I knew something was wrong right away this morning when I let them out. Reba is usually the first to run to the pile of feed I put on the ground (hey, that's the way they like it - no feeder for them!) and gobbles it up. But today, I opened to coop and everyone came out EXCEPT Reba...then she sauntered out and walked the opposite way from the food. I thought, hmmm, strange. The other three were just gobbling up the food and Reba was just slowly walking around...a peck here, a peck there. So, in the house I went to get on backyardchickens.com to see what I could find. Hard to nail down "looks lethargic" on that huge forum.
So back outside I went, I cornered her and picked her up to see if she had mites or something. I was holding her around her midsection, wings pinned between my arm and my side, with her head behind me, looking through her feathers - no bugs. So I figured, I will check her vent - as I went looking for it (they have a lot of feathers there!!) I heard a sound like a waterfall behind me. She was "puking" water out from being tipped slightly upside down in that position. Light bulb goes off in my head - aha! Sour or impacted crop. Great. I turn her around and start massaging her neck, where I think the crop is. I don't know - I'm still a newbie at this!! It doesn't feel exactly squishy, but not hard as a rock either. Back inside to the laptop - was it olive oil or vegetable oil - can't remember. Find it - olive oil, although they say mineral oil is best. Of course I don't have mineral oil. Get the olive oil, put it in a tiny measuring cup (like the kind that comes with cough syrup), back to the run to try and get her to drink some of it. Yah....right. So I just keep dipping her beak in it, and every so often she licks it off. Then she gets mad and wants to be set back down. I figure, good, she is showing some of her old spunk. Put her back down after rubbing her neck a little more, and she walks slowly under the coop and just stands there. Poor thing!!
I will keep trying to get more oil in her today, and I have to go to the store and get some plain yogurt. They say that is good too - but not too much. The point is to get her crop emptying again - not keep filling it faster than it is being emptied.
I thought I was done with "burping babies". My daughter is 20 - hasn't needed that in a long time! But, apparently, chickens need it every now and then.
Will let you know how she makes out. Any other advice? Did I miss anything? Thanks.
Combine the original tipping action to expell any excess you can, with oil and yogurt? Just guessing here. Good luck though. Thoughts are with you!
I am sorry to hear about Reba... I am a chicken newbie also, so unfortunately I am learning from others as well... I hope your olive oil method works! I will have to keep this in mind in case it happens to me...
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