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#19458 - 05/22/07 04:50 PM Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
I just noticed that one of my more 'skittish' hens was acting sort of subdued. She is not fluffed up, but just seems under the weather to me. When I picked her up I could not believe how thin she was. I mean, her breast bone is so prominent, there is no meat on her at all......I am really good about worming and actually just did the second round about 3 weeks ago. Is there anything else that this could be due to?? I don't want to lose her, but there is definitely something wrong. Everyone else seems to be of a healthy weight, but I am going to check on all of the girls tonight when I lock up the coop.

Any thoughts would be welcome. I don't know whether to bring her inside or not as I have 5 newly hatched babies I am taking care of. I could worm her again--maybe she somehow escaped the dosage??

Monica

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#19459 - 05/23/07 05:41 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
I don't know what's wrong with her but be warned that worming her right now could be the final straw. It's a poison and not handled well by a sick bird.

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#19460 - 05/23/07 06:19 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Ah. Well, I did not know that. Hmmm. Well, this morning, I took her aside and gave her some treats. Her appetite seems ok. I had her eat some roasted garlic, which I have heard will kill off bacteria and the worms don't like it much either. Hmmm. I guess then I wait and see?? I checked everyone else in the coop last night and no one is underweight so it is just confined to her. She is like a bag of feathers. Its really awful.

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#19461 - 05/23/07 04:41 PM Re: Hen wasting away
Lisa Robinson Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 161
Loc: Australia
that sounds like what just happened to me, i lost 1 chook and 1 chick to cossidiosis, everyone else is very healthy and unaffected.
does your sick girl have runny poo right now?
dont let her suffer to much, my chick died on its own quickly, but mum was suffering, and we had to put her down, as I believe trying to save her at that point would have only been cruel to her. And possibly risky for the rest of the flock. good luck, I hope you figure out what to do soon. cheers lisa

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#19462 - 05/23/07 05:16 PM Re: Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Hmm. I don't know if her poo is runny, but I will cage her tonight in the coop and check it out. Poor girl. She was very wobbly today--kind of weak. She is eating well though for the most part. I picked her up and let her eat freely out of my hand and she just ate and ate. I am really concerned.

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#19463 - 05/24/07 04:24 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Kathy W. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 273
Loc: New York
Since fall I have lost 4 hens and last night a five week old chick to illness displaying the same symptoms. These symptoms are discussed from time to time in these posts and based on them I assume that this is coccidiosis. The deaths in my flock (flock size about 50 birds) have been spread out over 10 months or so. Seems to me that the flock "has" it and from time to time it gets out of whack and somebody dies.

The chick death distresses me particularly because I cleaned their little coop with bleach before putting this batch of chicks in. Their coop is next to but separate from the adult coops on either side. There is a barrier (plastic tarp stapled to the chicken wire) between the chick coop and the adult coops. It doesn't seem that chicken manure with the coccidial oocysts should be able to get in there. Of course, they could get there on my shoes ...

Once I can get all the birds into outside pens I plan to clean the barn coops as thoroughly as I can and let them air for the rest of the summer.

My question: I'm thinking it would be a good idea to switch the chicks to a medicated feed. Given their age, would this be of any use if they are infected with coccidia?

Kathy

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#19464 - 05/24/07 05:05 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Do the chicks have bloody poops? I have had coccidiosis in one batch of baby chicks and it was really easy to clear up with Sulmet. In just a few days, everyone was normal and we never had a problem again. I don't know that the medicated feed has enough of a dosage to do the trick, but I am sure someone else here will know the answer.

I am going to get Penny (her name) in this morning and watch her to see what the poop is looking like. I dunno. Coccdiosis would be nice--its so easy to deal with!

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#19465 - 05/24/07 06:18 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Oakie Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 415
Loc: Oklahoma
If caught early enough Cocci can be treated with Sulmet. I have heard that it is nearly impossible to get rid of though. You have to keep your coops dry otherwise it is a breeding ground for Cocci. Chicks are very vulnerabe to it and will die quickly. It seems that adult birds can recover from it quickly if treated. My dad had a problem with it and we finally decided to move the coop and start over.

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#19466 - 05/24/07 06:22 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Penny's poop is slightly runny, but not too bad. No blood. Now what?

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#19467 - 05/26/07 03:30 PM Re: Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Penny is still hanging in there, although I have to say, her condition seems worse. She is really unable to stand now she is so weak. But she is alert otherwise. Her poop is just fine. And her appetite is good. I put her on antibiotics, which I don't really like to do, especially without knowing what she has, but she is fighting and so I would like to help her if I can. I don't know what else to do for her. Every morning, I go down to the coop and expect to see her dead, but instead, she is blinking at me with a look that says, 'Yup, I am STILL here!'.

