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#87481 - 10/31/06 04:36 PM Silkie not eating
Chip Offline
Chicken

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Georgia
she about 20-25 weeks i guess but not laying eggs. she has always seemed weaker to me than the others but i noticed a wet beak today - and she isn't moving vibrantly as the others. i've yet to see her eat even as i've isolated her and tried to give her a special treat.
all my chicks were exposed to respiratory problems over a month ago but after 2 weeks of pills and drops they've been okay until now.
anything i can do to help her along? i added a little sugar to the water she's not drinking. she still looks okay but she's not fooling me - i can see that she's not well.
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#87482 - 11/01/06 05:00 AM Re: Silkie not eating
Rhea Dean Carter Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Tennessee
Does she have a large crest? If so, she may not be able to see. I've had a few that weren't eating too much, and they didn't weigh as heavy as they should have. After cutting off some of the crest and muff feathers from around their eyes, they are eating more and starting to gain weight.
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#87483 - 11/01/06 08:20 AM Re: Silkie not eating
Chip Offline
Chicken

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Georgia
hmm.. I don't think that's the problem. Her crest is small. She looks big and puffy but when you hold her you can feel that she's realy bony. Her breast feels bony to me. They are on medicene for internal parasites for several weeks now so i thought that would help her gain weight. I saw her jumping around yesterday but she's not eager to run to the feed bowl and i don't see her eating much. I just think she's weak compared to the others. I fixed a little sugar water for her last night but she never drank it.
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#87484 - 11/01/06 09:09 AM Re: Silkie not eating
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8501
Loc: Montana
I am always concerned when I read that sick or sickly birds are treated for worms. It is usually a 2 day treatment only--it is a significant poison and directions must be followed carefully or the bird is being poisoned by what we may think is medicine that will help.

Chickens will eat if they can--when they do not, it is ominous. Sick birds should never be treated with a "wormer" product.

Treatment for respiratory disease can also deplete the "good" bacteria in the gut, and afterward, to replace it, many feed a little yoghurt mixed in the crumble-feed for several days, which can allow assimilation of nutrients again. But if she cannot eat, forcing food will surely cause her demise quickly, as food will just stay in the crop and can spoil, adding to the problem. She WILL eat, if she can. It is very sad not be able to help some of our special birds. I wish her well, CJR

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#87485 - 11/01/06 10:11 AM Re: Silkie not eating
Chip Offline
Chicken

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Georgia
thank you CJR - i've been supplying yogurt to all the chickens but i'll make sure the silkie has access to it and hope for the best
thanks
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#87486 - 11/01/06 10:51 PM Re: Silkie not eating
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1974
Loc: New Zealand
If she's eating anything at all, a thin spread of honey on some wholemeal bread, chopped fine, might get some energy into her if she won't drink the water with sugar in it. You could also try tempting her appetite with some treats such as banana and grapes. When I've had sick chooks they seldom turn those down.

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#87487 - 11/02/06 04:45 AM Re: Silkie not eating
Chip Offline
Chicken

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Georgia
Thank you Foehn - that's a great idea.
I took her to the vet last night and they kept her to do an x ray so i'll pick her up today. I never thought my chicks could be so expensive! but they bring me a lot of joy.
The doc was suspecting pneumonia but we don't know yet. She weighs 620 grams and she's about 22 weeks old. Vet says she's definitely underweight. I'll keep you all posted.
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#87488 - 11/02/06 07:06 PM Re: Silkie not eating
Chip Offline
Chicken

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Georgia
The vet couldn't find anything obvious in the xray -- too much grit in her body (i don't supply grit to her). SHe's not eating well so i'm going to be feeding her daily w/a syringe to supplement her diet with extra nutrients and they found 1 parasite egg in the 2nd fecal sample so medicene for that. Please speak up if you have any opinions on this. I'm going to keep giving her yogurt and her regular feed as well. I'm also going to try and feed her separately so there is no competition the other 8 chickens. My silkie is the 2nd oldest and usually sits near the top of pecking order but lately she's been too weak to get on her perch and too weak to move around much. The vet wanted to do blood work on her but just too expensive.
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#87489 - 11/02/06 08:49 PM Re: Silkie not eating
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8501
Loc: Montana
Force feeding may just fill the crop, and not move on into the stomach or gizzard. It can sour quickly, because if the system is not working, instinctively the bird will not eat. If she is too weak to perch, I fear for her--and if the Vet saw too much grit, in the Xray, food is not likely leaving the gizzard, either. It is a very worrisome time, and sometimes, it is kinder to just let them quietly go. I am so sorry. CJR

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