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Poultry and Livestock: What should I do for my sick hen?

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Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 22, 2006
10:46 PM

Post #1993966

I think my hen is sick. Her head gear (red thingie) started swelling a few days ago.
Today I think her one eye looks swollen. She doesn't seem herself either. What should I do?

Thumbnail by Tammy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Baa

January 22, 2006
11:19 PM

Post #1994039

Looks like an infection, if she's a pet I'd take her to the vet.

Edited as I forgot to add that I'm sure someone here will know what it is.

This message was edited Jan 23, 2006 12:25 AM

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 22, 2006
11:25 PM

Post #1994055

Thanks Baa. I'll have to call around to find a vet that works with chickens.
Mine handles cats & dogs. And I've never had a sick chicken in 8yrs.
(She does look awfully bad doesn't she!)
Tam
Baa

January 22, 2006
11:33 PM

Post #1994074

Looks painful, poor thing!

Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

January 22, 2006
11:35 PM

Post #1994077

Tammy, go to http://www.the-coop.org/cgi-bin/UBB/ultimatebb.cgi and ask on the Emergency Room forum. You will get a quick answer from chicken folks.

Wish I could help.
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

January 22, 2006
11:53 PM

Post #1994102

Please look at this post right away:

http://www.the-coop.org/cgi-bin/UBB/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=000001#000000

Does your hen have an awful smell? I am concerned that it is Coryza. I hope she is isolated from the others.
Breezymeadow
Culpeper, VA
(Zone 7a)

January 22, 2006
11:56 PM

Post #1994109

Oh Tammy - that's definitely not frostbite. That definitely looks like some type of nasty infection/disease. Definitely keep this girl well away from your other chickens, & don't handle or even enter the other chickens' quarters without changing shoes & washing up first. Better safe than sorry!!!

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 23, 2006
12:21 AM

Post #1994164

Thanks Zeppy! I scanned through the other entries & the on-line info and decided to post the
question. I'll let you know what they say. (What a terrific resource!)

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 23, 2006
12:24 AM

Post #1994173

They've been co-mingling. I put her in the stall with the other hens she's been hanging out with.
The other hens roost up high but she doesn't.. so a very minimal separation tonight.
I don't have anywhere else to put her, unless its in a crate... I'll move her out tomorrow.

Oh dear! I guess its been luck - I dont douse them with antibiotics. Will figure out the next step
tomorrow.
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

January 23, 2006
3:49 PM

Post #1995025

How is she, Tammy?

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 23, 2006
7:57 PM

Post #1995507

She seemed quite peppy this morning and the eye wasn't swollen.
I posted on that coop site but no responses yet. I've got an appointment
for her with a vet tonight at 6pm. I'll let you know what he says.

No sign of issue with the other chickens. I scrubbed & sterilized their
water dishes this morning. And she's in a dog crate by herself. I am
keeping my fingers crossed my nasty Guinea Fowl nipped her comb & it
got infected or something.

No sign of nasal (beakal?) discharge. She does not smell. No breathing
difficulties that I can detect. But the vet will have to be the judge of this all!

Thanks for the help!
Tam

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 23, 2006
11:48 PM

Post #1995976

I took her to the vet. I actually am supposed to give her shots of antibiotics, once a day.
He wasn't sure what it was - said it looked like a chemical or heat burn but might be infection.
She got a shot of antibiotic plus one anti-inflamatory. They took a skin scraping and will
let me know what the find there.

No sign of problems in the rest of the flock.
Tam
Baa

January 23, 2006
11:54 PM

Post #1995994

Thanks for letting us know! I hope the treatment works or her.
gardenwife
Newark, OH
(Zone 5b)

January 24, 2006
5:31 PM

Post #1997374

Howie's she doing, Tammy?
MiniSchnuz
New Iberia, LA
(Zone 9a)

January 24, 2006
7:01 PM

Post #1997517

Poor hen! How's she doing? I hope she feel better after recieving antibiotics daily.

