What to do with a chicken who refuses to eat?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BillCarry, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. BillCarry

    BillCarry New Egg

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    Nov 10, 2015
    My normally agile and funky pet rooster went very quiet and slow a few days ago and stopped eating and drinking, so on Saturday I decided to separate him from the flock and place him in a quiet, warm place (temperature outside drops to near freezing points at dawn these days). I examined him thoroughly but other than a very pale comb and wattles I found nothing. Still, he refuses to drink or eat anything, consequently his condition is worse and worse with every day. Sunday he would eat a little (very little) on his own and yesterday I could make him eat a few grapes and sunflowers but today he basically hasn't eaten anything and doesn't even want to stand up any more (looks like he's too week to stand any more).

    He's not sneezing or coughing, no discharge from any orifice, poop normal albeit very little, no worm in poop or throat, no mites or parasites around vent or on feathers, no impacted crop as far as i can judge. No heavy breathing, no gaping beak, no nothing. I consulted a vet who advised trying Baytril, which I did give him On Saturday and Sunday but today I could not make him swallow it. Now I'm trying to give him drops of glucose and Gatorade but I may be doing something wrong cause it too often ends in his lungs and he needs to cough it up and I'm afraid he's going to choke.

    I've been keeping chickens for years and lost a few but every time there was some clear sign of the specific illness. Right now, however, I feel that he's basically dying in front of my eyes when he really should not be and I can't do anything to make him eat a little to have the strength to fight off this disease whatever it is.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. How does his crop feel? I haven't had many sick chickens, and usually even they would take some scrambled chopped egg. One hen who felt poorly ended up having a blockage of her gizzard. You could try tube feeding him for a few days, just to see if his condition improves. There can be so many things wrong with them, such as cancer, worms, or various diseases, and sometimes we can't find an answer until they have a necropsy done after death. Baytril injections can also be given. Here is a good link about tube feeding:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/805728/go-team-tube-feeding
     
  3. ClaireDL

    ClaireDL Out Of The Brooder

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    I would also tube feed him if there is nothing else to do, with some bird recovery food ( harrison feed)...You make a paste with it an in the syringe.It has to be liquid enough that it can go down the tube..It did save 2 of my birds..
     
  4. BillCarry

    BillCarry New Egg

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    Nov 10, 2015
    Thank you for your suggestions on tube feeding. If all else fails I will have to resort to that method but I'm so scared I'm going to hurt his throat.
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    I can teach you how, and I promise the you will not hurt him.

    -Kathy
     
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    How many days has it been since he drank? I ask because I think many will die after 3-5 days of not drinking.

    -Kathy
     
  7. grassfedchicken

    grassfedchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Might try Mother apple vinegar and packet of chicken vitamins with electrolytes in the water and a warm nondrafty bed. Sometimes certain breeds have genetic problems that cause them to fall ill like that and sometimes there's nothing you can do. Gold laced sebright roosters and some hybrids seem to always go quick and it's their genetic issues. What breed is he? Good luck. put a dollop of cream cheese on their beak tip and they usually love it and start eating it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Warning. If he hasn't been drinking he must have his hydration status corrected before being force fed anything. :D I know the temptation to "feed" them is strong, I've been there, but trust me when I say that what he needs now are fluids.

    -Kathy
     

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