Weight loss, feather loss and green watery poo...Ideas? Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SEALLIN, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. SEALLIN

    SEALLIN Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    St Louis, MO
    1 year old Barred Rock, unsure of current weight but weight loss is very obvious
    She's behaving normally, she's the top of the pecking order and is usually the plumpest, not over weight but healthy. She's eating, drinking, scratching and sunbathing.
    Runny poo for 2 days, noticed weight loss today when I picked her up.
    I have two other hens with no similar symptoms, their poo is normal.
    No bleeding, visible injury or signs of trauma however her comb is much paler than the others and looks "shrunken" for lack of better terms. I will post pics below, its getting dark so the pics arent great.
    The only thing out of the ordinary that has happened was they all ate part of a styrafoam board 1 week ago. I watched their behavior and poop for several days after. I saw the styrafoam "exit" so I believe most of it passed. Susi's symptoms started a week after so not sure this is related.
    They all get layer crumbles, two handfuls of scratch in the morning if its cold out and black sunflower seeds.
    So far here's what I have done:
    Given her several droppers full of gatoraid, as many as she would take maybe 4-5. She seemed to like it.
    Gave her some oatmeal with hardboiled egg and flax seed for protien and healthy omegas mixed with a spoonful of yogurt for healthy bacteria.
    What does this sound like? Does it warrent a vet call?.
    They are in a coop big enough for 6 hens but I only have 3. Pine shavings with a dusting of DE for the flooring and straw in the nesting boxes.

    I cant figure out how to post pics, if I figure it out later I will edit and add.

    THANKS!!!
    Sara
     
  2. SEALLIN

    SEALLIN Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    St Louis, MO
    **BUMP**
    Anyone? Please...I'm really worried about her. Should I bring her in to the house tonight? I put a heat lamp on in the coop and the low tonight is 36 deg. I just dont want her spending all her energy trying to stay warm. Thoughts? Suggestions?
    thanks!
    Sara
     
  3. noblehillfarm

    noblehillfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2009
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    Has she been wormed? Sometime eating wierd things can throw off the bacteria in the gut so adding some plain yogurt will help get it back
     
  4. naturegrrl

    naturegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2008
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Is she molting? I've now documented weight loss of 2 lbs or more for each of my three hens during their fall molt; they also each developed watery droppings during their molting period. When they finished molting, they quickly gained their weight back and their poop went back to normal.

    Runny poop can be scary and a sign of something wrong, and you should definitely rule out worms or other causes of ill health. However, molting by itself is a serious physiological upheaval for birds, so they burn a lot of extra energy and their systems get a little unbalanced. I found that upping their protein intake (lots of dried mealworms and a daily dose of Feather Up molting bird supplement) and fiber (green grass) helped a lot.

    Good luck!
     
  5. SEALLIN

    SEALLIN Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    St Louis, MO
    I actually have wormer on order and should be here in a few days from Jeffers. Hope it's not too late. I do, however, use DE which I know there are some folks who don't think it works and some who do. I use it in the coop and in the (sand) run. I put extra where they dustbathe.
    I feed non fat plain greek yogurt once a week as a treat in small amounts. I'll be giving Susi extra.

    I broke down and brought her inside for the night. She's in a dog crate in the warmest room of the house. I gave her another two droppers full of electrolyte which she happily took.

    She pooped in the crate and it was not nearly as watery as earlier today. Mostly solid but still green with bits of what looked like grass & sand.

    thanks!
    sara

    Still looking for suggestions and ideas!!! THANK YOU!![​IMG]
     
  6. SEALLIN

    SEALLIN Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    St Louis, MO
    naturegrrl, I think she is molting....and so I've been wondering if it's related? My other two have been having "pillow fights" apparently but no plumbing issues.[​IMG]
    I have been giving Susi mashed hardboiled egg and greek yogurt which is very high in protein and low in sugar.
    I guess I just have to wait it out.
    I hope bringing her in the house doesnt stress her out....I just dont want her expending too much energy trying to stay warm.

    thanks~
     
  7. naturegrrl

    naturegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] One of my girls is still finishing her molt, so they're *all* sleeping inside - Fish so she doesn't get cold, and the other girls to keep her company! And I live in California, so "cold" is very relative...[​IMG] Just keep a close eye on your Susi, and I bet she'll be fine. Sounds like you're doing all the right things.
     
  8. SEALLIN

    SEALLIN Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    St Louis, MO
    Since the other two seem fine, is it alright that I leave them outside? Do chickens get depressed without a companion?[​IMG] I don't really want all three chickens in my house but the goal is to get Susi better....
    Should I put Susi back out with them in the morning or leave her inside another day?
    Thanks everyone!
     
  9. naturegrrl

    naturegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2008
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    I think it depends a lot on your gal's personality - I've got three chooks, and all respond differently to being separated from each other. Fish could pretty much care less as long as I'm around to keep her company; Kitty gets a little fussy but settles down eventually, and Princess won't stand for it, period (she is, after all, a Princess!). If Susi isn't acting upset (pecking at the door, "singing" nonstop, flying at windows), she's probably fine without company for the night.

    One thing that can happen when separating the dominant bird from the rest of the flock is, if the duration is long enough, it can upset the pecking order a bit, and Susi may feel the need to assert her authority when she's back with the other gals again. Still, it's probably best to keep her separated from the others for a few days, just in case she does have some sort of illness (if you don't want to keep her in the house, you could contrive a convalescent pen outside somewhere). If you do keep her separate and she seems restless during the daylight hours, you could try setting up music or TV for her; when Fish had bumblefoot and I couldn't sit with her all day, I put on The Fifth Element for her; it seemed to settle her down, and she now has as big a crush on Bruce Willis as I do. [​IMG]

    I can certainly empathize with your concern about causing Susi stress by separating her from the other gals - it's such a fine line to tread sometimes, trying to do what we think is best for them without ending up making things worse!
     
  10. SEALLIN

    SEALLIN Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    St Louis, MO
    thanks again! Her tail feathers are up this morning and I dont know if it's wishful thinking or not, but....her comb looks brighter today. She is eating and drinking and seems in good spirits. [​IMG]

    You know you're a crazy chicken lady when you put a roost in the dog crate your chicken is in...just in case.[​IMG]
     

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