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Author Topic: what could be going on with this chicken  (Read 1268 times)

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
what could be going on with this chicken
« on: November 01, 2018, 03:13:46 pm »
This is quite a long story - sorry.
I have a chicken in my kitchen undergoing recovery.  I say that but this has been ongoing since January!
I bought it in because the other 3 chickens had attacked it and it looked very weak, felt very light and couldnt walk. Feet curled up and light comb. So in it came.
It seemed to recover over a few days and several times we thought it was ready to go outside during the summer but although we kept it separate from the others it immediately reverted to its previous state and need nursing again. I mean after just a few hours outside.
Since its been in the kitchen it seems to go through a cycle where it looks and trots around Ok - still feeble in strength though.
Then for no apparent reason it will suddenly be unable to walk for 3-5 days (still eating and feeding well because I take the food to it) and then suddenly it will be on its feet and walking from room to room(albeit slowly) as if nothing happened - all very strange.
When it came inside it didnt lay an egg for 2-3months and then we would get 3-4 then nothing in a cycle.
Sometimes we thought the illness was related to laying eggs but then it hasnt been consistent.
I am a bit worried that she is in pain but there is nothing except the curled up feet to indicate this - I am loathe to cull her when she's ill or when she is healthy.
I have accepted that she is going to be inside for the duration but would be interested to know if I am doing enough for her wellbeing.
Just one more thing - she often tries to jump up on to the settee but is too weak to even get off the ground.
....and breathe....  apologies for the long tale
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:
Voss Electric Fence

abc123

  • Joined Oct 2018
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2018, 04:10:14 pm »
Hmmm difficult one ???...have you wormed her recently?

If so, then maybe try a bit of poultry tonic or apple cider vinegar (livestock one) at a ratio of 20ml to a litre, using a plastic drinker, otherwise it stains the plastic... :)

Keep her warm and if she doesnt improve within a week or so, its probably time for the vet....

Especially as its been on since Jan,

I presume you know her quite well and what tickles her fancies foodwise so keep her eating those things to give her a bit of weight. If you dont then most chickens cant resist a few handfuls of mixed corn or watermelon ;D :eyelashes:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2018, 04:55:52 pm »
...or live mealworms  :yum:


I haven't a clue what's wrong with her, clearly something, maybe congenital.  However, after all that time I wouldn't be keeping her.  She's not living the life of a normal hen, scratching for her food and living in company with other hens, which are the most basic tenets of hen welfare.  I understand your unwillingness to cull her when she's unwell, but that's just when she will be most miserable.
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Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2018, 05:10:26 pm »
Thanks for your replies
When she first came in she was wormed and every 4-6 weeks has cider vinegar in the water. When she's on a downer she gets poultry tonic for a few days - not sure if that makes much of a difference.
She also eats scrambled egg and cat food to try to build up her strength but that doesnt really work for her.
She has become friendly and she will follow us around and just sit down until we move with the occasional peck to remind us she's still there.
its a funny one - at the minute she's on an up phase and only had a few hours where she couldnt walk a few days ago but its definately not improving overall.
I just cant make my mind up if she's in pain when she is on a 'down' period.
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

abc123

  • Joined Oct 2018
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2018, 06:16:51 pm »
Ok... weird....
yes as fleecewife says she is unhappiest when she is unwell.
 It might not look like it though because chickens have evolved to not make their weakness or illness apparent to others to survive.
 :-\
The best option may be to cull her in the end for both of your sakes if she doesnt get better within say, another month...

It is hard, but sometimes has to be done..... :'( :-\

I did notice on  www.yourchickens.co.uk that newcastles disease is particularly a risk this year, although her symptoms arent similar to those.....just a word of warning though....
 :thumbsup:

Good luck



abc123

  • Joined Oct 2018
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2018, 06:26:44 pm »
Alternatively you could contact the people on that website I gave you and they would put the question and symptoms through to professional chicken vets who could hopefully give you a more detailed answer... :thinking: :fc: :fc: :thumbsup:

Good luck

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2018, 08:59:13 pm »
Is it a chicken or is it a pet? 

If it's a chicken it wouldn't survive with the others so you have to put it out of it's misery

If it's a pet you need to ask your vet (or a specialist poultry vet) what is wrong with it, because what you are doing isn't succeeding long term

Don't keep her going just for your own sake.  I wouldn't keep a dog going up and down like that

Sorry for being blunt.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2018, 08:59:44 pm »
Not sure this is much help but I did have a lovely dog who cycled through being fine and energetic  to being too weak to move over a 3-7 day period. In the end the vets found a tumor in his spleen affecting the production of his white blood cells, which apparently cycle.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2018, 08:05:35 am »
We've had a few with similar symptoms and none eventually recovered. Seems almost like a stroke, or an oxygen or blood circulatory problem with a sudden loss of energy. I know it's a long shot but it could also simply be a loss of total energy caused by an inactive digestive system. Worth a try is a dose of Avipro Avian which will restore the gut health. Stop the wormer and the ACV as that's clearly not helping and may perhaps have worsened a digestive problem. Keep her warm as we have found an abnormally low body temperature destroys the gut flora as well. Keep her away from wood burners as chickens are very susceptible to Carbon Monoxide poisoning which has similar symptoms.


Ours are all pets and if they are happy and comfortable living inside with us for the rest of their lives so be it. But if she takes a serious turn for the worse and is suffering that's the time to say goodbye.

abc123

  • Joined Oct 2018
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2018, 05:41:23 pm »
Yes exactly Chris....any updates on the chicken or pet???? :) :innocent: :thumbsup:

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2018, 07:45:59 pm »
thanks Chris - interesting comments - she's only on the worming and cider vinegar when she has had a 'turn' & not every time because as you say it doesnt seem to be having an effect.
It has become a pet hen and I will be happy to have it around - its odd that the 'down'days dont really affecct her eating and drinking even though occasionally she is so weak she is holding herself up by her beak on the side of the (dogs) cage she sleeps in.
If she didnt make a recovery each time or was gradually getting worse then the decision to cull would be easier - so no plans for that at the minute.
I assumed it was a parasite or worms that were building up every now again and overwhelming her.
As this has been going on since January there's isnt any difference to the cycles - just now she has been mobile for 5-6 days with no sign of going off again.
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2018, 08:22:01 am »
I'd definitely try the Avipro Avian Q. If she is digesting food properly she has had the best chance. Another thing we use often as it works surprisingly well is a one-off 1mL shot of cod liver oil. It gives their immune system an instant boost, but mustn't be used again for at least a week as the 'overdose' has the reverse effect.


Problem with wormers is the worms can evolve immunity, both to the chemicals and the acidity levels. We now rarely use them unless absolutely necessary (the poo is the clue). Worms, apart from blocking the digestive system, take the nutrients from the food which points to incomplete digestion being an issue with her, if not worms.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2018, 09:40:49 am »
The best medicine is... chicken soup! No joke!
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2018, 10:41:13 am »
The best medicine is... chicken soup! No joke!
No I just couldn't.
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: what could be going on with this chicken
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2018, 11:49:40 am »
You have been keeping that hen in your kitchen for 10 months now. Is it worth it?
Don't take personally, I don't want to be rude, but honestly how many chickens have you eaten during this last year? This one has obviously had much better life than all commercial broilers.
Much better taste as well. Much better end for the animals as well. It's been suffering for months and months already.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

 

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