Our chicken has stopped eating

Discussion in 'Poultry Health and Nutrition' started by MenagerieMad, May 8, 2009.


  1. MenagerieMad

    MenagerieMad PetForums Newbie

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    We're really worried about our hen (approx 14 months old, ex BAT). She has gone from being a lively, enthusiastic, greedy hen to being lethargic, dopey and she has virtually stopped eating although she is still drinking a lot. We took her to the vet today and he gave her an anti-biotic injection, but said we just need to give her some grit/oyster shell and feel her probiotic yoghurt. We have bought her Yeo Valley raspberry probiotic yoghurt and Oyster shell and tried to interest her in this both by itself and mixed with layers mash. We have also given her mashed banana. She has eaten a few pecks of the yoghurt/mash mix, but nothing else except some grass. Can anyone give us any advice on what to do next? And is it possible to force-feed hens humanely, as we really want to get some nutrition into her? We're worried she hasn't got long if she doesn't eat...
     
  2. Birdie Wife

    Birdie Wife PetForums Member

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    Feel her crop gently - if it feels full and she's not eating, then she might have an impacted crop. Don't force feed her at this stage in case this is what she's got. You could try syringing some olive oil into her beak and gently massaging the crop area to try and get things moving (assuming this is what she has). She's still drinking though, which is good. Is she still doing poos and if so are they normal?
     
  3. MenagerieMad

    MenagerieMad PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for replying - we have felt her crop and it does feel full, but just as full as our other chucks... We have been giving her some probiotic yoghurt which she likes, but is taking tiny amounts of it mixed into layers' mash. She is still drinking, but this afternoon she has retreated into her nesting box and is just sitting in the straw. Her poos are quite liquid, diarrhoea like, and one was yellowish (but that was two days ago and the colour is now back to browny).

    Will try her with the olive oil, as hopefully it won't harm her and might help...
    Will keep you posted!
     
  4. MenagerieMad

    MenagerieMad PetForums Newbie

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    Penelope is a little bit better... She is eating independently and pecking around at the grass with some enthusiasm. She tried to have a dust bath to clean up yesterday, which we took to be a good sign. Progress is really slow, but we're hoping that she pulls through. Also hoping she survives once we cut out the probiotic yoghurt and cottage cheese!
     
  5. AnnC

    AnnC PetForums Member

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    There's the reason for the funny poo's. Probiotic Yoghurt should ideally be natural, notflavoured and whats with the cottage cheese, not to mention bananna's? :eek:

    How do you know her approx age as being 14 months, when she's an ex-bat? You may have had her that long but she will have been to hell and back by being forced to lay at least twice a day for at least six months.

    This is why ex-bats don't have a very long life, at three they are the equivalent of being 90+ in our years simply because of what has been taken out of them.

    It could be that she is simply heading towards her natural end of life as opposed to being ill.
     
  6. Birdie Wife

    Birdie Wife PetForums Member

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    How is she today? I would try and cut out the yoghurt and cottage cheese as soon as you can, they are supposed to be treats really and although you've got it mixed in with the mash it could be upsetting her tummy a bit (as AnnC points out :)), as chickens can't digest much lactose.

    Many battery hens do live for several years after their best egg-laying days but they do live under a lot of stress in the cages and it's not uncommon for them to die within a year of rehoming. It must be lovely to see them dustbathing and showing natural behaviour when you know how restricted they were before :thumbup1: good on you
     
  7. AnnC

    AnnC PetForums Member

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    I thought you might like a few pics of the ex-bats I have rehomed. I took one batch last July and another batch at the start of March. This is one of the girls first dust bath, in all the shavings they had scratched out of the hut!! That was taken a month or so after rehoming.
    [​IMG]

    This one is the whole bunch original and new.
    [​IMG]
     
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