Young Pullet Starving

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CarlaRiggs, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Songster

    I have a seven week old Blue Cochin who is starving to death.
    Skin and bones, while her four other 'sisters' are packing on the weight. When she was just a couple of weeks, she became very lethargic. I fed her water with soluable vitamins and she seemed better the next day, eating and socializing. And now this again, only worse.

    Her crop is full, spongey to the touch, not hard and compacted. She will take a little water; has been eating fresh tomatoes when offered. Twice today she has eaten some broken up sunflower seeds. She likes banana, but ate only a little today. This morning I had to take her out of the coop, (as she just wanted to lay down) and then she began pecking at the Baby Tears moss growing around.
    She's lethargic and not too interested in eating.
    She seems to have diarrhea, pure water. Late afternoon yesterday she seemed to have a regular poop, though small.
    She literally is skin and bones.
    It has not been too hot here, 85 degrees with plenty of cool shade; the coop is well ventilated, no major food change. We went from chick starter mash to grower mash gradually. They free range in my back yard every day.

    Any suggestions? The other hens are doing really well, no sign of anything off. No pecking at her, except once in a while from the Austrolorp, and it's very minimal. In fact, the last week I haven't even seen minimal.... No blood anywhere, no signs of any trouble physically.

    I'd appreciate any help. Thank you!

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Sounds like she has an impacted crop or an intestinal obstruction. Feeding olive oil can help make it pass. Make sure she doesn't eat too many grass clippings and the like as they can cause impaction. A search on impacted crops may help with other ways to fix the problem. Hopefully it is something that can be passed and not a tumor like growth or constriction in the intestines that you can't fix. Best of luck.
  3. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Songster


    Doesn't an impacted crop feel hard and compacted with food?
    This is soft and spongy feeling. I massaged it a bit for a few minutes today, and she didn't seem to mind.
    I will try the olive oil tomorrow, though. I guess the best way to do that is with a vitamin dropper on the side of her beak, is this correct? This is how I get her to drink water.

    Thanks for the reply. [​IMG] She's a sweet little thing; I hate to lose her.

  4. virgilini

    virgilini In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2007
    Hi Carla,
    Sometimes the crop can be impacted with just twisted up grass and it won't feel hard. I had a hen a few weeks ago with the same thing. When you massage her crop smell her breathe and see if smells sour. If it does then she may have sour crop. Get some plain unflavored yogurt. Make sure it's a good quality with live active cultures. Give this to her free choice as well as the other chickens. Also put apple cider vinegar in their water. One tablespoon per gallon. The yogurt will eat the bacteria that forms in the crop when food sits there too long. The apple cider vinegar will help as well. Massage her crop a few times a day and try to keep her away from long grass clippings. Good luck with her.

    Kim [​IMG]
  5. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Songster

    Thank you, Kim. [​IMG] I think I'll dash out to the store for the yogurt and vinegar right now.


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