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Please help, one of the girls is not moving much and seems poorly

18 replies

Flighttattendant · 04/06/2010 21:08

It's the first time anything like this has happened, I don't know what to do.

She is only about 20 weeks and they don't even lay of four. They free range in garden,. have access to grass, growers' pellets, corn.

The rest went up to bed and she stayed downstairs and let me pick her up, her little eyes shut and her head went all droopy.

I have now put her in the nest box area so she isn't vulnerable all night.

Could this be the heat - it's been terrible today but they spent the day under the hedge in the shade, and have access to water.

Her crop feels hard and quite large but no idea if this is normal as I haven't been able to hold them for ages.
She also sounds a bit sniffly, ie I can hear her breathing.

OP posts:
belgo · 04/06/2010 21:11

Oh no poor chicken, hope you get some good advice on here!

Bushers · 04/06/2010 21:13

Hi. I had some ex battery girls last year. Grass can make them poorly, I had to give one of mine a concution of olive oil and yoghurt (check google for the right amounts), syringe it in her and then hold her upside down by her feet to make her sick. It cleared her crop, and she did perk up. However, I stopped having chickens because they would get poorly very quickly, and I had to have 2 of them put down which was very sad.

Flighttattendant · 04/06/2010 21:16

thankyou, yes I guess she might be crop bound...I rang the farm and the lady said try cod liver oil, I don't have any so will get some tomorrow if she is still poorly.

Can I do anything else? I only have olive oil here, or baby oil

poor thing.

OP posts:
Bushers · 04/06/2010 21:24

Take a look at this

scroll down, and red some advice. You can give her a little olive oil and massage her crop to see if it helps.

Bushers · 04/06/2010 21:27


I also found this - which is what I used. Good Luck

Treatment for Crop Bound

The earlier that you discover the problem the easier it will be to solve. First put the bird in a pen that will not allow him access to any food including grass and dirt . Take some ordinary plain
( unflavored ) yogurt and mix it with some cool water to make it syringeable and squirt it down his throat several times a day . You might want to mix a small amount of Vit& Elec with it as well . Massage the crop vigorously to mix the contents with the yogurt . Keep doing this until he starts to pass the feed. He should be cleaned out within 24 hours . Next take a hard boiled egg and mix the yogurt with it and feed it to him for the next 24 hours. When he is passing this feed without any problem bring him back on a mixture of the feed that you normally feed mixed with the hard boiled egg and the yogurt until over a few days he is eating and passing the feed without difficulty. Then put him on his regular feed. During this time the bird must have plenty of fresh water with Vit&Elec in it as well.

Stay away from using bread,milk,and oils as they are hard to digest at this time when the digestive system is under such stress.

Sour crop is caused by an infection in the crop. The crop will feel squishy and the breath will smell badly.

Sour Crop: the hard facts
The Chook Doctor explains:

[Sour Crop] is a common problem with hens, especially if they are allowed to graze on grass when they are first released. These birds are not used to eating such natural foods, so they tend not to know how to do it properly. Long strands of grass in the crops of such birds often are unable to pass through the digestive system, [so they] bind in the crop and ferment.

The Chook Doctor
A quick method of telling whether a chicken has Sour Crop or not is to gently squeeze it and sniff the air thats expelled from its mouth. If the bird has Sour Crop then the air will smell awful, if not well, I dont suppose a chicken smells very nice anyway, but apparently la diffrence dodeur is marked. (Of course, sniffing chickens is also one of the eight sure-fire ways of being marked down as a looney, but well put that aside for the moment.)

Fear not, help is at hand
Luckily for you my mother has a cure for Sour Crop. First she grabs you (this isnt hard because youre just lying there burping), then she sticks a tube down your throat, and pours a mixture of yogurt and olive oil into you.

That done, she takes hold of your feet, hangs you upside down, and massages your stomach and crop until lots of green and white muck comes pouring out of you.

