That Time my Chicken had a Cold
I went out to feed the chickens one morning. The chickens that I had just brought home 2 weeks earlier.
One of my hens (Rose) was a little wobbly and slow going. I watched her for about an hour, she wasn’t interested in eating or drinking and seemed very lethargic. I wedged my way into the coop and took a hold of her. Once she was in my arms I noticed that her eyes were very watery and she had bubbles in the corner of her eyes. There was also sneezing, chicken sneezing. So sad but so cute.
There was a lot of rain this spring so I guess I wasn’t surprised someone was sick.
I have zero experience with chickens and illness but I do know that their respiratory systems are fragile things. When chickens get sick they spiral down quickly. I knew I had to act fast.
After visiting a very trusted website called Backyard Chickens to do some research, I was relieved to discover that she definitely had a cold and not the avian flu, or some other kind of crazy ailment.
Since that particular day was cold and rainy I brought Rose in the house and set her up in a tote with some water and food and something to roost on.
She still wasn’t interested in drinking and her eye began to swell and get really runny which worried me a lot.
Rose stayed in the house that night, warm and out of the rain. The next day wasn’t much better. I managed to get some water into her using a dropper and with some patience she happily drank what I gave her. But she still wasn’t eating. I knew I had to up my game.
Then I played a chicken nurse of sorts…
I went to my local TSC store and purchased a powdered antibiotic as well as a powdered vitamin. Both can be measured out and dissolved in water and put in the chickens water feeders. The tricky thing about this was that I have a very small flock, it’s a flick at best.
The package of antibiotics is for a large flock and should be dissolved in many gallons of water. I was pretty sure that my chicken was not going to drink gallons upon gallons of water so with a little math I was able to get a proper dose of antibiotics for my hen and again with the dropper I slowly fed her.
On the Mend
Rose spent another night in the house with us and by morning she had a little more life in her. If you haven’t already figured it out I’m a sucker for chickens. Rose and I shared some plain yogurt, I mixed mine with some homemade jam, she had hers with chicken feed.
Later that afternoon Rose started looking really good and was becoming a little agitated in her tote, so back out to the coop she went!
I kept a close eye on her for the next few days and happily watched her improve.
Now our Rose is happy and healthy but sometimes when it’s really rainy and damp I can see her eyes starting to get a little watery again so I pop some of the vitamins in the chickens water and she usually bounces back pretty quickly.