Do it wrong, by putting the tube into her wind pipe instead, she will die.
But there is necessity in learning this valuable life saving skill.
The best practice for feeding up a sick chicken in to try an Assisted Feed first to see if she will take it, administering only a mil or two at a time until consumed. Never over fill her crop.
Learn where the crop is located
- The crop is located at the front of the chicken. It will feel like a pouch that sticks out.
- If it is very empty she will need a feed.
- The crop should be empty every morning but full at night. It empties overnight into the gizzard.
- Your sick chicken should always be quarantined from the other poultry.
- If suffering from a virus, keep the chicken in a warm, sheltered location.
- For respiratory conditions, a humidifier does help ease coughing and wheezing. It will not cure a respiratory condition in itself.
- Provide water with a little splash of Apple Cider Vinegar as a health boost.
- Keep an eye on whether she is eating and drinking, this will be a good indicator if you will need to give her an assisted feed.
There are many different recipes all over the internet but require so many special purchases, but here is the most simple and easy to make home remedy.
- Chicken Pellets
- Hot Water
- Blackstrap Molasses
- 25 to 50ml pull back syringe (not needle)
- 2 mini mixing bowls
- One or two handfuls of pellets placed in a mini bowl.
- Add a generous amount of hot water. Add more as it soaks in.
- Stir. The mix should be very watery like a pancake batter.
- Place the sieve over the other mini bowl and pour mixture into sieve. Use the back of a teaspoon to rub it through, scrapping off underneath the sieve into the bowl beneath.
- Keep working until you cannot get any more of the dissolved pellets through. The last bits will only clog up the syringe, so discard that.
- Stir the mix in the bowl and add a small drizzle of molasses and a very small pinch of the probiotic powder (0.5g or less).
- Pull the end of the syringe off and pour in mix.
- Test the mix - get the air out before syringing. If it works well without clogging, it is ready.
- Wrap the chicken in a towel to stop her from flapping about on your lap.
- Use your left hand to open her beak from the sides, the right hand to administer the food.
- Feed only a mil or two at a time. Allow her to swallow. If she copes with that, keep going until finished.
- If she does not want to swallow, this will mean that she needs to be tube fed.
Feed a couple of times a day to a standard sized hen.
I hope this is of some help.
Vitamin Powder can be used instead of Molasses. Plain Greek Yogurt might also be alright to mix in too.
If you need to crop feed, purchase a small tube from any vet or aquarium pet supplies store. Take the syringe with you to test the size of tubing.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR BANTAM CHICKENS
For Silkies and true bantams, crop feed only 10ml per feed up to 4 times a day.
Go to YOUTUBE for crop feeding tutorials or ask your vet to show you how.