Monday, 22 August 2011

Sick Chick

Went out this evening to give the Girls some pasta, and Milly came bounding our from under the pampas and stopped. She looked dazed, and was being barged into by the other 4 girls.

Worried, I oicked her up and sat her on my lap in the garden.  She looked very unwell. Her eyes were closed, her breathing a bit laboured, and at one point she seemed to pass out with her beak resting on my arm.

I brought her in to the kitchen, put her on a towel on the draining board, and stroked her. She was limp, and looked like she was dying.    I had two thoughts in my head: sunstroke, or a blocked crop from eating that damned jacket on the jacket potato yesterday.   I rummaged in the cupboard, found a syringe, and syringed some water into her beak.

I then found the nutri drops, and syringed some of those in.  I stroked her,  she looked like she passed out again.  I then got out the Avipro, dissolved some in water, and fed that to her. She panted a lot, and looked uncomfortable.    I was convinced it was a stuck jacket.

I tried massaging her crop, but it was very empty. Attempts to look down her beak were futile, I needed DH to help but he was out.    I found some liquid paraffin, from another crop problem a couple of years ago, and attempted to syringe that into her beak.    I syringed, massaged, stroked.  She looked close to death, wings and tail down,  no interest in anything, eyes closed,  with moments where her beak was propping her up.

In case it was heatstroke, I soaked cotton wool in water and put some under her wings, her breast, her bottom. After about an hour,  DH phoned to say he was on his way home; I didn't mention Milly as I didn't want to worry him.  Milly and I continued like this for the next hour.   I stroked her, I talked to her.  I told her that she couldn't go now, she'd only just started being a friendly (ish) hen, and she couldn't leave me now that we had started building a relationship. 

When DH arrived he was pressed into service, holding Milly and trying to force her beak open so I could shine a torch down her throat.  No obvious obstruction,  no foul smell.     I still had visions of a jacket being stuck to the insude of her throat or crop and sucking moisture out.  I syringed more water in.      Heatstroke seemed more likely; websites warned against bringing the temperature down too suddenly,  so we trickled water on her comb, her wattles, her head, her neck.

Suddenly, she sat up.   She wasn't interested in moving, but she did look a bit more awake.    I suggested putting her in a box,  DH said she'd be OK sat on the floor. So, I put her on some newspaper with some water, and a few pieces of corn, then I scrubbed and disinfected the sink area, scrubbed and disinfected my hands,  and started to make dinner.

She ate some corn.  I put some chick crumb on the newspaper.  She ate it. I put chick crumb in a bowl. She ate it  About 20 minutes later she staggered to the door and jumped out.  DH followed her to the Run, and let her in.  She started to eat from the feeder and drink from the superglug.

She took herself to bed about 20 minutes later. 

I hope she's OK tomorrow.


  1. My Delaware just went through a similar scare. It was heat stroke. After a night in the penalty box, some extra cold water, and a bit of pampering Mabel is back to her naughty mean self. Hope you have the same outcome!