UPDATE - Very Sick Rhode Island Red

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by azhenhouse, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. azhenhouse

    azhenhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    North Eastern Arizona
    My Rhode Island Red is doing better and back out with other hens. Now it's just a matter of reestablishing the pecking order. Thanks for everyones help.

    1) What type of bird , age and weight. RHODE ISLAND RED
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. I discovered one of my Rhode Island Reds standing in the corner of the chicken coop, with her tail down and body fluffed up into one giant ball. She usually tries jumping onto my arm, like a parrot, when I have food for them but she just stood in the corner. As I observed her I noticed that she wasn't eating, just nibbling and not drinking much water. She is 7 month old, laying hen. I don't know if she has laid eggs recently, as she shares a coop with 10 other laying hens who seem fine, except for Ms. Broody who acts very very strange when she gets off her nest. I did notice that she, the RI, weighs half of what the other two Rhode Islands weigh. Very skinny and light! Her eyes and comb seem pale compared to the other hens, they also seem like they are shrinking?! I brought her into the house to keep her warm tonight and away from the other hens. They were picking on her today and she was one of the more dominate ones of the group. She is not eating any of the food that I am offering her. She just stands in one position. No noises or movements. No discharge or sneezing. But, she does have very watery poop. I have also noticed this AM that she keeps opening her mouth, like a yawn, and shaking her head.

    They haven't been out of their coop much because of the snow, which they don't like, and the fact that it has been in the low to mid 30's. They have one little area that they can walk around in but no scratching because the ground is frozen. They have a 10X10 shed as a coop, so there is plenty of room. There roost extends from one wall to the other with drop trays underneath. They have eight nesting boxes to share between them. They also have three heat lamps to keep them from freezing. So I don't feel there is any over crowding.

    They do dig and pick through the poop trays. Is that normal?

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Noticed behavior yesterday. But I think she has been loosing weight for a while.
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? No
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. ??
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. Pellets for laying hens, fresh veggies, and water.
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Runny
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Brought her into the house to keep warm
    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? Would like to treat myself
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use. Coop with pine bedding
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio

    A few things come to mind regarding your hen. The first thing could be worms. She may be carrying alot of worms because, since with your chickens being locked up so much due to the winter weather, she is more exposed to feces. You could give her a good worming. With her opening her mouth and shaking her head, it makes me think of gape worms. Can you look into the back of her throat? With her losing weight, that could definitely be an indication of worms. (It's often referred to as "going light".)

    It could also be some type of infection. Since she's not eating or drinking, you could giver her wormer in her drinking water, along with an antibiotic to take care of infection. Tylan is a very good, strong antibiotic. You may have to use a medicine dropper to get her to take the meds, and the liquids will be good for her because she may be dehydrated.

    I'm no expert, but I have had a few illnesses within my flock. Just sharing what I would consider. Good luck to you! I hope your hen recovers!

  3. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

    Apr 7, 2010
    my first thought reading your post was 'worms' have they been wormed lately?
  4. azhenhouse

    azhenhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    North Eastern Arizona
    No, my hens have never been wormed. What I have been reading, worming is very hard them. What should I use? Would worms prevent her from eating?
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  6. azhenhouse

    azhenhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    North Eastern Arizona
    I know if one chicken has them they probably all do but... would just one be this sick?

    Just want to make sure this could be a worm problem and not sour crop or something else. Thus the reason for so many questions.

    She does not smell. So I don't think it's sour crop but you can certainly feel her crop. It's mushy. It is about the only fatty thing on her. I did not realize how thin she really is until this morning when I was feeling for her crop. She has no meat on her at all so it was hard for me to tell if her crop was full or if it is the only area with substance. I couldn't find the crop as quick on the healthy chickens. I am afraid if she doesn't start eating I will lose her by this weekend.

    She hasn't pooped since I brought her into the house last night. There are two wet spots with some green tinge.

    Thanks for your help.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    While you trying to decide if you want to worm you might try to get them to eat some yogurt or kifer or buttermilk it's good for the gut, but I wouldn't wait to long before deciding what to do also you can take a fecal sample to a vet and they can run the test to tell you what and if they have worms. Most any vet can do this. sorry I forgot to say [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  8. azhenhouse

    azhenhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    North Eastern Arizona
    Thanks for all the advise, and thank you Miss Lydia for the welcome.

    O.K., I have RR on water with apple cyder vinegar, luck would have it my husband uses it for his heartburn, so we have plenty. I also made up a mix of yogurt with veggie broth and had to use a syringe to put it on her beak so she would eat it, couldn't get her to eat yogurt any other way. The big news is she is eating her pellets but I had to grind them into a fine powder. She won't eat them whole. I don't know what made me think to do that. [​IMG] I am only giving her a little because she hasn't eaten in a while and is scarfing them down. I don't want her to make herself sick. If there are any that are whole in the dish she won't eat it. Any clue why she will only eat powder?
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I have no idea on that one, check her crop in the morning to see if it's gone down. ACV is good to use, I would say give it to all your hens. you asked if they all had worms would only one be sick, possibly if she has a heavier load than the rest. Mine had worms it's just a normal part of having chickens just as mites and lice are. It's good she's hungry though, try to get her to eat as much yogurt as you can, will she eat her food if you mix some yogurt in with it?
  10. avalon23

    avalon23 Out Of The Brooder

    May 24, 2009
    Could she be eggbound? That has happened to a few of my hens. Sometimes you can actually see them straining as if to lay an egg...they won't be in the nest when doing this most of the time. If so, a warm bath will help. If the egg has broken inside of her you will have to go in (yes, with your finger) and get the shell out. (I had to do this once and it was as shocking as it was gross).

    I had a hen yesterday with a sour crop (the same one that was eggbound a few months ago). I gave her some olive oil (w/small syringe) last night and this morning the round mass about the size of a walnut was broken up and I was able to massage it and then turned her upside down as she regurgitated all the yuckiness. It was very smelly & nasty. Afterwards I gave her some cooked oatmeal (will give yogurt or buttermilk tomorrow) so I'm hoping she will be okay. Those are the only 2 things I have experience with. I wouldn't think it would be worms since it's only the one hen...but who knows.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011

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