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    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2009 8:53am (Oct 13th 2009)
    I have three chucks. Ethel, Dora and Mildred. W got them in July as POL. They have layed every day since the day we brought them home. Ethel, has always been the favourite, we have always thought she was older than the other two. She always comes to us, likes her little stroke before bedding down for the night, and in the morning too.The other two have always been a bit flighty, as soon as you go near. Suddenly Ethel is very ..on her own, subdued,not scratching like she always has. She looks Ok, her combe is still the same red as the others, her eyes look OK, and generally she looks OK to me. She is still laying. what could be the matter with her? does anyone have any idea? They are black Rocks, I think. I am afraid if she was ill, she maybe will infect the others two. Please if anyone has any ideas for me, I would be very grateful.
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2009 9:29am (Oct 13th 2009)
    Hi Kib. Welcome to the group.

    Someone should be along soon who can help.

    Where are you? Folks on here are from all over the world, a very mixed bunch and we don't all have chickens!
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2009 4:23pm (Oct 13th 2009)
    Hi KLB - I think Neil (whose site this is) will be back home soon. He is traveling at the moment, I believe. He knows hens. His daughter (Red) knows them very well. She is busy at her studies but will hopefully see your post soon. Is Ethel dropping a lot of feathers at the moment? Is she still drinking and eating as she normally does?
    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2009 8:15pm (Oct 13th 2009)
    Ethel is not dropping any feathers. She is not eating at all. Not doing any scratching. I always do a bit of digging for worms and goobies for them, and she wasn't interested in them today. Normally she would fight for the majority of the 'goodies'. I have hardly seen her drink today either. neighbour, who keeps sheep, and knows a bit about chucks came over earlier, and showed me how to look for eg binding problems. He assured me there was no egg there, and suggested that she may be going broody. Do you think that this is possible?
    • CommentAuthorTracyB
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2009 8:22pm (Oct 13th 2009)
    Hi Katie. Not sure how much help I will be as Diane said Neil and Red are the better ones for advise. Have you looked through any of the discussions with ref to welfare etc to see if anything matches Ethels symptoms. Does she have anythign specific apart from not looking right - I know what you mean, I can tell when my girls are not OK, we've had various trips to the vet most had good outcomes, one unfortunately didn't. My girls are exbatteries, we've had 7 since May (we did have 10 but 3 died) and I picked up another 5 Friday just gone so now have a mix of confident girls that look like proper chickens with all their feathers and 5 girls who aren't sure if they want to coe out into the run and look like a real scruffy bunch. Is she crop bound - is her crop solid when you feel it? I'm sure Red or Neil will be able to help.
    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2009 8:43pm (Oct 13th 2009)
    Hi TraceyB,
    Her crop is fine. She has been standing in a corner for most of the day. She was like this yesterday too. and she has always been the fiesty one, always the one to get to the goobies first. Thats how I know she is not well.
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2009 9:22pm (Oct 13th 2009) edited
    Hi Katie, I'm sorry Ethel is poorly. I know nothing about chickens at all I'm afraid, but what I would say is follow your instincts. If you feel she isn't well (and from your description she sounds to be off colour) then maybe a trip to the vet may be in order - that's if you have a chicken-savvy vet. I own rats and it took me a good while to find a vet who really knew anything about them and from other messages on this site I think the same is true of vets and chickens.

    How is her poo? I remember someone (probably Red) posting a link to a site that showed pictures of various samples of poo and what they could be showing.

    I really hope you can work out what's wrong with her and get her back to health. Good luck and please keep us updated - it might help the next person along who has worries about their girls.
    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2009 9:26pm (Oct 13th 2009)
    If there is no improvement tomorrow, then I think the vet is the answer. She isnt pooing very much at all, but she isnt eating. My neighbour says not to worry about not eating. They canm go 3 or 4 days without food if feeling poorly. Keep your fingers crossed that she will be better in the morning.
    • CommentTimeOct 13th, 2009 9:32pm (Oct 13th 2009)
    With most animals - and humans - its fluids that are more important. There doesn't seem to be anything obviously wrong with her, but maybe a course of antibiotics from the vet might help. Could she have mites? (Though I suspect you'd have noticed that and her comb would be pale wouldn't it, but you said that's ok?) Can you look in her mouth? (Just wondered if anything could be stuck if she'd picked up something she shouldn't have). I'm grasping at straws for odd things that other animals can get to cause them to be off their food.

