Weight loss

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kimadoodle, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. kimadoodle

    kimadoodle Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2012
    We have a bantam Easter egger hen about 16 months old. We have noticed in the last several days her staying puffed up and has progressed to being less active staying inside the coop more and realized she has lost weight. Her breastbone is more prominent. There has been no other illnesses with the chickens and other than one chick that hatched about 3 weeks ago no new flock additions, although we have a chicken whom we had been keeping inside due to being pecked who mixed briefly with her outside the run. Her stool is white mixed with brown and seems usual consistency. We took her outside the coop and she ate some yogurt which is one of her favorites and also mealworms and some feed. She's getting weaker and had difficulty getting up the coop ramp today. She was broody about six weeks ago and another hen took over her eggs after she sat for three weeks. She hasn't laid in about a week now. Her crop is soft, and I don't feel anything solid on her abdomen (not sure if you would if she were egg bound). We have no avian vet in our area, or I would take her to see him. Any suggestions or ideas on what may be wrong?
     
  2. AbbyTravers

    AbbyTravers Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Does she have anything wrong with her legs that would make her not want to get up or walk around to eat or drink?
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    There are a lot of possibilities. One thing I would do is be sure there no lice/mites, which can make them very ill if it's a bad infestaation. She's a little young for worms to be making her this sick, but it's a possibility. She could be egbound, have a cancer, or be an internal layer. She could have some sort of intestinal infection. There are certainly other possibilities. Is her crop flat in the morning before she starts eating, as it should be?

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Check her crop first thing in the morning--it should be flat. If not she might have sour crop. She might have a worm load making here very weak. The other thing to think about is coccidiosis, even though her stools sound normal. Corid is the drug treatment for cocci.Isolate her so that you can keep a close eye on how she is doing.
     
  5. kimadoodle

    kimadoodle Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2012
    Thank you all, her legs seem to be fine as she has been moving around the run. Her crop seemed flat before she ate, but I will check her again to make sure it is. If she is egg bound will I feel something to know that is the problem? Should I go ahead and treat her for worms and is the coccidiosis treatment available over the counter? She doesn't seem to be in pain or having any respiratory difficulty, but does seem to have some feather loss around her tail that is new.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll give you some links below.

    If she is eggbound you can often feel the egg near the vent, through the skin. You can also put your finger up there a short distance to check.

    If she had cocci, she most likely would be refusing to eat or drink. Also, they usually sort of sit hunched over as if they were cold. Cocci most often gets young chicks sick; usually by this age, they have developed an immunity, unless they were exposed to a new strain (cocci is a protozoa that lives in the soil, and there are 9 strains that affect chickens.) You could try a round of Corid for cocci if you wish; it is a relatively harmless drug for the chicken, which interferes with the cocci's ability to take up thiamine, a vitamin. You should be able to buy Corid in your feed store.

    I would probably try treating her for worms. If they have a heavy load of worms, they can certainly lose weight, as the worms eat a quantity of the feed before the chicken gets the benefit. Valbazen is the only drug that gets all worms that chickens get. The dose is 0.5 ml by mouth (put it on a scrap of bread or squirt it in the side of her mouth), repeat in 10 days, toss egggs for 21 days. It's a cattle wormer, available from Jefferslivestock.com or Amazon if your feed store doesn't carry it. The smallest size unfortunately is 500 ml, about $40. If conditions are warm and wet wher you live, as they are here, you should probably worm your flock once or twice a year. Soil is really wormy around here, and some experienced people worm as often as 5 times a year. If she happens to have tapeworms, fairly unusual, the dose is higher. If she does, you should see the segments in the poop. (see link.) The first time I wormed my flock, I could see that they gained some weight after, and yet they started eating less feed.

    I'd also try some some probiotics; again, they can't hurt. A tsp. of yogurt once a day for a few days will do this, or a bit of buttermilk, or some human probiotics if you happen to have some.

    http://thecozynest.com/understanding_coccidiosis.htm

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/775739/blood-in-older-chicks-stool/0_20#post_11087272

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ll-seeing-live-worms-in-poo/0_20#post_9315842

    http://healthybirds.umd.edu/Disease/Deworming Birds.pdf

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...peworm-or-any-worms-really/0_20#post_11670181 (see esp. post #7 on tapes)
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. kimadoodle

    kimadoodle Out Of The Brooder

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    I will stop today and get both products and try to see if we can help her, I really appreciate your information. At least I will feel like I'm able to do something for her.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Best of luck!
     

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