb 20, 2008
    Bradenton, FL
    This is my first time posting. I've only recently gotten into raising chickens. I have an underweight hen. Let me get you the information which is suggested we provide.

    She is a 3 month old bantam cochin named Pillow. I am not sure of her weight but she is might lighter than her coop-mates and her breast bone is poking out.

    She is acting slower than the rest. She is not eating well. I only really noticed it today. She is so fluffly it's hard to tell. I feel like a bad chicken mama. She's the only one not scratching and not eating like food is going out of style.

    The only unusual thing which has been going on is I have another bird (Probably male, name is Fraggle Rock, or Mr Rock, or The Rock...) who I am treating for canker. None of the other birds are showing symptoms so I have not been giving them anything. Mr. Rock is another story though. I already have taken him to the vet but they are kinda scratching their head over a bird. I do think I will ask them to examine the yellow cheese balls I got out of his face under a microscope as they said they'd re-examine him for free. I digress..

    I brought Pillow in to watch her and examine her droppings. She barely ate anything I offered her and didn't touch the water. I did have to soften her food with some water for her to eat at all.

    She only pooped a couple times, and they were all really tiny. The first one was watery too. I will post photos.

    As far as housing/bedding: They are in a smallish coop+run maybe three feet by 6 feet with their little upstairs coop area about 3x3 feet. I use pine pellets in there for bedding. They have the ground to scratch at all day. When I can I let them out to run around the yard, supervised.

    I suppose I want to know if i should be treating all of them for canker even though Mr. Rock is the only one with symptoms. Is Pillow's lack of eating and weight loss something else entirely, and what extra data would you need to recommend treatment?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    548
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Treatment for canker on a 3 month old chicken would be 100-125 mg metronidazole given orally each day for 5 days. If the bird isn't separated, canker can spread, so keep an eye on the others. Use poultry vitamins and probiotics in the water 3 days a week. Don't feed scratch grains to the sick bird (moistened crumbles should be attractive to the bird). Have you been using medicated feed or used a cocci preventative in the water at all in the last 3 months of this bird's life? If not, I would suggest getting Corid 9.6% or 20% dispersible powder, and some Safe-guard liquid suspension (labeled for goats) to keep on hand. Both can be found at most feed stores. You will be using them both. Where do you live, so I can give a quick recommendation to purchase metronidazole for canker?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  3. judifur

    judifur Chillin' With My Peeps

    8
    0
    60
    Feb 20, 2008
    Bradenton, FL
    Welp, I shoulda mentioned Mr. Rock has been treated with metronidazole since Tuesday. I ordered it overnight because I wasn't playing.... I have Corid, Safe-Guard, and Tylan 50 all on hand in my "chicken first aid kit" They were treated with a medicated feed for several weeks when they were little puff balls. I am located in Augusta Georgia though... I have a Tractor Supply around the corner from me, not too sure where else I could get what I need locally. The internet and overnight shipping are typically shopping options.

    It was suggested I don't move him from the flock since the stress of being isolated might make him worse.

    So, having said all that, Mr. Rock is eating away, nothing seems to stop his appetite. My Pillow here concerns me...
     
  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    548
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    It is common to treat water with preventative doses periodically until birds are at least 9 months old. In 7 weeks, they do not automatically become immune to Cocci protozoa, and overpopulation of it in the intestinal tract damages it within six days. Some years ago I began using Corid at 1 tsp per gallon, at 5 day intervals, every 3 weeks. I do not use medicated feed because I've seen birds suffering from symptoms of coccidiosis within the 8 weeks of recommended feeding (we don't know how long a sack of feed sits on a shelf unless a milling date is posted on the tag). I supplement growing birds with poultry vitamins-probiotics in water after each Corid treatment, and periodically throughout each week. I have found that preventing any damage to the intestines, especially during growth, prevents many future problems.
     
  5. judifur

    judifur Chillin' With My Peeps

    8
    0
    60
    Feb 20, 2008
    Bradenton, FL
    Alright so I'm gonna paraphrase what I am reading so you know I understand you. For my underweight bird (and the whole flock) you suggest I should treat them with corid for five days and then do it again in three weeks. Rotate like that until they are about 9 mo old?That seems easy enough and sounds like good advice. I certainly have enough corid. Also add in probiotics and electrolytes.

    So having said all this I should try to encourage pillow to eat moist food and monitor her? Or is there anything else you think I should look for/do? Ps: you've been very helpful. Pillow enjoied her wet crumbles this morning (there may or may not be a tablespoon of peanut butter in it...Im a bad parent.) and she was drinking so I imagine she's stable for the day until I can fix them some corid water.
     
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    548
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Yes, but don't give poultry vitamins and probiotics with the Corid in water. Give it for 3 days in water after Corid treatment. Leave peanut butter out of the bird's diet. When you are actually treating symptoms of Coccidiosis, the dosage is 2 tsp/10 ml per gallon of water for 7 days. Now if you don't see improvement in 2-3 days of treatment, it could be something else, so keep us updated on this thread. Moistened feed, a little bread soaked in buttermilk, well mashed, hard boiled egg are all soft foods the bird can easily digest.
    If you cannot find poultry vitamins with added probiotics, just get the vitamin-electrolyte powder and Probios dispersible powder.Dosage is 1 tsp per gallon if you use it:
    http://www.probios.com/powdersgranules.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    58,864
    16,295
    801
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    You might want to get a baseline weight on the sick ones. Any loss *or* lack of gain of young ones will need to be addressed. I weigh mine in the morning on a digital kitchen scale.

    -Kathy
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by