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#19468 - 05/27/07 10:10 PM Re: Hen wasting away
Lisa Robinson Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 161
Loc: Australia
it may be to late for treatment, dont let it go on to long, it really sounds like she is suffering.
if she does not look better in a few days i would start thinking about puting her down.
It is such a sad thing to do for us, but we must think of the chickens and their quality of life first. is it fair to let them suffer so much because we cant or dont want to let them go?
good luck, and please report if you do get her better.

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#19469 - 05/28/07 06:33 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
She has remained the same. Still unable to really 'stand'---kind of just sits back on her hocks if you know what I mean. She is able to stand if she really wants to and is eating up a storm. I am still hopeful. She does not seem like she is suffering per se, especially since she is eating. I think animals let you know when they are really ready to go, and I have to tell you, she really doens't seem like she has gotten there yet. I will keep you posted, of course. I don't know what else to do for her but am still open to suggestions......

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#19470 - 05/28/07 08:24 AM Re: Hen wasting away
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Marek's Disease takes different steps and her symptoms, while not classical, do resemble Marek's. Just keep her fed and comfortable. Marek's has no pain,just frustration, and appetite usually remains, but weight loss may continue. Rarely is there improvement, but it can happen. Sorry, CJR

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#19471 - 05/29/07 04:27 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
I wondered about that. I thought perhaps that it could be Mareks--especially with her lack of coordination. I will see what happens. CJR--good to see you! Thanks for your response and input as always. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Monica

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#19472 - 05/30/07 11:36 PM Re: Hen wasting away
Anonymous
Unregistered


I had a rash of chickens going paralyzed in the legs many years ago. I must have lost about 4 out out of 12 chickens. I talked to a vet and they suggested it could be a vitamin B deficency. The first several birds we had already destroyed, but the last of the batch with symptoms I fed crushed up B complex vitamins in her feed and she actually recovered. I don't know why my birds had a problem with this, as they were being fed a "complete feed" but to this very day I will occasionally crush up B vitamins and give it to them in some table scraps as a treat to hopefully prevent any future paralysis. I originally thought it was some dreaded disease. Has anyone else ever heard of this? My chickens had good appetites too. I don't recall if they had much weight loss, but I'm sure they did as they were too weak in the legs to walk around. I think the vet called it "curled toe paralysis." Probably not what your chicken has if her feet look normal but I doubt it would hurt to give her some vitamins.

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#19473 - 05/31/07 04:35 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Htul Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 495
Loc: Australia
Others would probably be better able to comment on this, but does chronic wasting like this fit with low grade aspergillosis infection?

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#19474 - 05/31/07 04:59 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
I will look into the vitamins--thanks for the heads up. She is really deteriorating and I think I will be taking her to the vet today to put her to sleep. I have done a bunch of searches on how to euthanize humanely, and can't find anything that really suits me. I have a friend who says that using ether is a good way to go, but ugh! I just don't want to kill her. Poor Penny!

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#19475 - 05/31/07 02:25 PM Re: Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Today was Penny's worst day. I have decided to euthanize. Does anyone have experience with using Ether? Thanks, Monica

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#19476 - 05/31/07 08:46 PM Re: Hen wasting away
David W. Offline
Chicken

Registered: 03/02/06
Posts: 131
Loc: Missouri
I'm the guy that posted smelly hen but didn't get a reply. After reading the post I'm concerned that maybe it is something like what is being described here. My hen does have runny poo and is limping around. I thought they were vacinated at birth but maybe they didn't and just said they did... frown

I'm going to try the vit. B also and move the pens. Maybe that will help her as well. Would you guys suggest seperating her from the rest of the flock?

Dave

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#19477 - 06/17/07 02:33 AM Re: Hen wasting away
RuffEnuff Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 01/27/06
Posts: 1148
Loc: Australia
i suspect mereks disease too. along with many other manifeatations 'going light' is one. some birds will recover. narrow pale faces is a good early sign. however mereks is not always a death sentence. you learn on some birds which you may loose. however when you have sucesses it really makes up for it.
k.

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#19478 - 06/18/07 04:59 PM Re: Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
I had to put Penny to sleep last week. It was really sad, but I just did not feel like she was getting any better, and she just wouldn't die on her own! I hated doing it, but her life was awful--she could barely even move--even though just her legs were paralyzed. I gave her plenty of time and then used Ether to kill her. It went quickly and seemed to be less traumatic than other methods, but they always seem to go with a struggle. I did not feel like she wanted to 'go', but I had to make a decision......

