very sick hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rachipetal, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. rachipetal

    rachipetal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2008
    Bristol, Uk
    My twelve week old light sussex hen is very sick. She was fine when I let her out this morining, whilst out in the garden just now I noticed that she and one of the other hens had gone back into the coop, I checked to make sure they were ok, and she sat in the nesting box and didn't move. Normally she would flap about. We took her out and checked her over - no signs of injury. She's breathing heavily, sometimes with her mouth open, sitting still with her head drooping as if asleep. She doesn't want to eat or drink, but when we insist she does manage to take a few steps before going back to sleep. I can't see any other signs of illness, but I am new at this! She was treated for coccidiosis several weeks ago (full recovery) and has been wormed with verm-X 3-4 weeks ago

    Any suggestion?
    Thanks!
     
  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Take a look at the sticky by TerrieLacey...that can help us help you.
     
  3. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Something that comes on this suddenly makes one wonder about a toxin or such? you are sure no other symptoms befor this happened (or might you have overlooked it)
    Check around for any mold or wet areas in coop or run that might have molded hay or grains ...any water source that might be contaminated? Have you put out any lawn fertilizer or rat/mice poison recently?
     
  4. rachipetal

    rachipetal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2008
    Bristol, Uk
    Nothing new except that we moved the run onto paving slabs yesterday and I put down some hay as we don't have anything else yet (they are only confined to the run when we're out and are mostly free ranging around the garden). The other four birds are their usual chirpy selves. Could it be something in the hay? If so, how do I treat her (apart from removing all the hay!)
     
  5. rachipetal

    rachipetal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2008
    Bristol, Uk
    I may have missed a change in droppings as they are out around the garden most of the time, so unless they poo on the path, or infront of me, I probably wouldn't see it. The coop did smell a bit more than usual today, but they had been locked up more than ususal as we were out yesterday afternoon.
     
  6. rachipetal

    rachipetal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2008
    Bristol, Uk
    Whoops! Have read the TerrieLacey sticky and here's the extra info. I've got one other light sussex and a pekin that are also 12 weeks and have always been together. We had them at seven weeks and shortly after they developed signs of coccidiosis, we treated them and they were all healthy. Wormed with verm-X three weeks ago. Three weeks ago we added two more pekins, both over a year old, and are happily laying again. There was some bullying to start with, but they seemed to have settled now, although there is a definate pecking order. Both sussex are similar in size, although the other (healthy) one is trying hard to be a boy, so size and weight may be different?

    They are kept in a coop with a mobile run that until yesterday was moved around the garden, but mostly they have the run of the garden. We garden organically so no chemicals, but can't vouch for the neighbours. They do seem to like slugs to eat, possibly the bloke next door uses slug pellets? Would the slugs travel into our garden after eating one? They have wood shavings (still on our first bale) and shredded newspaper for nesting in the coop. Yesterday I moved the run onto some paving slabs and put down some hay for them to scratch at until we can find some woodchip/bark. I'm wondering if there could be something in the hay?

    Poo's are as usual as far as I know, spread all around the garden so difficult to check. There were a couple of areas in the coop where there could have been wetter than normal poos, but it had dried by cleaning time this morning, and they do eat a lot of grass and other garden goodies (mostly my newly planted peas at the moment). It was a bit more smelly than ususal, but they had been confined more than normal as we had to go out yesterday afternoon.

    Other than today she was healthy, but I think she probably had the worst cocci infection and I've read that that can leave her weakened. Is it possible she's less resistant to infections etc?

    We've brought her inside, are worming her and will feed her on boiled egg an/or anything else I can get her to eat. She's not interested in food (even live worms) or drink, she's just sitting there asleep, as if she's too tired to lift her head. He breathing is heavy, sometimes with her mouth open, her wings are droped and head droopy with eyes closed. She can walk a few paces if pushed, but really doesn't want to. Didn't even complain when we turned her over to check for injuries (she's normally very flappy).

    She's normally fed on grower's pellets (no change), with a bit of maize in the afternoon when I'm trying to get them back into the coop. They also had some plain organic yogurt yesterday. They mostly free range and eat loads of worms, insects and grass. Also, I gave them a few chopped up chives yesterday.

    Can't think of anything else!

    Thanks for your help
     
  7. rachipetal

    rachipetal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2008
    Bristol, Uk
    She's just died in front of me. She fell over and went into spasm, her head went right back and then forwards again, she gasped a few times and then died. She had clear liquid come from her mouth, with a slight yellow tinge, and also a small amount of white/yellow poo (fluid, not at all solid).

    If anyone can give me a clue as to what it might be so I can treat my other birds, I would be hugely grateful,

    Thanks,
    Rach
     
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    I am sooo very sorry you lost her...without a necropsy you will never know for sure what it was tho I suspect a toxin. That vermX from what I understand is used more as a management of parasites and not as a treatment for an active infestation (you are in the U.K.?) If it were me I would have a necropsy and take samples (FRESH and ample quantities) in of your your other birds poos and have a faecal done. :aww
     
  9. rachipetal

    rachipetal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2008
    Bristol, Uk
    Yes, we're in the UK. We don't have any local vets that know about chickens, I'd do a PM myself, but wouldn't know how to recognise the effects of toxins. I've just read the Verm-x bottle and it says control, not treatment. It doesn't say anything about treating existing problems so will check out the product website.

    Can anyone suggest what toxins she may have been exposed to? We generally keep the garden as safe as possible as we have young children and cats, and we garden organically.
     

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