I used to have pet Red Devil. He was injuried real bad by my dog Teddy when he was pup. It was horrible where he pulled skin and feather off Red's back. I brought him inside the house and on old chair so he can sit on. Next day, I called Vet and I went and picked antibiotic bottle. I gave him shot daily. Later, he's back and healthy. Around here, no vets know how to treat chickens. I wish there's one but glad they gave me some antibiotic for Red.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 24, 2006
10:58 PM

Post #1997900

She's a bit better today! Thanks for asking. I have her separated in a rabbit cage.
And I gave her a shot tonight. That's a first for me. Her face is a bit less red and
maybe the swellings down a bit. And so far, no signs of anything wrong with the rest
of my chickens. (I'm up to a total of 16 right now - 2 roosters, both brothers of my sick
little hen, 6 other bantum hens, again her sisters and 7 full sized hens of assorted
types.)

Thanks for your inquiries! And glad to hear Red Devil healed up so nicely.
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 26, 2006
7:21 AM

Post #2001278

YAY! So glad to hear she's improving!

It makes me think that maybe I should find a chicken vet in our area in case the need arises, then we'll be prepared...
Breezymeadow
Culpeper, VA
(Zone 7a)

January 26, 2006
12:14 PM

Post #2001421

Great news!! Thanks for keeping us updated.

Danak - if you can't locate a livestock vet who deals with poultry, you might try looking for an avian vet. Even though they normally deal with parrots & other feathered exotics, let's face it - birds are birds, & one of them might be able to help you. I took one of my roosters to one years ago before this specialty field took off, & she had no problem diagnosing & treating him successfully.
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

January 26, 2006
12:21 PM

Post #2001429

Good idea, Breezy.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 26, 2006
11:49 PM

Post #2002669

I don't think she's really looking better now... I bet the initial improvement was the antiinflamatory.
I've given her three doses of baytril (antibiotic injections). I'll call the vet in the morning to ask
if they analyzed the sample and see if they have any more suggestions. She's not any worse
at least! And seems quite alert. No breathing issues.

Tam
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 10, 2006
2:25 AM

Post #2034073

Tammy, it's been a couple weeks since your last post. Bring us up to date on how your hen is. I hope she got all better. PeggieK

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 11, 2006
12:21 AM

Post #2036260

She seemed to be doing pretty well over the weekend so I put the rabbit cage with her in it
into the stall with the hens she'd been with before she got sick. she was there one day and
then we let her out the next. The hens got in a big fight so we moved her to the other stall.
Her comb was bloodied in the fight. So she's been hanging out under the heat lamp for
a few days (seemed much more subdued than before - I think she was not feeling well again).
But she's running around more today. I think she'll be OK.

Thanks for asking! I have to wonder if her problems stemmed from a fight in the first place.

Tam
carrjohn
Kellyville, OK
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2006
12:29 AM

Post #2036283

I have raised chickens fo a long time and I have never found anything better than to shove an aspirin down their throat. John

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 11, 2006
1:01 AM

Post #2036368

A childs aspirin? And where were you three weeks ago! LOL
I'll give it a try tomorrow - she's a bantum so maybe just 1/2 a regular
aspirin?

Tam
Breezymeadow
Culpeper, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2006
1:12 AM

Post #2036401

Whoa - "shoving an aspirin down their throat"?

I too have raised chickens "for a long time" - as well as Australian finches & hookbills - & no books, avian veterinarian, or even old wives tales have ever mentioned this interesting approach.

Tammy - I'd take this advice with a BIG grain of salt & a lot of research before doing any shoving of over-the-counter meds down your poor chicken's throat. At the very least I'd at least contact the vet who has helped you so far & ask about it. If aspirin was such a "cure all", I find it hard to believe the vet wouldn't have told you to use it.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 14, 2006
3:32 AM

Post #2043772

Tammy, since the hens got into a fight, I also wonder if it could have started from an injury. Did the other hens seem to pick on her before she became ill ? I ask because my one young hen that I put in with the others was kind of an outcast, although she seemed to scurry around fast enough and respect the pecking order. One day I went out to the pen, and she was just dead. I think the other hens just ganged up and killed her. It was so sad.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 14, 2006
1:37 PM

Post #2044201

Ah Peggie... how awful. My little hen seemed to get along well with her sisters. They slept in
a little pile of feathers together each night. Never noticed them fighting. But maybe I missed it too!
She's back in the rabbit cage to heal and I may wait until its warmer outside to let her loose
again. So she can run around outside instead of being cooped up with the other hens during the day.
Tam
carrjohn
Kellyville, OK
(Zone 7a)

