Diagnosing and treating sick chickens
Q. My chicken is sick, can you help?
A. Sorry to learn of your sick chicken. I hate it when one of my animals falls sick and I am helpless.
Unfortunately, due to the "wholesale" practices of the American Poultry Industry, chickens are considered throw-away and not much time is spent finding ways to heal them of a disease.
That is a particular rant of mine...
Chickens are just not considered worth saving, certainly not like a horse or dog. Consider, the shelves and catalogs and books of ways to heal a horse holistically but the measly not existent information of how to raise poultry holistically.
I have several contacts (mostly in Australia) of writers who have written holistic poultry books that I am dealing with to offer their books to distribute in America.
Anyhow, back to your chicken:
Is your chicken sneezing, shaking her head, coughing?
Does her face look swollen?
Do you notice if she is "roached-back?" (Her tail almost tucked under and her back lifted.)
If your chicken don't have a respiratory odor like rotting flesh or carrion then it might be something less alarming.
I don't think it is Coccidiosis (coccidia). You would have seen something gradually progress and there would have been loss of weight, lethargy.
'Coryza' was one of the first things that came to mind but I don't know for certain if she has it. You'd smell something. Look it up on the internet, however. (link: http://www.umaine.edu/livestock/Publications/AIC.htm )
Here's a link that I use a lot: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp
On the left side, navigate to 'poultry.'
For the general health of a bird, I found that Apple Cider Vinegar added to drinking water at the rate of 1tsp to a gallon will work miracles.
I would also bathe their eyes in colloidal silver and drop a few drops down her throat. Colloidal silver can be found in any health food store. It's expensive but a little goes a long way and it does work - sort of a natural antibiotic.
You should get some electrolytes down her - unflavored children's pedialyte from a drug store. And I would get some water soluble vitamins available at any pet store for parrots and other birds.
There's an old fashioned remedy for breathing problems in poultry that has been around since 1800s. It's called VetRX and is sold in feed stores. It might be in pet stores... not sure. This works great on my goats and it is also used in poultry.
Also I don't like antibiotics but I will use Terramycin when I am clueless as to what is wrong with one of my birds. If it is a virus, it will clear up with Terramycin. Unfortunately, that is the way the world works today - because we don't have the knowledge or the 'old timer' to advise us,
sometimes I have to reach for the antibiotics until I know more.
You can find it any pet store or feed store. In a pet store, it's usually sold for parrots or other caged birds.
Here's a vet that I know treats chickens, but I haven't had any personal dealings with them yet:
Studio City Vet
Sometimes if you find out what is the problem, we can find a holistic, natural solution.
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