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#19479 - 06/25/07 05:01 PM Re: Hen wasting away
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
Shoofly, don't beat yourself up about it. This is the hardest part of raising these birds. Without an end to the suffering, her quality of life would have dropped and you would have felt horrible for allowing her to suffer for so long. I'm proud of you for being able to put your gains aside to allow little Penny to finally relax and be comforted. It is hard, and many of our best "friends" are euthanized before they go of natural causes.

It is definately hard, but a necessary part of raising any animal. Letting go is one of the hardest parts and you have done an excellent job. You let her go in the most peaceful way you could think of and I am proud that you were able to make the decision based on what was best for Penny. Good job, but unfortunately, it doesn't get any easier with more that have to be put down. Each has a special place and you will remember them all. But, when you remember them, remember also that you made them comfortable when nobody else could.

Hope my words helped, but you will feel better about it in time. You'll still miss her, but the pain dulls in time.

Mikaela

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#19480 - 06/27/07 05:48 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Mikaela--

Thanks so much...The hardest thing was making the choice. After that, I felt better because I just knew she was not enjoying life the way a chicken should. I had a hard time trying to figure out the most humane way to end her life, and the ether just seemd like the most peaceful. How do you do it?? I would not be able to use ether on one of the bigger birds as they do struggle somewhat.

Thanks again for all of your support. I hate it when any of my birds go, but it is a part of life and owning animals.......

Monica

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#19481 - 06/27/07 10:09 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
For me, I use a .22 bullet to the head. The bird feels nothing and sees nothing. I can't stand to use anything else on my birds alone. There is a drug that can be injected into the bird's vein in the wing and the bird literally falls asleep. It is deadly to us, but only the most experienced people should use it. I am just now learning to use it because if I even scratch myself with the needle I could get it in my system and a trip to the emergency room would be in order.

As for the farmer, ether is probably one of the most humane ways other than a bullet. If I were to go either way I would prefer the bullet. I have accidentally inhaled CO2 from a CO2 tank that is used for smaller birds and I tell you...that stuff HURTS! At least I learned to never breathe while reaching in the tank! I would say that ether would at least alleviate any pain the bird may experience. (Kind of like sniffing spray paint...you get all woozy and can't feel anything.)

Hopefully you're feeling a bit better,

Mikaela

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#19482 - 06/27/07 05:44 PM Re: Hen wasting away
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Hahaha! Well, I never thought of the bullet for some reason....I have a .45 so I think that would do the trick---The police would probably be coming around too!! smile

What is the drug you use in the vein?? It costs me 50$ to put a chicken to sleep at the vet, and it was really dramatic (they inject into the brain so it was AWEFUL!) but I really think that is the best way.

the ether was actually not bad--she struggled just a bit, but it was after a minute or two and I think she was probably feeling woozy like you said. After that, it went really quickly. Still, I cried my eyes out. Poor girl! Anyway, it needed to be done.

I am fine with it now. The following day, I was sore about it, but she was a chicken, and she was really ill, and she wasn't getting better. Its fine. I wouldn't want to do it every day, nor would I want to do it to my favorite hen, but it is the way it has to be. By the 3rd day, I was at peace with it.

Anyway, its been fun chatting. I see you on the forum all the time! I know you have had your share of tragic stories and hard decisions to make as well.Thanks for your help and advice and kind words! I really appreciate it!

Monica

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#19483 - 06/27/07 10:44 PM Re: Hen wasting away
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
If I remember rightly, the drug vets use commonly for euthanasia is Sodium pentatholbarbiturate. In low doses it is used for anesthesia, but in high doses it causes cardiac arrest and it seems a pretty humane way to dispatch sick animals.

I used to work for the SPCA years ago, and that was the chosen way to put down unwanted stray cats and dogs. The inspectors used to use chloroform which is much worse than the sickly sweet ether.

It was a horrible job for an animal lover like me to get involved with, so I didn't work there for too long.

Sorry about the little hen though. We do all have to make those tough decisions sometimes.

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#19484 - 06/28/07 12:45 AM Re: Hen wasting away
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Good Morning Monica,

Quote:
It costs me 50$ to put a chicken to sleep at the vet, and it was really dramatic (they inject into the brain so it was AWEFUL!) but I really think that is the best way.
Strange, our vet used to inject into the breast (Brahmas) or leg (Bantams) of the bird. Until we learned how to put the bird out of his misery for ourselves we had to pay 80 EUR (=104 USD!) per euthanasy.

I hope the rest of your flock is alright and best greetings,

Joachim

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