February 14, 2006
4:01 PM

Post #2044450

Tammy, I did not mean to sound crude, by shoving an aspirin down your hens throat, I have great compassion for my animals, which I have over one hundred, but a hen is like most animals and will not swallow any medication without some persuasion. Even a vet has to "shove a pill down the throat". I meant nothing but tried sound advice. Sorry if I sounded crude. John

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 14, 2006
4:16 PM

Post #2044477

No problem! I "shove pills down" the throat of my cat's when they get sick. I knew
what you meant. I've never heard of aspirin for chickens though. Did you run it by
a vet or come by the suggestion from an old-timer chicken farmer?

Tam
carrjohn
Kellyville, OK
(Zone 7a)

February 14, 2006
5:17 PM

Post #2044591

Tam, I live within a half a mile from a game club. All my neighbors raised roosters to fight. I never agreed with the fighting but boy do they know how to doctor chickens. Some of the roosters costed thousands of dollars and the owners knew how to keep them well and to make them tremendously strong. I incubate all my baby chicks and know who the mama and papa is to everyone of them. And I did mean to tell you that I keep a bottle of 80mg baby aspirin in my chicken house. I would never abuse one of mine. John
carrjohn
Kellyville, OK
(Zone 7a)

February 14, 2006
5:24 PM

Post #2044613

I forgot to mention that without taking your hens temp, I cant be sure, but , if she has not been in a fight sometimes their comb will look burned from having a high temp. When a hen starts sitting on a clutch of eggs to hatch them she is sick with a temp. it raises her body temp up to warm the eggs to an incubation temperature. If I dont want the hen to set yet I "give" her an aspirin. She will then go back to laying. Hope this helps. John

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 14, 2006
10:34 PM

Post #2045176

thanks everyone for all your advice and help!

I'll keep you updated on her progress... what an amazing world when people
across the country worry about your sick hen! :-)

Tam
leaflady
Hughesville, MO
(Zone 5a)

February 15, 2006
4:36 AM

Post #2045815

I keep liquid baby and children's asprin, tylenol, etc. around and have given that to many sick chickens. I gave quite a bit of the tylenol and Motrin to our old Thomas turkey the last few months of his life. He had gotten old and quite large. He acted as tho his hips hurt so I gave him pain meds. Finally I knew it was just too much for him and had him put down. Then we found out that the bottoms of his feet were also in terrible condition. There was never any odor and no sign of infections when he died.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 15, 2006
2:03 PM

Post #2046195

Thanks you all for the amazing and useful info. The liquid aspirin sounds like an easy way to get it down. I would have never thought of that.

Hey, here's another piece of info I saw online...(I hope it's ok to post here, but since we're talking about combs) ... Has anyone ever heard that a rooster that has a frostbitten comb and wattles may not be fertile ? It was on a university website on troubleshooting why eggs may not hatch.

So...I mentioned that to say, maybe a chicken's comb and wattles is more significant to their general all-over health than I realized.

Tammy, let us know how she's doing. Hopefully she will continue to get better. :D

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 15, 2006
2:21 PM

Post #2046240

Thanks - I'm actually out of town for a week so my DH is in charge of the care.
He said she's eating & drinking well. She's in that rabbit cage to keep her safe.
I wish I had another spot for her that was larger - its about 3' x 18" so its not tiny
(and she's a bantum). I guess its luxurious compared to commercial conditions
but it makes me feel a bit sad for her.

Anyway - I'll report on her when I get home. Here's a picture of her on Sat before I
left (2/6/06)

Thumbnail by Tammy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Breezymeadow
Culpeper, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 15, 2006
2:53 PM

Post #2046301

As far as the frostbite/fertility connection, what I've always heard/read is that frostbitten combs & wattles are EXTREMELY painful to the birds once they thaw out & during healing, & the roosters are thus much less "randy" than normal, which explains the lack of egg fertility.
MiniSchnuz
New Iberia, LA
(Zone 9a)

February 16, 2006
12:57 PM

Post #2048406

Checking here to see how hen doing? Hope she's getting better daily.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 16, 2006
1:07 PM

Post #2048419

I'm getting reports from my DH that's shes doing well. Thanks for asking!!!
Tam
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 17, 2006
3:18 AM

