Very sick hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Curlywurly91, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. Curlywurly91

    Curlywurly91 Just Hatched

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    Hi all, about 8 months ago we took in 5 more hens Aswell as the 6 we already own from a family who could no longer care for them. One of the new ones has seemed off on occasion, sitting on her own fluffed up then fine other times and I've never been able to catch her so I haven't been too worried. We've been away for a few days and my father in law has been looking after them all. When I went in to clean them out she looked really unwell, and when I went to get her she just kept falling over. She is basically a bag of bones, but as her feather still look lovely and it is impossible to tell without lifting her. She is so weak, her comb is pale and she is hunched up with her eyes closed. She can stand but is very lethargic. I've brought her into the house and given her water and some mushed up layers pellets/mash which she was absolutely wolfing. She seems to have perked up a tiny bit. Is it possible that she is being bullied? What else can I do? I haven't really got a clue and I feel absolutely awful that I've let her get into such a state. Any help please?!

    She also has watery diarrhea and a very messy bottom. Should I try and bather her or wipe her down with a damp cloth? I don't want to cause any unnecessary stress!
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    You have done the best things for her. Give her some chopped egg, tuna, or liver for some extra protein. It sounds like she may be low in the pecking order and being kept from food. For those chickens, I will put 2 feeders and waterers at least where all can get food. Add a small amount of plain yogurt or probiotics if your feed does not already contain them, since many now do. You can have a few of her droppings tested for coccidiosis and worms. If not possible, I would worm her with Valbazen 1/2 ml orally and repeat in 10 days. Then go from there.
     
  3. IrelandEyes

    IrelandEyes Out Of The Brooder

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    I would definitely clean up her bottom. I have read that if the bottom gets crusted up, it can kill a bird. My friend once had a bird she didn't know had a messy bottom and her poor chicken got hit with fly strike. Not a good situation when its summer and the flies are out.

    If wiping it doesn't solve the problem, my birds love a warm epsom salt soak. Epsom salt does wonders for my birds and it is okay if they take a sip from their salt bath (you don't need to worry) You can fill a little tub and use warm water, pour in the epsom and let dissolve. After a minute of realizing nothing bad is happening, my sick birds in the past love their warm soak and then it is very easy to clean up their bottom.

    You mention she is a bag of bones. I would definitely try to get some drops of Poultry Drench (can find at say your local Tractor Supply Store). That stuff full of great vitamins etc. has worked wonders for my weak ducklings and chickens that had issues hatching. One duck did nothing but shake and could hardly eat, but after a day of getting drops down him, good as new and now one of my bigger ducks. The Poultry Drench comes with a handy dropper.

    Just in case, she has something that is contagious and her present state isn't due to just nutritional reasons, I would keep her separate from the others, making sure she has access to food and water at all times. Keep an eye on her droppings and their is some reference on this site (I will try and find it) that gives great pics of droppings you need to be concerned about and what the droppings show is wrong with the bird :)

    Please let me know how she is doing!! Sending you the best birdie bird wishes that she gets well fast!!
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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  5. Curlywurly91

    Curlywurly91 Just Hatched

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    [​IMG]
    This is the poo she had done, just overnight. And I have to say, she absolutely stinks. My whole house smells of her poo. Could it just be stress? All my other hens are fine.

    Hi everyone, thank you all for all of your help. She seems a bit better today, her comb has a bit more colour, she's less hunched and a bit more vocal! I have just given her a little bath and she seems happier for that. I can't see any signs of worms, mites and her vent seems ok. I tipped over a towel rail for her which made a great make shift perch. She started off the night on it but ended up on the floor.
    I can't get her anything today as its New Year's Day and the shops are shut but I will go tomorrow. Not sure what else I can do really. Thank you all so much.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    You may not see worms in her stools, even if they are there. Chickens can have a handful of different types of worms, and roundworms are the only ones easily to see. She also could have cocci or another intestinal infection that could be tested with a fecal float and a gram stain by a vet. If you have a regular vet who sees your other animals, they may let you bring in a series of her freshest droppings for testing.
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Ditto what Eggcessive said. I'm pretty hard core when it come to treating mine, so if she were mine, I would treat for worms, coccidia and bacteria.

    -Kathy
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  8. Curlywurly91

    Curlywurly91 Just Hatched

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    Hi everyone,

    Just an update, we have had to say goodbye to our poorly hen. I went to the shop and bought tonic, and wormer, but she wouldn't eat or drink anything. I kept trying but yesterday she wouldn't even stand up. My father in law who used to keep lots of chickens thinks she had some sort of cancer, as she was so thin. The only good thing to come from this is that I have started the worming treatment for all my other hens and will be keeping a closer eye on them all in future. I'm going to watch them like a hawk over the next couple of weeks to see if any of the others have signs of coccidiosis. At the moment they all seem absolutely fine so hopefully not. I've also put another feeder and drinker out, in case there is any bullying going on. Thank you all for you help. I think she was just too far gone for me to have helped the poor girl.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Sorry for your loss.
     
  10. IrelandEyes

    IrelandEyes Out Of The Brooder

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    awww...so sorry to learn of this! I know you did everything you could. :)
     

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