Finally she flips you the right way up, pats you on the head, and puts you down. You ruffle your feathers, squawk a bit, ruffle your feathers some more, and then walk off in as dignified a manner as you can muster.

Its a tough life, being a chicken.

Flighttattendant · 04/06/2010 21:37

Thankyou very much...sadly, I just went to check on her and she was as dead as a doornail.

I have no idea what was wrong with her but am fearful for the others now.

OP posts:
Flighttattendant · 04/06/2010 21:38

That is a very helpful post, btw, and I laughed at the last bit! Thankyou for your trouble

Oh dear oh dear.

OP posts:
Flighttattendant · 04/06/2010 21:42

actually, how do you tell when they are dead?

I am a bit worried in case she is just unconscious or something. She isn't asleep, I know that much.

i have removed her from the ark and put her in a cardboard box in the conservatory, so farmer can take a look maybe tomorrow and give his verdict.

OP posts:
Flighttattendant · 04/06/2010 22:13

anyone had this happen?

OP posts:
Millie1 · 04/06/2010 23:17

Sorry to hear that Flight ... I've no idea about crops yet so can't help but feel for you and your poor little chicken.

saltyseadog · 05/06/2010 06:47

Really sorry to hear that Flight - hopefully someone will be along soon that knows a bit more about it.

Flighttattendant · 05/06/2010 06:57

Thanks...I am really upset about her. She was lovely, I'm amazed how much I love them already. None of our pets has died yet, as a family, so it is strange.

I will ring the lovely farmer this morning and tell him, and hopefully he might take a look at her and see if he can figure it out.

There just were no clues really, I think looking back she was sitting down a fair bit yesterday, but no more than they usually do, especially in the heat.

I am worried in case I have somehow caused it, maybe by not cleaning them out enough, or not worming them yet etc. The ark will get a proper clean out and disinfect today, in case there was some disease.

Poor old Lilith

OP posts:
pantaloons · 05/06/2010 06:59

We have had lots of hens over the last few years, and also lost some. One of our first died at about the same age as yours, just as she was coming into lay. The chap we bought them off said she could be egg bound and there isn't a lot you can do.
Perhaps this was the case with yours?
We do periodically loose hens and generally it is a case of "I wonder why?" I suppose you just have to accept that these things happen, but when they are ill and lifeless for a few days first I think it is worse because you try to help and think they might be rallying, then the next minute they are belly up.
Sorry, I'm not much help, but erm I feel your pain!

saltyseadog · 05/06/2010 07:06

The breeder that I got my girls off has been breeding chickens for over 40 years, and she said the same as pantaloons - sometimes your chickens will keel over and there isn't a clear reason as to what's happened.

It's horrible when pets die, I do feel for you too .

Flighttattendant · 05/06/2010 07:07

That is actually Really helpful, thankyou so much - firstly to know you lost one at a similar age (I'm sorry )
and secondly to know it often happens without an obvious cause.

I considered briefly that she might have been on the point of producing an egg, but couldn't - but I dismissed it as I haven't a clue how it all works.

They seem such fragile beasts don't they.

I think we might need to get several more just like people used t have 10 children in the old days! Might lose a few along the way

Thanks again. I'll report back after I've seen him...he might be able to feel if there is an egg in there, I daren't, now she is dead I am a bit squeamish about prodding her.

OP posts:
ditavonteesed · 05/06/2010 07:42

this does happen, mostly they are hardy creatures but every now and again one just keels over. at least she didnb't suffer for long.

belgo · 05/06/2010 07:46

sorry to hear this. I'm sure you did your best for her flight, you love animals.

BCBG · 06/06/2010 20:53

Poor flightattendant: this has happened to two of my chooks recently, one about 10 months old and the other about 18 months. Quiet and still one day, then weak and sleepy, hiding away, then dead : not eating etc but would both peck at food under the nose so to speak. Have wormed the others, but they died about 6 weeks apart: also thought about wild bird infection from the wild ducks on next doors pond as they keep coming over, but to be honest I still have no clue...

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