    I will keep my fingers crossed for her.
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2009 2:10am (Oct 14th 2009) edited
    Fingers crossed. *BE WELL NOW LITTLE ETHEL!* :heart:

    The (lovely) pictures of poo link is in the first post in the thread called "Look But Don't Leave."

      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2009 4:41am (Oct 14th 2009)
    It's Diane's very favourite link; she rarely tears herself away from that one...
    Is she a little thin on feathers around her throat/chest? That's how I know when my Livia is going broody. Hope Ethel feels better soon...I had a best friend called Ethel! :heart:
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2009 1:28pm (Oct 14th 2009) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh Kib i'm sorry i haven't had chance to reply before this. I love your girls' names, and really hope Ethel picks up.

    To be honest it doesn't sound like broodiness to me, but then again I'm not there watching her behaviour. It's true that if she was broody she wouldn't lay, but she would spend the majority of her time sat on the nest. She would also act a little 'off' with you and make strange clucking noises when you went near. Broody hens get off the nest a few times a day, and in that time they wolf down food and water and do HUGE stinky poops...nice i know ;)

    Have you checked her crop? It's where all the food is collected and ground into smaller pieces on the front of a chicken, as they don't have teeth the food all goes into the crop where it is ground down by pieces of grit that they have eaten. Do your chickens have access to grit? Do they free-range? If they don't have any, you could buy a little bag of grit and put some in a small dish for them, or mix it with their food.

    Anyway, feel her crop (it sticks out a little from her body, and if there is something in it, it will feel like a small ball) If her crop is rock hard it's possible she has an impacted crop, where it has become blocked due to a long blade of grass etc so she can't process the food that's in there. You can treat this by adding vegetable oil to their food, or apple cider vinegar to their water. If, after a few days, the hard lump is still there, take her to the vets ~ (that would be my usual suggestion, but seeing as she has been ill for a while anyway i'd recommend a vet visit asap :001_smile: )

    She could also have an infection, like what Milly had (or so the vet said). Milly also stopped eating and acting like herself, and was rarely poo'ing. She just wasn't herself. Took her to the vets and he guessed she could have an infection, so he prescribed antibiotics for her and she improved.

    Other than that try her feeding her 'good' foods. Feeding her activated yoghurt is always a good idea, and you can even add a tiny amount of veg oil to it. Scrambled eggs usually go down well. Adding apple cider vinegar to their water is also a brilliant idea as it will give your girls a boost, and even if there's nothing wrong with them they will benefit from it and won't be harmed.

    Hope this helps even a little bit. Good luck with Ethel and getting her a vets' appt.
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2009 5:13pm (Oct 14th 2009)
    I have found a dollop of natural yoghurt mixed with 2 or 3 tablespoons of room temp water is a great way to get fluids into a dehydrated hen. For some reason, they cannot resist yoghurt.

    Rosie got very dehydrated when she first became broody and I couldn't get her to eat or drink but when I put the yoghurt-water down, she perked up and looked like she'd washed her face in it!

    Fingers crossed for Ethel - Vxx
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2009 7:58pm (Oct 14th 2009)
    Posted By: chief chickenIt's Diane's very favourite link; she rarely tears herself away from that one...
    WOT ??? I am besmirched.

    Posted By: chief chickenHope Ethel feels better soon...I had a best friend called Ethel!
    And I have a yard bunny named Ethel. :heart:
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2009 7:59pm (Oct 14th 2009)
    How is Ethel today, Katie?
    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2009 9:45pm (Oct 14th 2009)
    Thankyou all for your concern and very useful remedies. I am new to chicken keeping, and was so worried about Ethel, I have hardly slept for the last three nights.
    I am pleased to tell you all, that, after another neighbour, who also keeps chucks, called her boyfriend, who used to 'show' chucks, and told him about Ethels problems, he promised to call after work. He did, and diagnosed a compacted crop. (I had an idea myself that was the problem, after reading something on this site last night)I gave her some olive oil this morning with a dropper, repeated at lunchtime, by the time Keith came this evening it had obviously started to work. He massaged her crop. Held her upside down for a minute or two. Massaged her again, he said I think she will be fine now. It seemed that the mass that was in her crop, had moved, and when he put her down she went straight to the water for a drink, and then to some corn. What a relief. She went to bed a lot happier than she has been for a while. Hope I havent gone ;on' too much, and Thaks to all who have been concerned. I will tryt and post some photos later, but to be honest it is taking me some time tio get used to this site. I will master it eventually I suppose. Thanks to you all. Katie xx
    PS. I feel as though I have made loads of new friends today, both through this blog site, and also with my neighbours. xx
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2009 10:24pm (Oct 14th 2009)
    That is excellent news Katie!! And how lucky that you managed to find someone with such extensive experience of chickens.

