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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night I had an Orpington pullet die. She looked fine, but seemed kind of lethargic. Perfectly normal the day before. Today, my favorite girl is acting the same way! She's a 7ish week old barred Plymouth Rock named Phoebe. I looked in Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, but can't find anything. The closest thing would be acute septicemia, but it doesn't really seem to fit. She has all of her feathers, her eyes are clear, she legs aren't scaly, I didn't get a look at her butt but it's always really clean, and she did pick at her food before I left. She is usually the first to run and jump up on me, but I had to coax her out from under the coop and she wouldn't eat her raisin. She loves raisins. Is there anything I can do to save Phoebe? I'd really appreciate any help. Thank you very much! I'm attaching pics of Opal yesterday and Phoebe today. :'(

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Are they fluffing up, letting their wings hang, and just kinda out of it ? Are they new to being on the ground? Do you have older flock as well ? Whats the temp been?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No they haven't been fluffing up, but they are kind of fat. They haven't been panting or spreading their wings. We've had a heat wave of sorts, but they have good ventilation and shade. I gave them plenty of cool water and electrolyte water. The temperature got into the low 90's Tuesday and mid 80's yesterday. Today was upper 70's and some showers. They've had access to the grass in an enclosed run for a few weeks and go in and out during the day as they please. I don't have an older flock. If I missed any questions, I'll re-read your post and reply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They have been standing there and closing their eyes. Especially when I pet their chest. I just thought Opal was tired yesterday.
 

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Well thats good then. I've been looking thru lists of illness's and not finding anything. I'm thinking maybe the heat may be getting to them. Maybe give her some scrambled eggs if you can, it will help give her a little boost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry it took so long, but I went and tried that. She wouldn't eat it. :( None of the others seemed interested in it either tho. But it is bedtime and when they want to sleep they aren't interested in me or food usually. Is there anything else that you can think of? Thanks for everything so far.
 

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Sorry, hopefully in the morning she'll want some. With chicks and chickens it really hard to tell whats wrong unless they have specific signs. Let us know how things go in the morning and if there is any new symptoms or other birds with symptoms. I'll keep looking to see what I can find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for your help. I've been looking since I came in from the coop and haven't been able to find anything yet. Now I'm reading thru all of the Health and Wellness pages. Made it to late 180 something. What if they were puffed up and not just fat? Could it be sour crop? They have access to chick grit and grass area/some dirt. The Orpington was always fatter and fluffier so it might be hard to tell. I don't think Phoebe was much fluffier than her sister Plymouth Rock tho. I attached 2 of my favorite pics of Phoebe. :(

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Give her some yogurt in case she has tummy troubles, and electrolytes for energy, and maybe she'll be ok. Sorry we can't help any more than that. Is she eating anything new, or in a new location or anything?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They have electrolytes and plain water and have been on the same food for a few weeks. 1-2 weeks ago the coop was moved to a new spot of grass (for mowing) but there isn't anything in the run that they shouldn't have. The food that they are on seems to be better quality than what we had before (medicated chick grower) because there's no dust. They have chick grit and get some mealworms and raisins as treats. The others don't seem to be isolating her. The other was found sprawled out on her side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The raisins are new within the last week or so. I was hoping Opal just got too hot, but with Phoebe acting that way.... Is greek yogurt ok? And does the flavor matter? I assume the fruit part is ok for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Phoebe made it thru the night, but she's not acting right. I'm going to take her to the vet on my lunch break. My favorite vet isn't working, but I'm sure the other will be ok too. Definitely better than doing nothing. Thanks for all the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My husband didn't think I should take a chicken to the vet. He said I should expect that I might lose some. I agrued the case that I would only take Phoebe, but he didn't agree. She does seem a bit better at lunch so I'm going to wait and see if she'll eat some egg after work. Gave them all fresh water, fresh electrolyte water, and more chick grit. Hope she gets better.... :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I went to talk to the vet after work to see if they had any suggestions, but she told me she wasn't that familiar with chickens. I did ask her about probiotics and she gave me some capsules for dogs and cats that I opened and put in their feed. We agreed against antibiotics and she thought maybe Opal had a birth defect. Phoebe seemed even better when I got home. Another lady at the vet suggested dog or cat food and the vet didn't say no so I tried it. I got Moist and Meaty. It's a soft pellet style dog food. The others went crazy over it but she wouldn't eat them whole. I started beaking them up and she nibbled and then I really rolled them around into little bits and paste and she started eating! The more she ate, the perkier she got. She really ate quite a bit and even drank some. I don't know if she had an upset stomach so she wasn't eating and then got weak or what. She pooped and it did look kinda funny, but I was just happy to see her eat. I hope I didn't do wrong by feeding her? I figured the dog cood would at least give her good protein. I got her some yogurt and am going to give it to her tomorrow. I thought she had enough to eat today. Thank you so much for your help!
 

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Sorry to respond so late, haven't been on here for a while. First, forget the yogurt. Chickens aren't able to digest dairy. Just something that they were not designed for. Think about it. Is it something that is ever in their natural environment?

You didn't post if your girl made it so all this may just be for future reference. Cat and dog food Fed too much can be very harmful to chickens mainly because of the high salt content, especially in hot weather when they are drinking more water anyway. It can cause, among other things, a condition called water belly.

Verify everything you are told by anyone who is not a poultry professional, including me. Some things do no good but usually no harm, like yogurt. Others, tho they seem to make sense, can kill. Chickens are birds, with unique physiology to all our other critters. Be careful and get yourself a good book. You are also very blessed if you have a vet that treats poultry. Most of us are not so fortunate.

You can pm me if you're interested in some of these resources. Hope your girls are all better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you for your response. She did make it! :D After the dog food she got better each day and is now back to normal. The yogurt didn't work out and she didn't actually eat any. I have Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry and it is very helpful overall but I need to find a chicken health handbook for more specifics on illnesses. I do try to at least check a few sources before I do something but was afraid to take too long and lose her.

The dairy not digesting makes sense, but they say that about dogs too and mine have always done really well with it, so maybe it varies by bird? (The dogs love ice cream.) :) I didn't know about the salt, so thank you very much for that info.

Even though the vet I spoke with wasn't that familiar with chickens, she gave me the number and email address of the avian vet for the university who could help me and my regular vet (same office) will be able to help some, so I do feel very lucky in that respect. Since she improved I didn't call the university, so I don't know how long a response from them would take.

I appreciate the help I received from everyone! :)
 

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great news!!! I forgot to mention that I DO feed my girls soft catfood and occasional soft dog food too, usually during their molt when they really need the extra protein and mine always molt in our winter of course. Or whenever they look like they might really need it (like you) or if I am trying to get them to eat when they don't want too or it is great to hide meds in! ;) I am just very careful about how much and how often. Ever hear of Dr. Brown, the Chicken Vet? He has a website, First State Vet supply and he is also on the Chicken Whisperer radio program almost every Monday. their show is always loaded with great info and all the shows are archived online so you can listen whenever you want. Great resource.

Again, so glad your girl made it :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've never heard of the "Chicken Whisper", I'll have to look him up. Thanks! I can use all the resources I can get. :)
 
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