Why you should share your experiences and update your posts on BYC - a public 'THANK YOU' to Nambrot

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KayTee, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got my 3 point of lay pullets about 14 months ago, and have been browsing BYC ever since - it's full of so much interesting and useful information from the other members. However, in the last couple of months I have found some - literally - life saving information, for which I will be eternally grateful.

    My largest (and lowest in the pecking order) girl, Cinders, was going through her first molt. It wasn't that severe, but she was recovering from the attentions of an over-amorous rooster (that we had to get rid of due to his terrorising her morning, noon and night), so when she started to have diarrhea I didn't worry for the first few days. However, when it continued, I tried to identify it from the famous 'poo chart' ( http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0 ), but without success. Nothing I could find there or anywhere else on line looked even vaguely similar to the watery, smelly mess that my girl was producing.
    I phoned a local vet who gave me medication for coccidosis, which I added to the water for a week, but there was no change. I could see that Cinders was looking poorly - lethargic (though she tried to hide it and join in with the flock), not interested in food (not even tinned sweetcorn, which is normally treated like crack cocaine by my girls!), and losing weight. I took her to see the vet, who said he suspected sour crop, and gave me a different medication. She took that fine in some cottage cheese the first day, barely ate anything the second day, and refused it point blank from then on - nothing I could mix it with interested her (and I spent a fortune on all the treats that she normally loves!) I couldn't even force feed her with my husband's help - she just wasn't going to eat. She weighed 3.5kg at the vet, and a week later she was down to 2.7kg, not eating, and looking awful. I had taken dropping samples to the vet, but he said he couldn't see anything in them. He suggested taking her to an avian specialist, but that was a 3 hour journey each way - just not possible for me. He didn't have any other ideas, and so I resigned myself to simply trying to persuade her to eat, and taking care of her as best I could. I planned on bringing her into the house if she became too weak to free-range with the others, and my husband agreed that if she started to suffer too much we would (very reluctantly) do what was best to end her suffering.

    Needless to say I was extremely down and depressed about my inability to help a sick animal, but since I was on BYC looking for treatment ideas I decided to try and cheer myself up with a daily dose of Derperella. If you haven't come across Nambroth's thread about Derp yet, then you are missing out - her stories about a very special chicken are absolutely hilarious.

    One warning before you click on the link below - it is extremely addictive - once you start reading about Derp, her friends and the 'fud lady' you won't be able to stop. (Don't say I didn't warn you!)

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/563302/derperella-the-weird-faverolles-friends

    Whilst looking through the posts I noticed mention of a post about Derp's sister - Coho - who had been suffering with diarrhea. I clicked on the link :

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/613918/undigested-food-in-droppings-update-on-page-3/40

    and lo and behold - a description of a sick chicken, complete with photo of diarrhea that was exactly what Cinders was going through! Thanks to Nambroth's updates on the situation I managed to find out what medication to give, and for how long, and to be prepared for a long recovery period.

    I couldn't see my vet accepting my on-line diagnosis, but fortunately I had some amoxycilin left from a previous treatment, so I decided to treat her myself. It was 'kill or cure' stage, so I gave her what was probably at least a double dose (she needed about 1/3 of a gram a day, but my scales don't go down that low, so I measured a teaspoonful - 2.5g and then divided it into 3 doses!) For the first few days not a lot of difference, but it's now been 10 days, and what a change! Her feathers are looking better, she's up to over 3kg, and yesterday spent two hours 'helping' me dig over the new run I'm making for them - jumping on worms as soon as I turned them over. A week ago she wouldn't even look at a worm, let alone try to eat it.

    I am so happy you wouldn't believe it (actually - anyone who has had a sick animal that recovered probably would believe it!), and I just want to say a big, huge, public THANK YOU to Nambroth (aka 'fud lady' aka Jennifer!) Without her posts and updates I would never have found out what was wrong with Cinders and how to treat her. You are a fantastic writer, artist, and member of BYC Nambroth, and I will be in your debt forever!