    We're a friendly lot and it can take a while to get used to the forum, mainly because we don't follow any rules! Someone starts a thread and within a few messages its gone awry and is off on a tangent! It all adds to the fun. Please stay with us and join in - even if you only have to pop in and out we'd love you to.

    We will all be looking forward to seeing photos of Ethel and her friends. You may be new to chicken keeping but you obviously have a good feel for how your girls are.

    I hope Ethel doesn't have any more problems, and hope you can keep your friendship with the neighbours going. Take them half a dozen eggs as a friendship offering!!
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 14th, 2009 10:36pm (Oct 14th 2009)
    :woohoo:Hooray! Ethel's feeling better!:cheer:
    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2009 12:20am (Oct 15th 2009) edited
    keep working on your hubby for chucks. I mentionrd it to my hubby a couple of years ago, and it was a definate no no. Then in the summer, I say that with my tongue between my teeth, it was abouit May, when we were able to eat all meal al fresco. We were just discussing the fact that you could not buy fresh eggs in the shops. They are all abouit 4 weeks old before thaey appear on those supermarket shelves. Anyway, i just ,mentioned that if he remembered I suggested some years ago that we got some hen. then we would be guaranteed fresh eggs. every day. With that, he got up from the table, and I could hear him doing some calculations at the bottom of the garden.Then out came the graph paper, measuring tape, and calculation swere made for fencing etc etc etc. I went on ebay, found a coop, put a bid on it, and befgore I knew it I was the proud owner of it. My husband was elated when I dashed in the garden to tell him, that he was to be travelling to Worcester the next day to pick it up. We live in South Wales, its about 100 miles or so. It was the hottest day of the year. The day the weather actually broke. It startedf raining that night, and didn't stop for 2 months. That was here anyway. Unlike those who live in the SE, who actually endured high tempretures all through the summer months.
    So that was that. He found making the run, and enclosure a challenge, and just loved it. Once that was done, I had to find the chucks that I wanted. I wanted Miss Pepperpots. I finally found somewhere that had got me some to order,we picked them up when they were about 16 wks old. They are fabulous. Ethel is the boss girlie, the other two. Dora the Explorer, she is always getting into places she shouldn't, and Mildred Pierce, she screams blue murder whenever you go near her. They are so intelligent. I was so surprised. I just cannot imagine life without them now. They each lay most days. On the odd occasion one of them doesnt lay, but not often. Cannot get any fresher can you?. Got to go now. I have to get those girlies up at daybreak, it is getting harder now the weather is chilling up, our concern now is them and the impending weather. Hope to catch you tomorrow sometime, and hope I can give you some better news about Ethel. Katie xx
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2009 6:57am (Oct 15th 2009) edited
    Katie, I'm so glad to hear that your little Ethel is feeling better now. I hope she will make a full recovery very soon.
    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2009 8:31am (Oct 15th 2009)
    Oh Yhankyou for the lovely animated message there. I have got them up now. Dora and Mildred trotted out first, and it was all quiet. My first thoughts were, well, I am sure you can guess, then just as I was about to open the front door to look in the nesting box, I heard this little noise. She was fine, sat on the perch looking at me as if to say,'what do you want'. Then she came trotting out,straight to her water, and started scratching. She has done no scratching in the last few days. I think we can safely say she is on her way to being back to normal. I am going to giver her some more olive oil later, just to make sure. I think that was definately the saviour of the day. Worming stuff was advised by the expert last evening too. If they can pick nasties up from the little sparrows, then anything is possible.I am aalways shooing off the sparrows. The trouble being, where their patch of garden is we have 6 fruit trees, so the sparrows have plenty of cover, and perching space, and the just flock down at the first opportunity. Little bu****s they are.
    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2009 8:56am (Oct 15th 2009)
    :chicken_catch:Can someone tell me how to make mash please. I am very new to this malarky!!
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2009 11:57am (Oct 15th 2009)
    welcome katie and so glad to hear all is ok now with Ethel.
    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2009 2:18pm (Oct 15th 2009) edited
    Hello TREVS MUM. eTHEL IS NOT QUITE 100% YET, BUT SHE IS A LITTLE BETTER. I have given her som yogurt this morning, and she loved that, though administering that was a little difficult. Have you any tips for that? She is still hiding herself away, but is a little better, not too keen on the olive oil, but she is tolerating it.something is passing through, but her poo is a little squirty, so we have got to get her eating again, she is having a few pellets and the odd corn, but not like she would eat before . This is about 5 days she has been off colour now. Do you know how to make mash for them, please
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2009 4:59pm (Oct 15th 2009)

