Unwell chicken - At a loss for cause - Urgent help please

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jon James, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Jon James

    Jon James Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 7, 2011
    Hello
    I have a year old speckledy who went into moult a week or so ago, during the past week she hasn't laid, which I took to be normal.
    Today she is lethargic and off her food, she is doing runny clear poo with white in it and her wattle is sagging (although good colour). Also her abdomen feels slightly enlarged and hotter than normal.
    Her crop is empty and she has no foul smelling breath, so I'm guessing she's not impacted or sour.
    I have had a feel inside her vent but can't feel any egg, so I'm guessing she's not egg bound.
    There is no sign of a runny nose or wheeze.
    Has anyone any ideas what the cause could be?
    Kind regards
    Jon
     
  2. If her abdomen is extended and hot, she could be an internal layer. Are you sure she laid eggs before?

    To get her to eat, you might hard boil a few eggs and give her just the yolks, this is very nutritious. Also, if you have some plain, sugar-free yogurt, that might help as well. The live cultures help terrifically in times of stress. This should be given on a fairly regular basis. You could provide an electrolyte solution that is easy to find this time of year at most feed stores... its for chicks. Just mix a little in her water til its barely yellow and that will be sufficient. If you separate her from your other birds, perhaps you could also provide some heat to help her stay warm.

    Other than being an internal layer, I have no idea. I've had birds that laid eggs suddenly become internal layers so its not out of the question. If its her first molt, she may be having a rough time of it. Cat food helps a lot when they need to grow new feathers. Contrary to popular preference and belief, chickens are not vegetarians. Cat food will also help with a protein boost. That and the electrolyte solution provides extra vitamins/minerals. There's also a product called Poultry Drench that you can give her if you can find it locally. If you do, and it has a pump top, you give it directly into her mouth but be very careful not to eject a forceful stream of it or it could get to her lungs. A safer alternative might be to add that to her water instead of the electrolyte solution. If you're comfortable with handling her and she's comfortable with it as well, you might try giving it directly by mouth... just remember to make it very small amounts at a time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  3. Jon James

    Jon James Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 7, 2011
    Many thanks for your reply.
    She has been a very regular layer up until her moult started.
    I will try some yoghurt and egg yolks tomorrow as well as some cat food, I can keep her in the run tomorrow with the food and water whilst the others free range, that way she can help herself as she wants.

    I have just been up to the run and she hadn't even managed getting up into the coop, so I have popped her in.
    Fingers crossed.
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Is her keel bone sharp, or does she have breast meat?

    I've had 2 hens so far that looked like death warmed over during a molt. Walking slow, resting, avoiding the flock, got real skinny.
     
  5. Jon James

    Jon James Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 7, 2011
    She has breast meat. In fact she feels in pretty good condition despite being unwell.
    It all came on all of a sudden, yesterday running about with the flock for scraps of corn, today as flat as a pancake and won't even pick up the corn in front of her face.
     
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Well, you could treat her for coccidiosis. That would be the most common. If that doesn't do it, maybe an antibiotic. I would treat the cocci first.
     
  7. Jon James

    Jon James Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 7, 2011
    Doris is better today!
    I think she has also come back into lay, so maybe just an off day after her moult?
    I'm sure the garlic, yoghurt, etc helped though.
    Good to see her scratching about and eating again.
     

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