**Urgent Update!** Horrible Molt + Cloaca/Oviduct Problem

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wingleader, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    So, I've got a buff orp hen who's got a bit of an issue. In the spring we had a rooster who was a bit too feisty. He ended up plucking the backs of about six of our hens before we found him a new home where he was the only roo. All of the other girls got their feathers back (or had new pin feathers coming in strong) by the time the weather started to get really cold except for this one girlie, Git. She's bald on her head, along her back, down her sides, and on her wings with only the faintest hint of new feathers coming in.

    It has been below freezing for the last few weeks and now there's a good coating of snow on the ground. The poor girl looked miserable so she's inside now in a cage on our sun porch. I made a little fleece jacket for her already, but I want to be sure she gets a good start on her feathers before I let her back outside. Is there any other advice anyone has? I was toying with feeding her some cat food for protein, but other than keeping her inside, putting a jacket on her, and that I'm not sure what else to do. I don't really want to keep her inside for weeks until the feathers are in.
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Giving her high protein foods, like wet cat food, game bird feed, scrambled eggs, and mealworms will help her grow in her feathers (but don't give too much-- too much protein can give chickens gout). It will probably take a month or two for the feathers to grow in.
     
  3. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Quality protein and not keeping her TOO warm will help her grow healthy feathers a bit faster. I see the advice to give cat food often, but most cheap cat food actually has LESS protein than a good flock raiser feed...!! So make sure to check minimum protein percentages on the packages of any food you offer! Some human quality fish or meat in small amounts is good.
     
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  4. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the responses! I did put her back outside once I sorted out her little jacket issue because she seemed so miserable inside. When I checked on her after I got in from work she seemed happy enough. Here's hopin' she gets her feathers quick and stops looking like she went through a wood chipper.

    Also, does anyone know if a slight "bad" odor is normal when they're molting like this? None of the other chickens smell at all. She's not injured or anything, nor is it sour crop (I pried her beak open a bit to take a sniff, and gently massaged her crop and didn't notice any odd feel or squishiness) and she's not walking or acting funny. The only comparison smell I can come up with is the smell of a chicken we found a few months ago that had been hit and left for dead on the road (she had a huge gaping wound in her back that was filled with maggots and we ended up having to put her down, she was so bad). The smell that Git has going on is not NEARLY as bad as that, but it's the same "flavor" of odor, if that makes sense. Thoughts?
     
  5. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Hmm, I am not sure. I've never experienced this. I hate to ask this, because it sounds funny, but I am a strange person! Can you tell if the odor seems to be coming from her breath/head area, or near her vent? If it helps, I find it much less offensive to smell a chicken's breath, than to.. well, sniff around the bum. Is her area vent clean?

    Also consider, if you have had her in a cage for more than a day, chickens tend to get.. well, more smelly than they would in a coop or run, because they are confined with their droppings. If this is the case, she should smell "better" after a few days back outside.
     
  6. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Haha, not a funny question at all in this kind of a situation. I did poke up around her vent (much to her very vocal chagrin) and it didn't seem overly dirty or anything, though the smell does seem to be coming from the tail end of her body.... It's very strange, none of the other birds have ever had this kind of thing happen. She was inside the cage for a few hours, tops, and I put her back out once it got dark and got her settled on a perch with the other fluffbutts. I'll just have to keep an eye on her.

    Thanks for your thoughts!
     
  7. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    OKAY. The smell-causing problem has surfaced. Today when I checked her it looks like her cloaca has turned a bit inside-out and is quite horribly infected. I honestly have no idea how I didn't catch this before, maybe she was able to suck it back in when I picked her up to check on her. I don't know.

    Either way, the smell is bad, and I had to clean off a decent quanitity of dead and infected tissue and scabs (I thought it was caked-on poo at first!!) following some guides I found on here.. I dont want to prod at this sensitive area too much and cause serious bleeding or anything of that nature. I have some pictures if anyone can let me know if I should keep picking off the yellowish skin or what? I trimmed her feathers and soaked her in warm water for a good while before picking at anything.

    [​IMG]

    I put some tetracycline for birds in her water and threw some cayenne pepper in her food to ward off any possible parasites that might make her recovery more difficult. She's now sleeping in a towel in her cage out on the sun porch. I REALLY don't want to have to cull her, so any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!
     
  8. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its possible she may have vent gleet. Soak her in warm water with Epsom Salt for about 25 minutes. Do that for a few days. Antibiotics is a great idea, she looks really sore. Give her garlic cloves. I know there is a way to treat vent gleet and antibiotics can make it worse, however, I think she needs the antibiotics. Treat her too as if she has vent gleet.
     
  9. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    I can't quite tell-- are there ulcerated wounds in/around the vent?

    Soaking in a warm epsom salt bath cannot hurt her at this point.

    It might be vent gleet-- which is essentially a yeast infection of the cloaca, NOT a bacterial infection. If you suspect gleet, don't give her antibiotics, as it could make the problem worse by killing any of the beneficial flora (bacteria) in her digestive tract. Just how human ladies can get a yeast infection after a course of antibiotics, the same thing happens to animals. Sometimes vent gleet smells yeasty, but not always. If your girl has gleet, it's progressed and may no longer smell yeasty, as you have experienced a bad odor already!
    http://www.tillysnest.com/2012/12/vent-gleet-prevention-and-treatment.html

    If you suspect it is, instead, that it is a prolapsed vent that became infected, then you should take action against the prolapse and potential infection. Here are some photos (graphic!) that might help you:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/prolapse-vent-causes-treatment-graphic.html
     
  10. Wingleader

    Wingleader Chillin' With My Peeps

    pwand: That does seem like what she's got, though it's looking like a pretty severe case. She IS eating, however, and her stool looks surprisingly normal since I bathed her last night.

    Nambroth: Yeah, there seem to be some nasty wounds. It was bleeding a bit (not gushing or anything, though) when I was gently pulling off nasty stuff and cleaning her up. I think she was picking at it (and, encouraging the other flock members to pick at it, too) which is why it got all messed up. It is unfortunate that we're in the middle of a nasty snow storm so I can't run out to the drug store to get any Epsom salt or probiotic pills/yogurt. I've got some Dawn, ACV, and garlic, though, so I'll be soaking her good and using what remedies I do have on hand.

    I feel terrible, because I doubt this happened overnight. But, what's done is done, and now I can only do my best to see her get better.

    I shall have updates for you all as things progress. Thanks for your help, everyone.
     

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