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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:42 am 
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We had a predator get into our coop Saturday night, and lost two chooks. Another was injured but is doing fine. Since then we have been keeping a very paranoid eye on our girls, and noticed one chook (a 4 year old Araucana) behaving quite oddly.

There are times when she appears quite lethargic, either sitting around sleeping while the girls are ranging, or just standing still with her heading nodding like she's falling off to sleep - much more than just an ocassional chook nap. At other times she appears OK. We had a bit of a time trying to catch her though, so she certainly has energy available for when she needs it!

We checked her over pretty thoroughly for any signs of injury, but could find nothing. She actually dozed off while my husband was holding her, and she's not the sort of chook who enjoys being held! But she seemed unable to keep her eyes open.

Her crop seems OK, and we can't feel any sign of a stuck egg. Her eyes are clear, although there is a little bit of a scaly growth above one eye. She also has leg mites which we have been treating by smothering her legs in castor oil. Her nostrils are blocked with a hard black substance, although she seems to be breathing OK without having to open her beak. Her mouth and throat look fine. No signs of any respiratory issues.

We have kept her inside overnight to monitor her. Her appetite is perfectly healthy - she is eating everyting we give her with gusto! She also appears to been drinking fine. Her poop looks normal.

This morning she was shaking her head to one side, and scratching at that side, so I have treated her with ivermectin, and will see if this helps with that.

Apart from parasites there doesn't appear to be anything else wrong. I wouldn't have thought this would explain the lethargic behaviour though? Does anything have any thoughts or suggestions, as we are totally baffled? After just losing two girls to a predator, we really don't want to risk losing any more.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:22 am 
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lilchook, poor girl, she doesn't sound well.

It sounds as if she may have a hidden injury - could the black in her nostrils be dried blood? Shock is always an issue but if she is eating etc that doesn't sound like the problem.
You are doing the right thing re treating for worms - some of her symptoms could indicate that. The Ivermectin will also kill the scaly leg mite and if she has a worm burden that could definitely explain the lethargy.
Other than a vet visit my only advice is TLC, a good diet with plenty of protein (good quality layer feed) and maybe a boost with some avian vitamins.
Follow up with another Ivermectin treatment in a couple of weeks.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:34 am 
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Thanks sue55.

Our first thought on seeing the black in her nostrils was that it was dried blood, which is why we checked inside her mouth. We also checked her head for any external signs of injury, but it all looked fine. So if its blood we're not sure where its come from.

We have been adding a bird vitamin and electrolyte supplement to her water, and giving her yummy food (scrambled eggs, mealworms etc). Our chooks refuse to eat layer pellets (spoiled brats!). I might get some lactose free yogurt to give her as well.

She does seem a little better than she did yesterday, and is no longer shaking and scratching her head, so we'll just have to keep her in sick bay and monitor her for the next few days.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:18 pm 
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I've been watching her pretty closely this morning, and noticed that she is doing these really odd head movements when she sleeps. Her head kind of bobs and rolls around - sometimes just a little, but sometimes quite pronounced. I haven't seen her do it when she's awake.

I've never seen any other chook do this, so its definitely weird. I've done some googling but all I can find is something called wry neck, which doesn't quite fit.

I'm wondering whether she might have suffered a head injury, even though there's no outward sign of it?

Anyone have any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:36 pm 
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It's possible - some Araucanas have a 'vaulted skull' similar to silkies. Their combs are almost a hernia with an attachment to the brain (or something like that?) Hopefully she may have some bruising which will heal. It is not wry neck but does sound like an injury (concussion?) Could explain the black/blood from her nose.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Thanks again sue55.

Concussion does seem to fit. Even awake she seems kind of spaced out, and I think her vision may be a little impaired.

She seems a bit more alert his afternoon, so hopefully its a pretty mild case and will heal up OK with some TLC!


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