    Keeper of the hens

    You can buy layer's mash which is like a dusty dry-porridgey type of food which you mix with warm water and it makes the mash...

    Scarlet ('Red' on here) makes mash for our hens (occasionally when we've run out of mash and only have layer's pellets) by soaking some pellets in water for a short while, then mixing it up with a fork - hens seem to find it more palatable if they are off their food than the dry pellets.

    Our hen Milly has also been a bit off lately - we tried yoghurt etc and eventually took her to the vets who was quite unsure what to do (even though he was a 'proper' farm vet - it seems hens are most often culled rather than treated!), and after some antibiotics and Scarlet's care she's coming back round to how she used to be. I'm not sure if the antibiotics helped or the yoghurt etc, but it's something to bear in mind - hens can go downhill quite quickly in some circumstances (for example when they are egg-bound, they can die in a matter of hours), so sometimes the only course of action is to get them to the vets... But I'm glad that Ethel is on the mend, hugs to her!! :-)
    • CommentAuthorTracyB
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2009 9:01pm (Oct 15th 2009)
    My chickens seem to like the mash better dry than they dow mixed with water???? but hen I guess thats what they might havebeen used to in the battery.
    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2009 10:20pm (Oct 15th 2009) edited
    Thanks Neil. I have often heard people saying that they used to give their chucks mash. I didn't want to look like a fool, by saying what is that. I thought it was mash potato. However, will look out for that next time I go for feed.
    I got yogurt for Ethel today, they all just loved it. Eventually mixed it with some layers pellets. they loved that too. Ethel is slowly getting more like her old self. She was even doing a littl scratching before she went to bed. She even jumped up on the garden fork when I was digging up some goobies for them,like she used to do. So fingers crossed. Will report back tomorrow. my bed is calling me. Nite nite all. and Thanks to everyone who has given me advice. It has beemn a particularly hard time. I would never have dreamed that you can become so attached to chucks. but hey ho. think we must be turning into grenies in our old age.
    • CommentTimeOct 15th, 2009 11:14pm (Oct 15th 2009)
    I think it'll be a good few years before hubby agrees, but I'm a patient person!!! I'll just keep asking and eventually wear him down.

    We've only just had our garden landscaped and don't have any flowers or plants yet (I'm not a gardener!) I might persuade my sis-in-law to get some instead - she has exactly the right sort of garden for them. Mine is a big slope and I worry someone would jump the fence at the back and steal them, so lots of thought and planning need to be done first.

    Glad Ethel seems to be improving - keep the updates coming!
    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 16th, 2009 8:14am (Oct 16th 2009)
    I made mash this morning, and offered it to Ethel. She is just relishing it as we speak! Her poo is much more normal this morning, and after a quick feel of her crop, it seems it is normal again. I will always have the olive / caster oil on hand. The tips I have learned in the last week, are probably more than the vet knows. Fingers crossed she will contine to improve. I have only had one egg this morning, yet. So will be down to look at them in half an hour or so. It is quite cold this morning, I think the warm mash was welcome. Since Ethel has been poorly the far nesting box has not been occupied, because I stripped everything out of the coop, floor and all, and scrubbed it all with disinfectant, and they havent even compacted the straw in there. The near nest seems to have been used very little too. Found the eggs inthere, but think they must have all been huddled together on the perch. Wish I had a camera in there!! Will keep you all informed on Ethels progress. Oh! I am so glad I found you all. xx Katie xx
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeOct 16th, 2009 9:23am (Oct 16th 2009) edited
    I think you will find if you just put the yoghurt in a shallow dish, the girls will eat it straight from that - no syringes or hiding it! Certainly my girls lick the bowl clean in a matter of minutes!

    It's a good way to hide olive oil too - just mix it well with the yoghurt and they don't even notice!

