HELP!!! Calling all chicken experts... SICK CHICKEN!!!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Our hens are 3 months old now and were doing just fine yesterday. But this morning I went out to feed them and Minerva Louise was just sleeping on her perch while the others were getting down to business with their breakfast.

    She is not wanting to eat, only took a peck or two at her food, and just sleeps, sleeps, sleeps. Her tail is down and she obviously is sick.

    The one dropping I saw was runny, clear with a bit of black/grey in it. Not much white substance.

    I have NO idea what's wrong. The feed store has something to treat coccidosis and a variety of other ailments, as well as worming liquid -- I don't think it's worms.

    I called an avian vet and they want $90 to examine her!!! I just can't justify that.

    SO anyone with some experience here feel free to tell me what I should do.
  2. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thanks 3S.

    She drank some of the antibiotic water already and is sleeping in a cat crate in my bathroom. I also hooked up the heat lamp nearby. She seems a bit perkier since turning on the lamp and drinking, but still only wanting to sit with her eyes closed. She makes a little noise periodically if I'm nearby.

    I sure hope this medication helps her pull through this...:sad-little:
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    PM Janet. She raises chickens, she ought to know what to do!

    Keeping fingers crossed.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thanks Lisa. I'll send her one now.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hope all is well at the coop!
  7. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Let us know how she does! I feel very attached to your hens...
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Sending healing vibes to your little chickie.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A couple of things to do -

    1) listen to her breathing. She may have caught a cold, if she's a bit congested you'll hear her breath bubbling a bit, if she's mucussy. If so, tret her as your mother would have treated you when you had a cold (although I wouldn't give her chicken soup!)

    2) Have a feel of her legs, feel how her "drumsticks" are. Sometimes they can get a wasting disease that you don't notice (because of all those feathers) but they get weak because of it, and you can ralise how much weight they've actually lost when you feel their drumsticks and find poor muscle tone.

    Otherwise - keep her clean, comfortable and with good access to food and water. Check to see if she has fleas or mites, you can use a dog flea powder on her (we used to do that for broody hens, to stop them getting so itchy they throw the clutch right as they're about to hatch).

    If she's too weak to easily reach her food and water, then put it near her in a way where she can get to it easily and safely. With a hen too weak to safely drink out of a normal water bowl you can use either a bottle with dripper nozzle, or a container with water, but with an extruded brick in it (extruded brick - they have holes through them). The brick stops her head from drooping into the bowl and drowning because she's too weak to get her head back out.
    The brick is also a great idea when you're raising chicks - it's too easy for chicks to drown, but with an extruded brick they can stand on the brick and get to the water, but can easily hop back out again.

    Otherwise - I can't help much, we've sometimes just had to either watch them die, or hurry the process if they were clearly in pain.

    One important thing to bear in mind - ANY flock bird is most unlikely to show signs of illness, unless it's REALLY sick. Other flock birds are likely to attack an obviously ill bird, so they always desperately try to hide it if they're sick.
    Sometimes to get a good idea of how sick they really are, look to see if they've moved down the pecking order. If they're beingh hassled by the other birds, remove them from the flock for a while to keep them safer.

    I hope she gets better soon.

  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thank you Marg, everyone for the well wishes and advice.

    Apparently the antibiotic is working! The kids and I were out all day and husband called us when he got home tonight and checked on Minerva. He let her out of the crate and said she was wide awake, walking about, eating a little bit and continuing to drink. All very good signs.

    I just checked on her and she's doing MUCH better than this morning. Stools are more formed, though green (sorry if that's too much information!), she ate some rice, a bit of chard and drank more medicated water. I'll just keep her and the others on this stuff for 10 days I guess like they usually do for us humans. Depending on how she's doing Monday, I may let Minerva go back with the other birds.

    Hopefully none of the others will come down with whatever this is!
  11. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Phew! Poor little thing. Heres hoping her poops start getting better. No chicken butt rashes for Minerva.
  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Her appetite is back today and she seems to have renewed energy. The other black chick, Coco, is missing her since the two reds have been picking on her...:( One more day and she'll go back outside.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm glad the antibiotic is working and she's getting back to her old self. :)
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911

    song for the chicken

    Mineerrrrrrrrrrrrrrva you were so awful sick

    Minerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrva you are you're Momma's pick

    Minerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrva we hope you get will quick

    Minerrrrrrrrrrrrrrva is such a special chick

    and the chorus sings

    boc bock.......bock bock bock bock

    bock bobck......bock bock bock bock
    bock bock bock cockadoodle dooooooo

    Minerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrva you know we all love you!
  15. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Awwww, Star! You should record that for Youtube... then I could play it for her!!!
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911

    phat phance