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Hi,

One of my hens, is under the weather. She hasn't laid an egg since September last year (now about 3 years old) but has been bright, perky and had a lovely big red comb.

On Saturday I noticed her comb had drooped and she was drinking a lot - it also had a purple tinge at the back. I put some supplements in the water and also gave some tuna and avipro plus critcal care powder. She ate this with the others and happy to barge them out of the way but was a little wobbly. She has gotten worse from then really. Her comb is still a little droopy and purple/blue at the back. You can see her visibly breathing which you normally can't but she isn't wheezing at all.

I picked her up and she feels a little squashy in her tummy area - i'm wondering peritonitis even though she hasn't laid for so long? Sh is also standing quite upright, tail down. They have been wormed recently (in the last month) and her crop feels ok. 

Any thoughts? 

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Ok, she's off to the vets this afternoon, I have an appointment booked. Hopefully the vet is good with chickens, apparently he keeps them as pets so fingers crossed! 

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How did you get on at the vets? I think purple comb usually indicates a heart problem but not 100%. 

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Well she is still with us and hasn't been completely condemned! She has a slight crackling in her airways and some fluid in her abdomen and is a bit thin (she always has been). He couldn't feel anything there though and her temperature is normal and heart sounded ok. He said it could be very early stages of peritonitis but can't be 100% sure. I have a 10 day course of antibiotics and metacam for her. She was much perkier when I got her home (probably the metacam) and had some corn and was eating again this morning although still on the slightly slow and wobbly side. I don't want to bring her in I would rather she is out with the others if she can still hold her own out there.

Luckily she is my most docile and easy to handle girl so a twice daily tablet isn't too traumatic for any of us. We will see how she gets on!

 

 

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Thanks, I've just ordered some along with some more mealworms for the little poppets 🙄

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I'm a little concerned about her again today, she has audible rattly breathing - could we have accidentally got some of the metacam in her lungs? I have to say the vet didn't warn me about any danger of this so i hadn't thought about it until now, his instruction was to put the tablet in and syringe the metacam in after to flush it down. She has not coughed or made a fuss when we've been medicating her but I don't want to have made her worse!

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Chickens are quite easy to syringe feed/crop tube because the glottis (big hole at the base of the tongue) is so far forward. If you aim for the back of the mouth you should be fine, especially if she isn't coughing.

If at all worried give the vet a ring but I expect it will take a couple of days for the antibiotics to start working, it's not that you're making her worse.

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I hope she is feeling much better soon.

Handy that you have a vet that keeps chickens himself so should have a better idea of things.

Some of mine used to drink the dribble of antibiotics out of the syringe and others used to struggle.

The ones that struggled, I used to mix the antibiotics onto a tiny portion of mealworms and they would usually lick the bowl clean.

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Hope she's doing okay.

Mine with a heart condition had a purple tinge in her comb.

Keeping fingers crossed for you x

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Thanks all, she seems a little better this morning and actually held her ground and fought off the others for some mealworms! She had a shot of nutridrops this morning along with her other medication so giving her everything we have!

Fitzwilliam the cockerel looked a bit off colour and didn't crow this morning so I don't know if it is just contained to her or not now 🤔

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Good news about the hen.  Fingers crossed that the cockerel is ok.   Do you keep them in one place all the time?   Is it possible that the ground is ‘sour’ and they are picking something up like a bacterial infection?   May be worth washing the ground down with some poultry disinfectant and ground sanitiser.  

Years ago we had some sort of bacterial infection hit our little flock.   Someone on here or another forum suggested disinfecting everything, changing the woodchips, sprinkling garden lime on the area, digging it over  and watering the lime in with sanitizer/disinfectant.   The ground was quite smelly under the chips.  

We ended up putting slabs down after following the advice.    It may just be a coincidence but after doing it and isolating the poorly ones no more got sick

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Thanks ajm - I've just ordered some powder. They don't get moved, they have a large walk in run (3-4m x 6-8m - its a slightly odd shape) with hard wood chipping to stop it being so muddy.

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