Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Poultry and Pets => The Hen House => Topic started by: herbie on February 23, 2008, 12:27

Title: sick chicken
Post by: herbie on February 23, 2008, 12:27
Can someone please give me some advice. I am an amateur at keeping chickens and have my first sick bird. She has been quite listless for a couple of days, just perched, sleeping and sucking in air. Her comb has become a bit dry and flaky. I am concerned that she is ill but have no idea what to do. I do not want to commit the final act unless it is for the best. We have 2 other seemingly healthy birds (although have had no eggs at all since Sept 07!). they have the run of the garden, fresh food and water daily and a straw bed.

please help!
Title: sick chicken
Post by: poultrygeist on February 23, 2008, 12:30
Hi Herbie,

Can't offer any specific advice but you might be better off asking in the 'Hen House' forum.

Maybe a mod can move the post ?

There's a lot of knowledgable folks on here so you should get some helpful replies soon.

Title: sick chicken
Post by: herbie on February 23, 2008, 12:33
yeah thanks

i just realised that i had posted on the wrong site. will start again.

thanks again
Title: sick chicken
Post by: poultrygeist on February 23, 2008, 12:56
Bearing in mind I know nothing because thankfully we haven't had probs with our hens yet, but the usual list of things to check for is parasites, worms, eggbound, infections.

I persume you're able to check her over physically ?
Title: sick chicken
Post by: GrannieAnnie on February 23, 2008, 13:00
There you go Herbie, moved to the henhouse!

Perhaps when you are not so worried about your chicken, you'll pop back to the welcome forum and tell us a bit about yourself?

Could be lots of things wrong with your chook!

Red mites and lice can bring a chook's resistance down, and kill them in bad cases.  Have you looked at her closely?  any signs of movement on her, lice I think particularly like the joints where wings join the body, places like that.  Red mites don't live on the chooks, but hide in crevasses in the hen house, ends of perches, corners of nest boes etc and come out at night to feed of the blood of the chooks.  They are tiny little grey things at first, but get redder as they gorge.

Tummy upsets can cause similar symptoms, listlessness etc  Aunt Sally always advocates natural yoghurt.  I mix up a few feed pellets in a crop fo water to mash them a bit then mix it in the yoghurt, as youghurt and also apple cider vinegar can help dispel any nasties in their tummies.

Have they been wormed recently?  The other thing is, how old is she?  Sometimes, they can just give up and die, chooks can have heart attacks, and my OH has seen them just fall off the perch dead with no explanation as to why.  Ex Battery chickens are very prone to this.

Hope this helps nd there will be someone else along soon with more ideas if I've forgotten anything.

Good luck, hope she is okay.   And welcome!!!!!!
Title: sick chicken
Post by: poultrygeist on February 23, 2008, 13:13
Thanks annie.

Wish I could offer some more practical advice but I think it's a case of ticking each possibility off one at a time.

Title: sick chicken
Post by: GrannieAnnie on February 23, 2008, 13:49
Don't worry Rob, you'll get more knowledgeable as time goes on.  See, your chooks don't try to kill you everytime you go in their run now do they????   lol  So that's something you've learnt!!!!!

How many are laying now?  We are only getting about 6 a day from the 85 we have left, but several other people said theirs have started to lay now.
Title: sick chicken
Post by: poultrygeist on February 23, 2008, 14:29
true enough Annie  :lol:

We've had 1 a day for 7 days but todays was a bit later and a slightly different shape/shade so it could be a 2nd hen laying.

We'll see if we get 2 tomorrow.

Still not got names for them. Very naughtty. Have to try babe's trick of putting it to the vote. Maybe set up a premium rate text number and make a fortune like the TV progs do !


Title: sick chicken
Post by: Aunt Sally on February 23, 2008, 14:38
Hi herbie

your bird sounds poorley  :cry:

If you've done all the things GrannieAnnie suggests, lice, mites and worms then it  just leaves us with an infection or egg proble.

If her tummy is bloated ( the area beneath her vent) then she probably hasan egg problem like egg peritonitis.  If you feel her beneath the wing near the joint with her body you will be able to tell if she has a temperature - compare with one of your healthy birds.  If she is bloated and/or hot then some antibiotics may help  her.
Title: sick chicken
Post by: Foxy on February 23, 2008, 18:52
Hi Herbie,
Sorry about your poorly hen. Lots of advice re: parasites as previously mentioned and the possiblity of worms all which have a detrimental effect on our chooks.
You have also noticed your hen sucking in air? If you watch her closely does it look like she has difficulty breathing? Can you hear a rattle  or a wheeze if you listen to her chest -have you noticed any discharge around her beak or eyes? This would indicate a respiratory infection.
Also what sort of bedding do you have?
In the meantime you could add apple cider vinegar to their drinking water as well as some crushed garlic. If it does look more like an infection a trip to the vet will be needed. Hope this helps and keep us posted!