Pullet Sick for a Month, Should I Put Her Down?

by Suzanna Innerhofer

I have 3 dark Brahma pullets. For a month now 1 of the pullets has been really sick. She's thin, lethargic, and keeps her eyes closed no matter what. I have given her some antibiotics, and am trying to get her to drink some electrolyte water. She refuses any food, and water I try to give her. I thought she had passed a couple weeks ago, and put her out but my husband found her alive standing beside our freezer a couple days ago and put her back in the coop. She was covered in lice, mites, and looked really bad. So I tried to get her to eat some scrambled eggs with nutridrench, and drink some water with electrolytes. I treated her with some garden and poultry dust for the lice and mites, and turned on a heat lamp at night to keep her warm. She's now starting to list backwards if I move her. I'm having to pack clean shavings around her to keep her sternal. I am trying my hardest to help her but I'm afraid she's too far gone. Is there a possibility of me saving her, or should I do the right thing and put her down? I don't think the store vaccinated her, and I know I haven't. I don't want to keep stressing her by pushing treatments that aren't going to work. Yes, I cleaned my coop well, dusted my other 2 pullets, and sprayed the coop well to try and keep them from getting lice and mites. I'm going to do a follow-up tomorrow. I also dewormed them with wazine 17 about 2 wks ago and need to do it again with strongid tomorrow. Please help.

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Pullet Sick for a Month, Should I Put Her Down?
by: Sharon

Wow, I'm surprised she has lived this long. She is a fighter. I doubt she could have lived this long without food and water.

Her mite and lice infestation is probably what has caused her health to go down hill so far. From the struggle she has made, I doubt she has much to keep her going.

But, the fact that she made it this long is actually a good sign. Chickens are tough creatures.

I'm concerned for all the treatments you are giving. If they have mites & lice I would treat for that and not put other toxins in them for worms. Spraying and dusting for parasites is a lot, then giving wormers, too, is likely too much even for the healthy ones.

If this hen is still alive, she must be kept warm and given fluids. If she has live mites AND lice on her they have probably sucked her nearly dry of her blood supply. She would need a lot of care to pull through, if it is even possible. You have to do what seems right since you are there. I really couldn't say for sure.

I've seen animals die from parasite treatments when they are in a weakened state, while working in a veterinary clinic.

I think your main focus should be on making sure the same thing doesn't happen to the remaining healthy ones. Check them thoroughly for parasites.

I try to keep my chicken house and yard free of poisons, like parasite treatments. I feed organic layer pellets and organic foods, but realize others don't see the need for this. I use Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) which is all natural, non-toxic, but can kill mites and lice and intestinal worms. I sprinkle it in the floor litter of the coop and the nests and in the chicken's dust bath, and periodically in the chicken feed.

DE is a fine powder which suffocates external parasites, and scrubs intestinal parasites out. It is totally harmless to humans and chickens and actually provides healthy minerals to their diet.

I'm concerned that your one pullet is too sick to recover, but not necessarily. I'm concerned about all the poisons you are putting in the chicken's environment, on the chickens and feeding them by deworming. I've never seen worms in chickens, though have rescued some with different kinds of mites and lice.

If I have to use something strong, I like Ivermectin for internal and external parasites.

I hope some of this information helps and is not too late. Hopefully you can switch over to more natural products, like DE, which is much healthier for your chickens and the people who will eat their eggs.

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