What could be wrong with my chicken?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by krista74, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Looking for opinions on what could be wrong with my hen. She is 11 months old, has recently hatched eggs, is isolated with a 4 week old chick by her side, and is definitely not well. She has a whole bunch of non-descript issues but I'm just not sure what they all add up to.

    She is lethargic, and is falling asleep standing up watching her chick
    Not eating for the past four days or so.
    Not pooping much, if at all
    Feathers dull and fluffed up
    Some feathers missing on neck and back but no massive bald patches
    Not caring for chick
    She has lost a lot of condition but I originally thought that was from hatching chicks. I can feel her breast bone easily.
    Lost 'zoom for life' - she used to run from me, and now just stands still when I try to catch her
    No evidence of mites or lice, and has been dusted recently anyway
    Has been wormed
    Eyes and nostrils clear - no mucous, no spots
    Crop seems normal. Not laying since going broody.

    She did eat her vegies this morning (really wolfed them down) and I thought she was getting better. Now I've just gone out to see her this afternoon and she was trembling - her legs seem weak and her head is shaking. She's still standing up but doesn't look well. I am thinking she may need to be culled but thought I'd check on what it could be first, and what I can do if anything to help her.

    It's hot here today (85F, 30C) so I've put a sprinkler on close by to her cage, and she has lots of fresh water. It's so strange - I really did think she was better this morning - even hubby commented on how lively she was and how much she ate. Now she's sick again.

  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Be prepared for the worst. She sounds like she has what I call the dying trembles.
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Yes, she looks like she is on her last legs.

    I just wish I knew what it was that was wrong with her.

    Is there anything I can do?

  4. HugHess

    HugHess Chickrack Addict

    Jul 14, 2014
    Speaking purely from ignorance as I am relatively new here...could she have a blocked or impacted crop...or Sour Crop?
    I am sorry you are both going through this. You are both in our thoughts...
  5. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Thank you for your kind words. I am really sad that I might lose her (and that looks like the most likely outcome) but even more so I am upset for the chick. This is my own silly fault - I am very much an animal person (and not so much a person person - no offence intended, lol) and have way too much empathy for them. For that reason, the fact that you are holding us in your thoughts right now brings me some comfort.

    Never feel that you are 'ignorant' on these boards. We are all still learning every day. I, myself, have only owned chickens since March of this year. And every day I learn something new. Your suggestion of sour crop is not an ignorant one, and is something I have considered. Her crop is sort of squishy - hard to describe really, sort of like a stress ball or a small beanie-baby? Her breath smells ok. Well, as good as any chicken's breath smells. (You have to laugh or else you cry, you see.)

    I did dust her for lice and mites when she went broody, and have just re-dusted her today on the off chance that she may have a huge infestation I can't see. It seems unlikely as she does not scratch at all, and has no bald, irritated patches on her, but none the less she and the chick have both been dusted anyway. At this point, I don't think it could do any harm.

    I am keeping a close eye on her, but to be truthful if I woke up tomorrow and she had passed I would not be surprised. And, if I'm completely honest, sometimes there are worse things than death, and a suffering animal or bird would be one of those things in my opinion.

    Whatever happens, I am really wishing for some relief, mostly for her. Please continue to hold us in your thoughts.

  6. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2014
    Windsor NY
  7. DuckieLover2014

    DuckieLover2014 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 31, 2014
    I habe read when this happens to give them honey inthere water for energy. Nician in her food and oyster shells for calcium. When my female duck was ill these helped boost her back up in no time. I pray shes better soon.
    Can you upload a photo?
    I lost my first hatched by not our first baby duckling today. Im heart broken as she/he was only 3 days old. So i completely understand how you feel to have a ill pet.

    Sending prayers for your pet and i hope shes well very soon. Please keep us updated.
  8. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi there DuckieLover2014. Yes, I think I can upload a pic.....This is Momma and her baby Peepers.


    And I have some news.....

    HugHess, I think you are much more on top of things than you gave yourself credit for, and certainly more on top of things than I was.

    I had a think about what you said about sour crop, and went out to check on my girl yet again. This time hubby came with me. The first thing he said was (and I quote) "Why is she that funny shape?" I guess that I was a little too close to the problem to see it - either that or her crop was much more swollen by this afternoon. I started reading, and sure enough, the signs are all there: Swollen, squashy crop, excessive water intake, little interest in food, lethargy, loss of weight, and the most AWFUL smell coming from her mouth which was not there this morning. For certain, I would have noticed THAT. I think she has been getting worse all day.

    We were really nervous but felt we had little alternative, so Hubby and I held Momma face down at a 60% angle, and immediately a huge amount of rancid white fluid came running out. There was loads of it. We did this three times in total, giving her a few minutes to recover in between each attempt, and after the final one no more fluid was coming out and her crop was considerably smaller. She still didn't look well, but she must feel a bit of relief.

    I did a bit more reading and put a teaspoon of baking soda into their drinking water to counteract the acidity in her crop.

    Is there anything else I can do?

    And should anything else have come out of her crop, other than the masses of white fluid that we saw?

    The website I referred to recommended that going forward, I should not give her any pellets or grains for the next few days - just vegies such as lettuce, cucumber and spinach. I can also repeat the regurgitation again in a couple of days if necessary.

    HugHess, THANKYOU for pointing me in the right direction when I couldn't see it myself.

    DuckieLover14 - my sincere condolences on the loss of your duckling. As suggested, I will put some shell-grit into Momma's cage this evening and once she is able to eat porridge or something similar, I will add some honey into it to give her a boost. Thank you for your kind words, and I will indeed keep everyone updated - no matter what the outcome may be.

  9. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Good morning all. Just thought I would pop in with today's update.

    I fully expected Momma would have passed overnight - she looked pretty rough after our treatment session last night.

    But when I went out to the coop this morning, she was standing side-by-side with Peepers (her chick) and looked a little bit better. Not a lot mind you, but a little bit.

    Her eyes were open - that's an improvement on yesterday. And she was pacing about her coop - so she was slightly more active too.

    I gave them a little breakfast (corn kernels, lettuce and cucumber) and she ate a fair bit of the corn, so her appetite is a bit better.

    And on examination of her coop I found one small poop, which is one more than I've seen in about 4 or 5 days.

    Hubby and I will repeat the regurgitation process tonight if she looks like her crop is filling up with fluid again.

    Until then, we wait....

  10. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2014
    What a beautiful mahogany color she has. Is that a heritage Red? Since no one else has mentioned this, and she obviously has an impacted crop, I would try inserting a tube and putting some olive oil (I dunno 10cc's or so) into her crop, and massaging it. Maybe the tube isn't necessary, you could probably just use a syringe or straw and put the drops in her mouth, I just worry about it going town the airway. I haven't done anything like this before, but I *think* this would be the best course of action from what I've been reading. Thoughts?

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