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Hen not acting normal, wet poop, not hanging with the rest of the girls

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

This morning I found one of my hens (not quite a year old) back in the nesting box laying a second egg. This afternoon when I let them out to graze in the yard she was not with the other 5. I found her, brought her out and she immediately started drinking a lot of water (it is 34 degrees out) and had a very wet, brown poop. Now she is standing by herself by the garage door. The others are pecking and scratching as normal. Is she OK?


I took Harriet to the vet soon after I posted this. She was drooling and regurgitating. It's been a few hours, they still don't know what is wrong and are doing tests and giving her antibiotics.

My heart is aching.  

Edited by bizzyeemojo - 2/27/16 at 4:43pm
post #2 of 36

I'm sorry you are having trouble.

Sometimes it is best to take them to the vet when possible.

If you can post the diagnosis that you receive that may help others.

I am assuming they have checked for sour/impacted crop. What other illnesses/conditions have they ruled out so far?

post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 

It's 2 am (can't sleep) and I just called the vet. The Dr. said she could not see anything abnormal in her crop, just grit, but it was a bit distended. They took an x-ray (they had to wait until she was no longer regurgitating) but now we have to wait until a radiologist reads it.

They fed her by galvage afterward and she is holding down the food so far. Also there has been no further decline.

So, unfortunately, I do not know much at this time. It is very hard waiting having to wait days for test results.

I will post what I know when I find out what is wrong.

I am anxious to see the other girls when they get up at 6:30 and am hoping they are all healthy and happy as usual. I am already heartbroken that one is sick.

post #4 of 36
Awww I'm so sad for u the best of luck for you and Harriet.... I really do hope it's nothing serious
post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 

​Thank you so much.

I was up all night worried about the other 5 girls. Thankfully they are doing fine, pooping perfect poops and telling people jokes.

I called the vet at 6 am. Harriet has not regurgitated since late last night. Her egg was loose but she is walking around and is stable. I am going to bring her home today as long as she remains so. We all know a hospital is no place to recover :).

The test results will come back by Tuesday and I will post the results. I hope they will be helpful to anyone going through a similar situation or possibly preventing this from happening to their chicks. 

post #6 of 36

Most of us have no access to an avian vet or couldn't afford one if one was available. So it will be extremely instructive to see the results of the tests.


I hope your hen continues to improve.


Did the vet mention performing a necropsy on the outside chance your hen does not recover? It would tell you for sure what was wrong with the hen and could have direct bearing on the health of the rest of your chickens.

post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 

Although Harriet is up and walking around, the vet called this morning and said she is still regurgitating. They are going to lavage her crop to see if they can flush it out. After that, I don't know what to do. It has already cost me over $800 that I cannot afford. I am sick over this (not the money, the fact that she is still sick).

I gave their run a thorough cleanup and the only thing I can come up with is that she may have ingested a piece of clear 20 ml plastic (covering one of the coops) that shattered in the -1 degree temps we had here last week. This will not show up in the x-ray.​

I pray the lavage will bring up something, but I am losing hope and a lot of tears. I don't know how much a necropsy will cost...I did study surgical nursing back in the day but I am not sure if I have the stomach to do it myself.  

I am going to remove all the plastic today and at night keep all the chicks in the shed I had renovated as a coop. Better to be safe.

post #8 of 36

Thank you for the update.

I'm sorry that she is not doing well :hugs

post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 

The vet just called. She has sour crop and enteritis. I feel so bad as I was feeding them oatmeal made with milk on those frigid days. This is my fault. But my hopes for her recovery have returned. The vet said she is doing well but will lavage a second time and give her pro-motility meds. She still has the runs but hasn't lost any weight and is moving around.

Other than kicking myself and emptying my pocketbook (running up my charge card) I have been reading what I can about a healthier diet. I feed my girls organic laying pellets and let them graze my organic yard but I am going to be careful what kind of "treats" I give them and do it sparingly. I have been learning a lot; hopefully my flock with reap the rewards and this will not happen again.

This is a case of spoiling the girls by spoiling them. Lesson learned the hard way.

Thanks to all!

post #10 of 36

I'm glad you were able to find out what it is going on.


I am not trying to be "smart" or anything, I am trying to understand and learn so here goes:

I'm not that familiar with enteritis, but if I understand correctly it is a bacterial infection of the intestines ( Clostridium perfringens which is usually  found in  soil, litter and dust) and  sour crop is generally a fungal/yeast infection of the crop.

Why do you feel like you caused it by giving them oatmeal with milk? Can you explain that a bit more?



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