    I am one of the guilty ones who posts a question on health / treatments, then finds the answer but never bothers to follow-up online to let people know how it turned out. This has changed my attitude - I will definitely be making certain that I post the results of any treatments that I do (good or bad), in the hope that it will help others in the way Nambroth (and Coho) helped me and Cinders.

    I hope that others will also consider taking a bit of extra time just to post a follow-up to their questions. You never know - your information could turn out to be crucial to someone else out there!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Thank you for sharing your experience. So your chicken had botulism, is that correct? What do you think she got into to eat that made her sick? And you treated her with amoxicillin? I'm glad your chicken is better.
     
  3. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nambroth's vet told her it was a type of Clostridium. Cinders had exactly the same symptoms, and when I Googled treatment for clostridium, amoxycilin came up as an antibiotic to use. It wasn't the only one listed, but it was all I had to hand, and since it's impossible to get antibiotics without a prescription in France, I didn't have much choice.

    I'm not certain, but I think that it may have been entirely my fault - I was trying to increase their protein intake by giving them small amounts of meat (the meat that the local supermarket sells for dogs and cats). Cinders has always been the greediest (she is much bigger than the other two girls), but she's also at the bottom of the pecking order. Therefore she tends to stuff herself with as much as possible before she loses the chance to eat. I think that she may have overfilled her crop with pieces of meat, and caused a small blockage which then went bad. Either that or she found an old piece of meat that had gone off, but I am always really careful to clean up any uneaten food each night, so I would be surprised if that was the case. (Although chickens always surprise me, so anything's possible!)
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    I'm truly happy my experiences have helped you and your hen!! This forum has been nothing short of a godsend to me, too, at times, when puzzling and learning about different ailments.

    By the way, Coho is currently molting and is acting a bit dumpy (as are all the molting hens) but is otherwise very vigorous to this day, and is a weighty hen, with good digestion. :)

    To answer Eggcessive's question, the Clostridium family of bacteria does include Botulism (Clostridium botulinum), but the type that my hen had was a 'sister species' of bacteria, Clostridium perfringens, which presents differently (thank goodness).
    We never did figure out where she picked it up, other than it was a very wet and muddy winter that year and she must have found something that had gone anaerobic outside and had eaten it. It's not impossible as she was low on the pecking order and sometimes chased off of the feed, so maybe she felt the need to eat weird things in the mud. We only feed inside the coop, fresh every day, and I am religious about checking the feed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  5. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Today is GOOD, GOOD DAY!!!! [​IMG]


    Cinders had (not surprisingly) stopped laying mid October, following her week of 'rooster abuse' followed by the moult and then the clostridium perfringens. After all she had gone through, plus the fact that it's now the darkest time of the year, I completely understood why.

    However, now she is looking gorgeous again, and last week I weighed her - 3.9kg (compared to 2.7kg at her lowest point). Yesterday she showed a great deal of interest in the nest boxes, and today she laid me a lovely, beautiful, perfect egg! [​IMG]

    The days have barely started to get longer (a couple of minutes extra daylight in the evening, but not much), so I wasn't expecting anything at all from her for a couple more months, if ever!

    (Although I haven't been 'eggless' these past few months - Blackie has been giving me 6 eggs a week all winter - she's a real trooper!)


    I am so, so happy! For me the eggs are just a bonus - I love keeping the girls just for what they are, and I would have kept Cinders for ever, even if she never gave me another egg, but the fact that she has started laying again means that she must be back to full health.

    Thank you again Nambroth and BYC for all the help you gave me and Cinders - she couldn't have made it without you!
     
  6. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    So glad that she is on the mend!! Great news! :)
     
  7. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All thanks to you (and Coho!)
     
  8. 11mini

    11mini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This sounds like my Lucy!!!!! Worming didn't work, corid isn't working either. Antibiotics here I come!
     
  9. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let us know how you get on - all the best to you and Lucy [​IMG]
     
  10. 11mini

    11mini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Started Tylan 50 today .5ml by mouth. She eats, drinks, and is active, just has the watery poo and is losing weight.
     

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