    When Rosie was poorly, I also gave her some very ripe tomato squashed up in a dish - it's packed with vits and iron and another great way to get fluids into a hen.

    • CommentTimeOct 16th, 2009 10:28am (Oct 16th 2009)

    Keeper of the hens

    I'm glad she is on the mend. Good luck to you both :001_smile: :heart:
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeOct 16th, 2009 1:52pm (Oct 16th 2009) edited
    We're first time chicken owners too - got ours in May this year so it's been a steep learning curve. Every time they did something strange or looked a bit off, it was a complete panic in our house! Now we just let them get on with it.

    My neighbour told me that the first year is always the worst, they will put you through the wringer. Luckily, a lot of the problems chickens have are usually self-inflicted and mostly cured by home remedies.

    Rosie got an impacted crop but because she is greedy, she kept stuffing more and more on top of the blockage. It started fermenting and her crop ballooned to the size of a small melon! We learned to squeeze it out, which she didn't much like and it stank.

    Enjoy your chickens - they are great pets and have huge comedy value!
    • CommentAuthorTracyB
    • CommentTimeOct 16th, 2009 6:05pm (Oct 16th 2009)
    Hey you got yours the sae month I got my girls Volka - how many do you ahev a I can't remember.
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeOct 17th, 2009 10:03am (Oct 17th 2009)
    We've got just the four - Rosie and Red (suffolk blacktails) and Hinge and Brackett (fenning blacks). Red was given to us to replace the original Ruby who sadly died from being eggbound.

    KLB: strawbs are good but give them a bunch of grapes then sit back and enjoy the mayhem!
    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 17th, 2009 4:34pm (Oct 17th 2009) edited
    :turkeydance::_photos::_photos:Ethel I am glad to report is officially BETTER. She is scratching away, I think she is looking for a quick way to Australia. You are probably right about Ethel being greedy like your Rosie. She was always first there. We were told off for feeding then too much!! I am often found with an old knife down the garden, lifting up stones, slabs or old plant pots, and picking up worms and any goobies. Ethel Dora and Mildred wiould then run like the clappers to be first for the booty. They are so much fun, only keepers of hens will understand. My oldest son thinks we have lost our marbles, but he doesnt see us very often, so he doesn't know. Thanks to everyone who has given advice on here. We are now stocked up on Cod Liver Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, and droppers and syringes. Love to all from Ethel
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 19th, 2009 7:53pm (Oct 19th 2009)
    Glad she's Officially Better! :heart:
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeOct 20th, 2009 4:20pm (Oct 20th 2009)
    wayhay - good for Ethel - and her mum for looking after her so well.
    • CommentTimeOct 20th, 2009 11:20pm (Oct 20th 2009)
    That's great news Katie! We still haven't seen photos of them (hint hint!!!!) ;)
    • CommentAuthorklb
    • CommentTimeOct 21st, 2009 3:32pm (Oct 21st 2009)
    :chicken_catch:Sorry there are no photos posted yet, but, I cannot get my head round how to post them up on the site. Had a lot on my mind this last couple of days too. Been ripped off by Paypal. Thank goodness Ethel is better. Pooing like a goodun. But, No eggs yet. Anybody know how long it will take to get her back to normal?
    • CommentTimeOct 21st, 2009 10:02pm (Oct 21st 2009)
    I thought paypal was meant to be safe?! Yikes!!

    As for posting photos its easy - under the box you type in is a box with Attachments written on top of it, and a button labelled Browse... If you click that you then find where your pictures are saved and add them one at a time. To add more than one I think you have to add one photo, post the message and then click 'edit' (next to 'quote' on messages you've posted) and go through the process again.

    Sorry, can't help with timescales for Ethel. Her name always reminds me of the song "The Streak". Anyone else remember it?
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 21st, 2009 10:39pm (Oct 21st 2009)
    "Doan' look Eythul!"
    Paypal is a right royal pain in the ar*se. I've given up on it, as have many others...
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd, 2009 11:07pm (Oct 22nd 2009)
    That's the one!

    I only use it occasionally - is it not as secure as they claim it is then?
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd, 2009 2:38pm (Oct 23rd 2009)
    I have had nothing real pain from Paypal - I just can't be bothered with it.
    • CommentAuthorTracyB
    • CommentTimeOct 27th, 2009 8:27pm (Oct 27th 2009)
    Nor me on the paypal front - I normally bid on wha I want on ebay and then get my sis to pay for it as she understands it a lot better than I do.