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laurabeth67

Poorly Bantam

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Hi,

I have a Barnvelder bantam who is approx 7 months old. She lives with seven other chickens a mixture of Pekins and Orpington Bantams, 3 of them the same age as her. Although she’s always been the smallest, she has always held her own. Last weekend I noticed she looked hunched and was sitting around a lot and her comb looked darker. Took her to the vet’s Monday who couldn’t find anything physically wrong with her except she was a bit skinny and looked unhappy. She prescribed some flubivet in case it was worms.

On our return from the vet, I notice a couple of the Pekin’s were picking on her, so I separated her out to a dog crate inside. She seemed initially to eat and drink quite a bit in the crate. 
 

I have tried reintroducing her to the flock with some flubivet on board, but they are still picking on her and she still looks unhappy. Should I continue to isolate her until she looks better? Should I instead isolate the main chicken bullying her? I am conscious I don’t entirely know what is wrong with her, I assume she got ill and then got picked on but it could be vice versa. They have a nice big walk in run and she does have space to get away. Ordinarily I would let them all free range but we have a new puppy, so can only let them out in short bursts. The puppy can see the chickens in the garden and sometimes bowls up to them and barks, but cannot get to them, and we always distract her and stop the behaviour. Could it be this that has made the chicken unwell? The others all seem fine, if slightly annoyed, by the puppy. 

Any thoughts/advice gratefully appreciated. 

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No ideas at the moment without seeing her poo. Presume you have checked her crop in the morning and it is empty? She should be laying now, if not is her abdomen swollen/ very firm? If she is unwell the others will try to remove her from the flock. Removing her in a crate inside will make re-introduction difficult; removing the bully will knock her down the pecking order for a while so that may be an idea?

The puppy may have caused stress that has depressed her immune system and caused something else to flare up. You need to keep the puppy well away. They may all be stressed with not being allowed out and that could spark aggression. Perhaps a fenced off area of the garden for them to free range in would help?

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Thanks for your reply Beantree. Yes I can fence off some outside area for them definitely, it would also keep the puppy back from their fencing by a few feet which might help. 
She has been laying, but had stopped a few months back for winter as it were.

I can’t see/feel anything physically wrong with her, and neither could the vet, so I don’t think it’s her crop or that’s she’s egg bound. 
 

I will keep a close eye and isolate the aggressor if needed. I agree, I think if I bring her back in I’ll never reintroduce her. 
 

Thanks for your help. 

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I have had one like this.  She never thrived in this particular group.  So I bought two younger ones, separated her and set these three up together.  She thrived and is still living happily with her new ‘family’.  

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I did wonder as she’s that much smaller than even the Pekins, if I’d set her up to fail. Up until now her feisty personality seems to have provided for her and she’s held her own, but perhaps illness/stress has just knocked her at the moment. 

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I would certainly keep her apart from the others (ideally still within sight though) until she seems to be healthy again. Then if she still isn’t settling back in with the others I’d say Patricia’s solution is a good one if you can. I’m surprised to hear she’s smaller than pekins - is that even when she’s healthy?

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Yes it is. She’s sort of built differently if that makes sense, the Pekins are little round balls and she looks like a slightly bigger blackbird! She is a lovely chicken and it makes me so sad she looks so miserable. I’ll try and let them free range more tomorrow and see how they all are. Thanks for all the replies. 

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16 hours ago, laurabeth67 said:

Yes it is. She’s sort of built differently if that makes sense, the Pekins are little round balls and she looks like a slightly bigger blackbird! She is a lovely chicken and it makes me so sad she looks so miserable. I’ll try and let them free range more tomorrow and see how they all are. Thanks for all the replies. 

Normally Barnevelder bantams are definitely larger than that. Mine was larger than my wyandotte and New Hampshire. Are you sure she is actually a Barnevelder? Size wise she sounds more like a Dutch bantam.

Mine was very timid and sensitive. Sadly I found her dead in the run earlier this year. Almost like she just dropped dead. 

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This is her on the right next to our Orpington Bantam, not long after we got them both. She’s very sad today, I’ve brought her back in to try and give her some layer pellets mashed up and some water but not sure she’s touched either. She’s definitely going downhill but not sure what else to try really. ☹️

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Colouring fits, but hard to tell the build from the front. 
When in doubt, get her to a vet. A hen that’s not eating or drinking, won’t last long.

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Really not good ☹️ Managed to get her to eat some fruit today, and I saw her drink a bit, but I’m not sure she’s going to last the night. Thanks so much for asking. If she is still alive tomorrow, I’ll speak to the vet but I don’t think there will be much they can do. She’s has just slid downhill steadily. Still not sure what is wrong. No respiratory symptoms, not egg bound, crop seems ok, no lice or mites that I can see, no other hens seem sick. Am so sad as she’s so young and is a lovely little chicken. Thanks for all the help/support on here. 

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Sorry to hear about your chicken. I hand fed a poorly one last winter with  warm porridge and sweetcorn (through an old calpol syringe) seemed to give her some strength. Maybe worth a try? 

 

I hope she sees through the night to a new morning x 

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Thanks MamaCoop. I thought about syringe feeding her, but worried I’d choke her? Did you just open her beak and syringe food in? 

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So she has survived the night and has eaten some more fruit and some porridge (without syringe!) this morning. Have called the vet, but the receptionist has told me they cannot see any poultry at the practice as there has been an outbreak of bird flu. She has no respiratory symptoms, but could this be bird flu? If it were, would they cull my whole flock?! Am waiting for the vet herself to ring me back. 

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Bird flu victims generally go down hill very fast. Within hours rather than days. Often they become very uncoordinated. 
I’m not a vet, but my guess wouldn’t be AI. If it is, then all your birds will most likely be infected. 
Hope you vet can get in touch with you. Having her suffering must be hard. ❤️

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Ok thanks Cat Tails. Vet has given me some antibiotics for her, have got the first dose in but think a lot of it went down the wrong way! Not ideal! Vet felt there wasn’t much more they could offer. No other chickens ill and the vet did not mention bird flu in relation to her thank goodness. 

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22 hours ago, laurabeth67 said:

Thanks MamaCoop. I thought about syringe feeding her, but worried I’d choke her? Did you just open her beak and syringe food in? 

With my hen I would gently open the beak and slowly squeeze some in. Very carefully though but could start to gauge how much she could happily take. 

 

I also found that after just a little bit she sort of got the taste for it so would hold the bowl up to her for her to take some herself. Didnt always go to plan so.would take some patience. 

 

Great news she made it through the night . Let's hope another good night and gaining a little strength. 

Edited by MamaCoop

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On 11/16/2020 at 4:37 PM, laurabeth67 said:

Ok thanks Cat Tails. Vet has given me some antibiotics for her, have got the first dose in but think a lot of it went down the wrong way! Not ideal! Vet felt there wasn’t much more they could offer. No other chickens ill and the vet did not mention bird flu in relation to her thank goodness. 

Hi how is your hen doing? 

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Hi MamaCoop,

Thanks for asking. Sadly she died a few days after she started the antibiotics. She just kept sliding inexorably downhill. I worry that she aspirated a bit when I gave her the first lot of antibiotics which made things worse as she did cough afterwards. I still don’t know why really. I had to ring DEFRA about disposal of her body, but they were satisfied it wasn’t bird flu thank goodness. All my other hens seem fine, which is also a relief. Just feel really sad I couldn’t help her and that she was so young.

Thanks for all the advice and support though. X

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