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    Hope someone can help? 10 days ago a fox got into our pen and killed one of my girls leaving the other two traumatised, feather less but basically just shocked. My oldest chicken however hasn't recovered well at all. When I watch her she seems to peck at food but not really pick it up- not even juicy things like worms or pasta. She feels really light and her comb is over on one side. But she has survived for 10 days so must be able to eat something??I've even tried grinding for but it seems to stick at the front of her beak. Please help= I can't bear to see her suffer but know if I take her to our non avian vet he will probably put her to sleep.
    • CommentTimeJun 13th, 2012 8:57pm (Jun 13th 2012)

    Keeper of the hens

    Hm, could there be something wrong with her beak or eyes / eyesight?

    I think in this case you might have to take her to a specialist vet (avian vet, farm vet etc that is knowledgeable and sympathetic to chickens, and understands them as pets)...not easy to find but it's worth a try. You might have to shop around to make sure you're getting an accurate diagnosis and it's not just one vet that is useless with chickens.

    If you're feeding her layers pellets, add water and make them into a mash, she might find it easier to pick it up. How tame is she? If she will eat from your fingertips, a spoon, palm etc try help her mouth come into contact with the food. Try plain yoghurt too. Can she drink?

    Ten days is a long time so this needs to be treated as an emergency...keep her warm. Can she walk okay? If she's tame and isn't walking or very active, you might want to bring her into the warmth of the house in a box, dog crate or similar...although the other hen might be very upset with this and you don't want to stress either of them out further!

    If she is drinking okay, add sugar to the water (this won't harm the other hen either) as it's good for stress, shock etc

    I hope she recovers!
    her eyesight seems fine- its almost as though she can't pick any thing up- she seems to just stab at it with her beak which had got all glued up. We cleared her beak and opened her mouth to check there wsn't any blockage.. Will try the mushy food in the morning. She is very very old for a warren and I was amazed she survived the attack. I guess she must be eating something but I've just noticed her poos are runny flat,chalky and yellow.
    Probably the end of the line for my lovely Dusty.
    • CommentTimeJun 13th, 2012 11:00pm (Jun 13th 2012)
    Hi Claire, welcome to Hencam!

    Shock is always an issue with animals - birds in particular. Sounds like she was lucky to survive the initial attack. Could there be any injuries that aren't obvious? It's a bit of a long shot, but I was thinking maybe a tooth wound to her neck that has affected the use of her beak or something like that. Otherwise it could just be that at her age it has all just been too much for her and she is fading.

    I hope Red's suggestions help her. Finding a vet that knows about something other than dogs, cats and rabbits is very difficult. It took me 5 attempts to find a good rat vet. The other 4 all claimed they knew about them, but none of them did.

    Good luck, please keep us updated on Dusty. She is lucky to have such a caring owner.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJun 14th, 2012 5:26am (Jun 14th 2012)
    Hi Claire

    You could try yogurt..warm oatmeal with a little honey on it, scrambled eggs might help too...Apple Cider vinegar in her water. The Fox could have done internal damage by stepping on her..this doesn't sound good in an older hen, it's harder for them to bounce back from an attack like this. Wishing the best of luck to you and your little Dusty.
    • CommentTimeJun 14th, 2012 11:44am (Jun 14th 2012)

    Keeper of the hens

    I would have thought you need to get the hen to a vet ASAP, otherwise she is just starving slowly to death and that isn't a very nice way to go.

    Even if the vet suggest euthanasia, it will be a kinder way to go then the alternative.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.
    A quick update on Dusty- I found a great vet this morning who has diagnosed Dusty as potentially having Egg Peritonitis and Trichomoniasis.

    She has given me Metoclopramide the try and get Dusty's insides moving,in injectable form -should be fun
    Itrafungol as I had brought to her attention that some of the corn we give to the hens had been mouldy in the bag,
    Flagyl - a really strong antibiotic that I once took when I contracted amoebic dysentry in Africa, for her peritonitis
    Baytril- an anti bacterial drug for her crop
    Finally Critical care formula to syringe her with to replace loss of food

    It is unlikely that this will work but I feel better giving her a chance. I've brought her home and put her in a coop on her home. I made her scrambled eggs with yoghurt and breadcrumbs and she ate about 2 tblsp- probably more than she has had all week. I am going to see how she goes over the weekend and if she doesn't improve I think we will have to put her to sleep. Thank you for all your advise- this is a fab site- will keep you posted
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJun 14th, 2012 6:03pm (Jun 14th 2012)
    Good luck Clare - and little Dusty. :heart: Let us know.
    • CommentTimeJun 14th, 2012 6:46pm (Jun 14th 2012)

    Keeper of the hens

    I'm so glad you took her to the vets, and it sounds like you are lucky to have such a great vet nearby! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that Dusty can get through this.
    • CommentTimeJun 15th, 2012 10:54pm (Jun 15th 2012)
    You're giving her the best chance you can - how great that you managed to find a knowledgable and sympathetic vet!

    Good luck, I hope she can rally round.
    I think she might be rallying you know......
    This afternoon Dusty has eaten 6 tablespoons of cottage cheese, 2 scrambled eggs and 1/4 cup of layers mash with warm water and honeyA really quick change in her appetite and energy level
    I know we arent out of the woods yet but no longer planning the trip to the vet to have her put down!!!
    Really satisying nursing her and seeing her respond
    • CommentTimeJun 16th, 2012 10:03pm (Jun 16th 2012)

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh I'm so glad to hear she's improved! I really hope it continues :smile:
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeJun 17th, 2012 9:58am (Jun 17th 2012)
    Welcome to hencam Claire and good luck with Dusty.
    Can't stop eating today and doing proper poos- maybe she is coming round
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJun 17th, 2012 3:48pm (Jun 17th 2012)
    Fantastic, Claire - keep doing whatever you're doing!
    • CommentTimeJun 17th, 2012 11:49pm (Jun 17th 2012)
    That is great news!! How fortunate to find a chicken-savvy vet. Do you live in the UK? Maybe you should give them a name-check in case anyone else in your area is in need. They seem to be very few and far between.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJun 18th, 2012 8:03pm (Jun 18th 2012)
    Claire, what wonderful news! I'm so happy to hear Dusty is getting better. Remember to keep up the Yogurt after she is done with her antibiotics as it kills off the good bacteria as well as the bad and you need to replace the good stuff.:face-smile: