Very sick chook : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

G'Day I hope someone can help me with my chook problem I have three girls approx 6-8 months old. 2 are really healthy but the largest of the three has become sick over the last few weeks. She is very lethargic and leans when she walks. She is eating ok but doesn't move very far -- staying in one spot most of the day with her feathers puffed and her comb flat on her head. She also has a very dirty vent although she is still laying but not on a regular basis. They are free range but I also feed them layers pellets and scraps. They also have fresh water throughout the day. I have a feeling that she will die over the next few days as she has been getting steadily worse. I would like some advice over whether to euthanase her or can I treat her. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer. Jo

-- Jo Barnes (, March 20, 2002


Respiratory problems seem to be the most common problems in chooks, so check there first. As they have not gone through a molt (usually at the end of the first year, with feather loss and decrease or stopped egg production, etc.), consider and look for signs of molting.

-- BC (, March 20, 2002.

The flat comb and the dirty vent makes me think she has diarrhea. Try offering salty food to fight dehydration. Might help.

-- Terri (, March 20, 2002.

You can get an electrolyte powder solution from the local feed store and put it in their water - enough for a couple years supply is in a packet for around 6.00. It can't hurt, and may help. You can also use it for other livestock when they are stressed or sick.

It is most likely that she has a congenital condition considdering her age, and for that there is not much you can do.

Good luck, Chenoa

-- Chenoa (, March 20, 2002.

Jo, you have to clean off the poop or the bird won't be able to poop and it could kill her. Either hold her rear end under the warm water faucet and remove it with your fingers as it softens or clip the feathers off.

You mentioned feeding her scraps and botulism comes to mind. If there's blood in her droppings, it could be coccidiosis. I know little about sickness with these birds except what I read, since I've been fortunate to never have any yet. Click the link and see if any of the symptoms match your bird.

External Symptoms For Diagnosing Poultry Diseases

Hope you find an answer.

-- ~Rogo (, March 20, 2002.

I don't know where you are, but it's pretty cold here. Cold stresses birds. It's a lot harder for them to get well when they're cold. If you can cage her in a warm areafor a while, like in the house, with a light at one side that she can cuddle up to or move away from, that might help her to solve her problem. Yogurt can also help to restore their digestive tract flora to help with the diarrhea. Corn will also help to stiffen up her poop.

-- Laura Jensen (, March 21, 2002.

Put a little vinegar in the water (1/4 cup vinegar to a gallon water) and feed a little plain yogurt with active culture.

-- Ann Markson (, March 21, 2002.

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