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Dr. Margo
Dr. Margo, Avian Veterinarian
Category: Bird
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Experience:  12yr practicing veterinarian
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Sick chicken- help! backyard flock of 3 hens, only one is ill.

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Sick chicken- help! backyard flock of 3 hens, only one is ill. symptoms noticed yesterday- wobbly, quiet, not very interested in eating or drinking. Today: very quiet; droopy; seems to have a fever; clear yellowish discharge seems to be coming from ear; sulfur yellow diarrhea; not at all interested in food or water. This was a glossy, healthy Rhode Island Red hen 5 days ago. The two other hens show no signs of illness. These hens have access to fenced large garden, compost pile, henhouse and occasionally roam the yard- when there is access to grass (located in Ohio, cold and snow for better part of last 2 months).
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Margo replied 7 years ago.
Customer

 

Do the other hens ever pick on this one?

Do you keep any antibiotics on hand for your animals?

Can you bring her inside?

Is there discharge inside her mouth as well?

 

Dr. M

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, she is the alpha female.
No antibiotics- (though I have a human prescription that I decided I didn't need to take.)
She is inside, has been for most of today.
She hasn't opened her beak much but yes, there seems to be something similar to what I described prev.

(Thank you SO much for helping us!)
Expert:  Dr. Margo replied 7 years ago.

Caiya,

 

What human antibiotics do you have?

Generic names if you can? :)

 

Dr. M

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
cefadroxil, a sephalosporin (sp?) antibiotic.
what do you think she has?
she just laid an egg.
Expert:  Dr. Margo replied 7 years ago.

Caiya,

 

The closest disease to what symptoms you are seeing would be histomoniasis (blackhead) disease. This is a protozoal parasite. This parasite is carried in chickens but most do not sucuumb to infection.

 

Another possibility is trichomoniasis. Again this is a protozoal parasite.

A more common infection in chickens.

 

Can you tell me what she weighs?

 

Dr. M

 

 

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No idea what she weighs, well..... ok she weighs 5 lbs 15 oz. I got her to drink a tiny bit so it seems there is no obstruction. The antibiotic is in 500mg capsule.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No idea what she weighs, well..... ok she weighs 5 lbs 15 oz. I got her to drink a tiny bit so it seems there is no obstruction. The antibiotic is in 500mg capsule.

Expert:  Dr. Margo replied 7 years ago.

Caiya,

 

I will take me a few minutes to calculate her dose.

Be right back.

 

Dr. M

Expert:  Dr. Margo replied 7 years ago.

Caiya,

 

Take the capsule and add it to a small amount of water. You will want to divide the water into 4 parts. Each one part (1/4) will be a dose of antibiotics. So start with 4 teaspoons of water. If the antibiotic dissolves well enough then the dose will be 1 teaspoon. If not then go to 8 teaspoons of water and the dose will be 2 teaspoons.

 

You will want to give this medication every 6 hours. I would continue for 10 days as long as she is doing well. If not then continue the antibiotic until she has improved or until you run out.

 

Tomorrow I would recommend going to your local farm store and looking at what protozoal treatment they offer. Most of these are mixed into the drinking water and should be offered to your other 2 chickens for whatever the treatment course is for the medication they have available.

 

Depending upon which of these two conditions she has will impact on how she does long term. Histomoniasis can have a long course 8-10 days before they become sick enough to die. Trichomoniasis infected birds can resolve. The adult animals do better than the immature birds.

 

Can I answer anything else?

 

Dr. M

Dr. Margo and other Bird Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
If she has blackhead, she needs something other than antibiotics, no? What is 'Herban' do you know?
Is histo- or trichomoniasis contagious? to the other hens, other pets, wild birds, humans? Wild birds do haunt their feeder.... mainly chickadees and cardinals.

Crossed mssgs. Ok. We'll try this antibiotic treatment. thank you very, very much for your time.
Expert:  Dr. Margo replied 7 years ago.

Caiya,

 

Yes these parasites can come from wild birds.

 

This is why I would recommend getting a antiprotozoal treatment for chickens at your local feed/livestock store. Mix it into their drinking water for the prescribed time to help prevent any problems in them as well.

 

I am not familiar with herban. A quick google just brought up spa products.

 

Dr. M

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