Sick chicken

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Sick chicken

Postby Cj2512 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:38 am

Hi

One of my two chooks, Gert, is poorly. She has had loose droppings for about 7 days - but otherwise seemed fine until yesterday when she was a bit sedate and fluffed up. Today I would say she is a little worse - normally she is a live wire but this morning she is just standing in the run hunched, fluffed up and closing her eyes where normally she would be scratching about, pecking at her pellets and generally being a happy active chicken. She laid a thinish-shelled egg two days ago which had broken in the box.

I've put Herb 'n' thrive in their water yesterday and will continue this for a week as per the instructions, but is there anything else I should be doing? She is not yet 2 so it's not an age thing. Oh and I wormed them with flubenvet in January. The other chook is completely fine.

Any advice would be much appreciated. I've attached a photo of Gert from this morning and also the loose droppings from over night - it's not diarroea as such just they are lighter and there's more water in them than normal.

Cheers

Claire
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Re: Sick chicken

Postby chrismahon » Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:02 pm

The green colour indicates internal stress and possibly infection Cj2512. Have you checked her abdomen for swelling and is her crop empty in the morning? She may have a minor crop impaction which has gone sour, so you would feel a solid ball in it in the morning- this is a big problem with our Buff Orpingtons.
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Re: Sick chicken

Postby Cj2512 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:39 pm

Thanks Chris - I'm a complete novice.

I'll check her crop tomorrow morning to see if it's full. I don't think she has a swollen abdomen she feels pretty skinny - I can feel her breastbone more than I can wit Dolly but Gert has always been the lighter of the two. Also when I got home today she has laid another soft shell egg - this one was completely crushed although it looked like it had come out in one piece. It appeared also that there was no yolk?

Probably should have mentioned (but was rushing earlier) that in January I posted about her aswell - she was laying soft shelled eggs and was under the weather. She had a trip to the vets and a course of antibiotics and then seemed to bounce back. she has been grand up until the last few days. She's looking sorry for herself at the moment. Just standing all fluffed up with her eyes closed.

I don't really want to take her to he vets unless I have to - I get the impression they don't deal with chooks very often so am not sure they no much more than me (ok so that's a bit of an exaggeration) but it isn't pleasant for her and I'd rather look after her myself if I can.
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Re: Sick chicken

Postby dinosaw » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:08 pm

Could be peritonitis Cj, the prominent breastbone and soft shell eggs are symptomatic of it, if so then nothing to be done about it I'm afraid.
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Re: Sick chicken

Postby rick » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:43 pm

Awww. Poor girl. I know weve all had hens with similar problems and it does come out of the blue. Cant help but wonder about the green poop - Im guessing that could lead to the malfunctioning oviduct rather than be a symptom of same. Is she eating and drinking still? While shes eating and drinking your in with a chance I think but at this point a trip to the vets is highly advisable unless you are prepared to take matters into your own hands. Dont let her just fade out. Its hard knowing when to call it quits but sometimes it becomes necessery becuse its past the point of no return.
Never had green poop like that. Have had a hen fluffed up for 2 days then lay a lash egg, moult and be right as rain again or just recover. Have also had them go downhill suddenly and need to be PTS within a couple of days. Its hard to know how long they have been hiding a problem often as they are quite good at that. She needs to be inside though, away from the others, apart from anything else to keep an eye on exactly what is happening.

(its also hard to know for sure when 'the point of no return' has arrived but in my limited experience its been on the way up or on the way down after a couple, maybe 3, of days of bein sick in the 'fluffed up' way)
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Re: Sick chicken

Postby Cj2512 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:20 am

Thanks for your posts Rick and dinosaw. I'm Really hoping it isn't peritonitis dinosaw - I was reading about it last night. She is such a lovely chicken and I really hope it's something else.

Rick - thanks for your reply, please don't get me wrong I would definitely take her to the vets if I thought she was in pain or suffering. I just didn't want to put her through a trip if it wasn't something serious that I could treat at home and that was just making her under the weather.

Chris - I checked her crop this morning and it was empty and I can't smell anything unpleasant which I believe is another sign of sour crop.

So this morning, she seems pretty much the same - subdued but a little less fluffed up. She's drunk a little but not eaten yet. I gave her mushed up pellets last night and she ate that quite happily. Her comb is still red and she doesn't look really really poorly but It sounds like chickens hide being poorly so maybe she is worse than I think. I'm going to keep a really close eye on her as she is still drinking and ate loads last night and I really don't want to give up on her and make THAT trip to the vets but I won't let her suffer.

I only have one other chook and they get on really well so I don't think I need to isolate her - she's not being bullied and if Gert has got an infection I'm guessing Dolly has already been exposed to it.

Thanks again everyone for your help - whilst it's all very worrying it really helps to have people to ask about it. I'm also going to post to see if anyone knows a good chicken get in Warwick area as the one I took her too I really don't think knows much about hens.
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Re: Sick chicken

Postby Cj2512 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:51 pm

Took Gertrude to a lovely vet called Kieran at Avondale in kenilworth as he is good with chooks. Sadly it was peritonitis - there was no doubt he said and I think I knew before I even got there. He gave me some options but agreed that putting Gert to sleep was the right thing to do so I said goodbye and he brought her out to me a few minutes later. Just got back from burying her at my allotment. Nice and deep and with plenty of heavy broken slabs over her. A cast iron bath, which I was am turning into a pond, will be going over her at the weekend so I'm hoping the foxes won't get her.

Can't quite believe how sad I feel about her passing but didn't want her to suffer. She was so lovely and still had a bright red comb.

RIP Gertrude - such a gorgeous and friendly chicken.
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Re: Sick chicken

Postby Marigold » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:54 am

I'm so sorry, Cj, it's always a big milestone when a much- loved animal passes away. I'm very glad you've hound a vet you can trust, though, who evidently gave you options plus an honest answer?
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Re: Sick chicken

Postby Cj2512 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:08 am

Thanks Marigold - I'm gutted. She was such a nice chook and now Dolly seems completely lost without her. I even let her into the kitchen this morning just so she could have some company. I'd really appreciate some advice and support so I've started a thread under General called 'a sister for dolly' - is appreciate it if you'd post any advice - I think I'm going to need it!
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