what would cause a chicken to stop drinking?

fizzgigsmom

Hatching
7 Years
Sep 25, 2012
9
0
9
San Antonio, TX
I have a 1.5 year old silkie hen who will eat but will not touch water. She had been laying soft eggs for almost a month & then suddenly stopped laying a week ago. I thought these were due to molting stress, because she's been shedding feathers like crazy. I noticed her comb shrinking and paler a few days ago, then realized she was drinking less & less. She eats a lot and well, but now she will not touch water from any dish, even juice or milk. I've had to start forcing water down her and mixing it into food. She's lost a lot of weight. I have her on electrolyte vitamin solution and she still gets plenty of protein and calcium. Her poo is so varied during the course of the day - mucousy and undigested looking, then round and healthy for a few hours, then diarrhea again. I have found rubbery pale yellow lumps in two poos. I examined them and they weren't worms, but also didn't seem to be pus, so I'm worried she's internally laid & they are yolk. Though, no strange stance or straining, breathing is normal, no fluid in abdomen. She's not acted much different than I would expect during molt. She's fiesty and moving about for a while, takes 5-15 minute naps & gets up again.

Please help me if you have any idea what may be wrong or if you've ever had a chicken that would eat but not drink!
 

cackleberrycam

Songster
6 Years
Sep 28, 2013
1,463
95
168
She may be dehydrated. One way you can get water into her is by using a medicine dropper. Using a medicine dropper, squeeze drops of water on top of her beak- the drops of water will run down into her mouth.
One way I get water into my hens is to mix their layer feed with water- they LOVE the watery "paste".
Do you live in a hot climate?
 

Mammachix

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 14, 2013
84
5
41
It sounds a little like my hen's current situation. She laid thin-shelled eggs for a couple of weeks, then no-shelled eggs. After reading a lot, I think it is egg yolk peritonitis. She also did not have a swollen abdomen, but did become listless and wouldn't eat or drink for a day. After antibiotics for a night, she perked up and drank a cropful of water and has been mailing progress ever since. I don't know what her prognosis is yet, but it does sound similar. Good luck!
 

fizzgigsmom

Hatching
7 Years
Sep 25, 2012
9
0
9
San Antonio, TX
Thank you both for the reply! I have little doubt now that she has an internal laying problem. I got her eating wet feed mash with electrolytes,vitamins and colloidal silver and she started drinking again! Her appetite is ravenous and she has already gained back so much of what she lost from dehydration / eating less. The silver is a precaution but I'm pretty sure she doesn't have an infection.

Her abdomen started to swell with fluid around the vent about 2 days after I posted this. I started giving her milk thistle in case it was liver related. She had one more strange yolk strip in her poo and then BAM- laid a soft egg with yolk that had partially hardened like the strips in her poo. Now today she laid a full soft shell egg with a full fresh yolk. This seemed to take the swelling in her belly down by at least half. She also had a strange amount of soft shell material that looked like it had been in there for a while come out after laying the egg. This perked her right up. She is now seemingly normal - aside slight fluid in her belly, a hideous molt and a terrible mess on her face from eating wet mash for days (she's got a big silkie 'beard', haha).

I'll keep an eye on the swelling and hope her eggs keep coming more normally but I know it could be a dark road ahead if she's internally laying.
 

gander007

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 9, 2013
15,521
1,311
446
South Western Death Valley, Ca.
If you ever have a dehydration problem again try getting one of these and have it on stand by and you can get them in most any medical store ....






This is great for getting liquid in to the crop and natural yogurt
but you need to put the liquids in slowly.....



The soft shell problem can cause problems as a egg can break inside her so if you have egg shells around grind them up and add it to the feed and it sounds like you are getting the feed wet so you can mix it in easer and if you have some oyster shells put them in I normally put them in the grinder to make it smaller and easer to digest some of the calcium ......








gander007
 
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