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Weak chicken, is she sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NunsuchFarm, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. NunsuchFarm

    NunsuchFarm New Egg

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    Hi there, one of our golden comets is suddenly not herself tonight. She is weak and bending her head as if she will fall asleep standing up, keeping her eyes closed. She will not eat but is drinking a lot of water with Apple cider vinegar mixed. She is about 8 months old. Her poop isn't yellow, it's actually almost entirely clear liquid. We're new to chickens this year and don't know what to do for poor lady. We brought her in the house out of the cold but she seems the same. Help!
     
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hi, welcome to BYC. It could be a lot of things, but it is good that she is drinking water, that is most important. Have you ever dewormed your birds? It could be that she has worms. You could try getting some Valbazen, or Panacur suspension, and giving her some. Your vet might sell you some Panacur suspension (ours does)..he prescribes one cc per chicken per day for five to seven days. You can just shoot it right down her throat with a dropper (the big hole in her throat is the one that leads to her digestive innards) or carefullly ladle it into her lower beak a little bit at a time, and let her swallow it. It might be too late but it is worth trying at this point. If you can't find Valbazen or Panacur suspension, you can buy Safeguard for goats at the feed store too, but I am not sure what the proportions are for chickens; however, a lot of people use it, so search on here to find out. Safeguard is just Panacur. I would suggest deworming your other birds, too. Another option for the whole flock is to just get Strike 3 pelletized dewormer, available at feed stores, it does a good job and is easy as you just mix it with their feed and there's little to no withdrawal time. But use the Panacur or Valbazen for the sick one. For the other meds, you can't eat the eggs for two to three weeks after they are done with it. Worms can kills chickens easily, and as I said it might be too late, but you should try.

    Continue keeping her in the warmth, that is important too, and in a quiet place. Our sick chickens love soft bread soaked in buttermilk, and buttermilk gives them some probiotics they need. Applesauce mixed with crumbles until it's very moist is another favorite of theirs. Or just applesauce, sometimes. Scrambled eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, finely chopped grapes or banana, oatmeal, red jello, just damp crumbles are all good too. They do need fluids more than food so anything that contributes to that is good. You can also tube feed if she quits drinking altogether, but I wouldn't worry too much about doing that as long as she is drinking. if she won't eat from a dish try holding her in your lap and hand feeding her a little bit at a time, you can still use a small dish or a lid from a jar or something to hold the food if you want to, but sometimes they just like the extra attention too, and they will eat that way.

    Lastly, it might not be worms, it could be something else, but worms are what I would suspect. Vets will do a fecal analysis too for you , if you can get enough to submit, and then you will know.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I think the big hole in the throat is the airway or trachea, so I would avoid giving any liquids there. When I give a chicken liquids such as a dewormer, I will pull down on their whiskers or wattles, put a few drops in the beak, release the wattles and let them swallow. Then repeat. Thank you Dawg53 for teaching me that.
    Check your hen's crop to see if it is emptying overnight. If it feels hard or balloon like in the early morning, then she may have a crop problem. Check inside her vent with a finger for a stuck egg (wear a glove.). Consider worming as Chicknmania suggested. Look her skin over for lice or mites. Consider taking in a couple of fresh droppings for a vet to do a fecal float and gram stain. Sometimes they can have a chronic strain of coccidia or enteritis from a bacteria in the soil. A vet may also think of something else or find something in an exam.
     
  4. Sutremaine

    Sutremaine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hole you can 'see', in the middle by the back of the tongue, is the trachea (windpipe). The gullet is the dark cavern behind it.
     
  5. NunsuchFarm

    NunsuchFarm New Egg

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    Thanks everyone! We kept her in the house all night and she seems much more alert today. We checked her to see if she was egg bound but didn't feel anything. We gave her a 20 minute soak and calcium tablets after which she did show more normal poop. Still drinking liquids but not eating. She seems otherwise a lot better. No egg laid by her this morning though.

    Our birds are struggling with mites and it seems like nothing is working. Ash dust Baths, garlic, cleaning the coop and spraying everything down. They're so stubborn! They haven't shown any signs of them being too bothered until this girl didn't look good last night. Could this be her problem?
     
  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Think the big hole for tube feeding. The tiny hole is what they breathe through. In layman's terms.
     
  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    If the lice or mites are bad enough, it can affect their health. Try Insectrin (Permethrin) powder, again found at feed stores. Or, a drop of Permethrin liguid (for cattle) at the base of her neck between her wings. You didn't say whether or not she has been dewormed, and I still think that is your problem. It might be complicated by the external parasites.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    No, I believe the big hole is the trachea--sorry to disagree, but many others including Casportpony, Dawg53, and Ricebabyca have given these instructions before not to put any tube feeding or medicine into the big hole:

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    From:http://www.hopkinslivestock.com/oral_dosing_article.htm
    The hole at the back of the tongue is the trachea - Nothing should ever go in there!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Obviously, it would be very difficult to thread a feeding tube down the hole leading to the trachea (( I think, anyway). I'm talking about the gullet (as was referred to earlier in this thread). You insert the feeding tube into the gullet. When I was told how to do it, I was told to insert the feeding tube into the huge hole behind the tongue (which is the gullet). It's all a matter of interpretation, so it's all good.

    Here's a good video.

     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  10. NunsuchFarm

    NunsuchFarm New Egg

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    Hi all, after watching her closely, we've found evidence of worms for sure so we are going to deworm the birds. She's the only one showing these symptoms though.
     

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