Post #2050347

She's a pretty little hen isn't she.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 17, 2006
3:05 PM

Post #2051108

Peggy - thanks! She's 3/4 bantum cochin and 1/4 bantum silky. Did you ever see that PBS
special on chickens? Her grandmother looked just like the little white silky that saved her chicks
from the hawks. I called her Phyllis (like Phyllis Diller with a white poofy hair do).
Tam
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 22, 2006
3:41 PM

Post #2063178

How cute. Funny, that's what my DH calls those breed of chickens.
Phyllis Diller chickens. lol

I missed the PBS special, sounds like something I'd like to watch. Maybe we'll get a rerun, I'll watch for it.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 8, 2006
11:33 AM

Post #2095203

My little hen is doing so much better I thought I'd share! Her face is completely
clear and the only sign left of her problem is a black area on her comb. She
went outside with the rest Sat & Sun but didn't come back to the barn 'til Tues.
Scared me! I thought something got her. She's safe now in her rabbit cage 'til
daylight is long enough for me to let them out everyday.

Yeah!

Tam

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 4, 2006
12:33 AM

Post #2161294

Terry just moved this thread so I thought I'd post a conclusion. My little hen is all healed up and living in
harmony with the rest of the flock! The black on her comb was a scab and its off now. She's got fresh new
flesh there. Thanks for all your help with my hen.

Tam
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

April 4, 2006
1:05 AM

Post #2161372

very interesting story, thanks for moving it here!

so glad she is well!!!

tf
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

April 4, 2006
2:02 AM

Post #2161508

Glad it turned out well, Tammy.
JilliexCoolie
Weare, NH

June 30, 2007
12:49 AM

Post #3677045

HELP ME!! i have a chicken and she is not being herself, she is sitting in a nest all day long and barely moving just to drink or eat and won't go outside when you pick her up she fluffs up her back feathers and her head is near the ground she is the only black chicken around spotted ones HELP
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

June 30, 2007
5:42 AM

Post #3678217


Does she make funny noises along with these actions when you move her ? If so, that sounds like how they act when they are broody. They just want to be left alone to sit on the nest all day. If she is sitting on some fertile eggs... in 21 days, you should have chicks. I hope she is well, and this is all it is. Let us know.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 1, 2007
12:12 PM

Post #3681565

Jillie - I think Peggie is right. My little black hens get broody and there's
nothing I can do to persuade them to get off the nest. I have no roosters
and the hen is no longer laying (she's getting pretty old - maybe 4-5yrs)
but she is determined to brood. Sits on the nest day after day.

Tam
BackyardHens
Antrim, NH

July 1, 2007
1:28 PM

Post #3681746

Hey there JilliexCoolie, I know where Weare is! I used to work there. She definitely sounds broody to me, Basically she's got her mama clock ticking extra loud right now and wants to hatch eggs. She's get over it. One way to maybe tell is to pick her up and see if she pulled out her chest feathers ( to better warm the eggs) if so, she's definitely broody.
guineagirl
Tallahassee, FL

September 20, 2007
7:22 AM

Post #3996071

i had a broody hen (ruth) that refused to move off her nest for anything, not food not water nothing! and she refused to lay an egg not one for 2 weeks! so i had to shut her out of the hen house so she decided to hid by the back door and attack my legs when i came out until i reopened the hen house, after i did that she was fine and even stopped sitting on the nest
daylilypurp
Luttrell, TN

December 16, 2007
7:07 PM

Post #4300932

I'm not positive as what your hen has wrong with her, but it appears to be CRD. Agin, it looks like it may be a case of Fowl Pox. The swelling of the wattles could be Cholera. All in all, I would feel safe to say it's Fowl Pox. There is no cure for Fowl Pox once a chicken has it. The best remedy is to vaccianate the birds in the summer. Fowl Pox usually shows up in the fall. mosquitos are usually the carriers of Fowl Pox.
I have never lost a chicken from fowl pox, and with time, your hen may recover.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 16, 2007
8:55 PM

Post #4301233

That was an old posting. I ended up losing her a few months after
she got sick. She appeared to recover but died anyway. No other
chickens got sick. Don't know what it was but perhaps you are right.

Tam

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