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How do I get a sick hen to eat??

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have a barred rock who was caught by a fox, but the fox spooked and left her. I've been trying to doctor her; the wounds actually look pretty good, but she just doesn't want to eat. I know she's drinking water, she'd already be dead of dehydration if she wasn't. Any suggestions as to what I can offer, how I can offer it, etc? Once it warms up a little outside, I can put her back in with the other chickens(in a wire pen so they don't pick on her); maybe being with the other birds would make her feel more like eating, but the next two days are supposed to be cold and nasty here. I hate to give up on her but if she won't eat her future is obviously limited. Help!

Five dogs, two cats, four budgies, one parrot, 12 chickens of various ages, and a great DH who built me the coop of my dreams:)

The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different. ~ Hippocrates

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Five dogs, two cats, four budgies, one parrot, 12 chickens of various ages, and a great DH who built me the coop of my dreams:)

The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different. ~ Hippocrates

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post #2 of 6
Try scrambled eggs. I know it sounds weird but even sick hens will usually eat those. Yogurt, moistened pellets and baby food are also great. Basically anything she will eat is great. If she refuses everything you try you can tube feed her. Look it up on YouTube or on here. It's not nearly as hard as it sounds.
post #3 of 6
The problem may be that she has internal injuries. There's no way of knowing unless you are a vet and there's not much you can do for them. If she doesn't pull through this is likely what happened. Not trying to be depressing, just don't want you to beat yourself up if she doesn't make it
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Nothing seemed to work; I had actually tried scrambled egg before I started this thread- she didn't want it. The only thing she reliably eats is mealworms and I'm actually running out of them! I just have them as an occasional treat for the chickens, not in amounts for them to just eat mealworms... I did order some just for her, though; should be here Tuesday or Wednesday I guess. But anyway, I'd been thinking she'd eat if she saw the other birds eating, but the weather has been cold and nasty. Finally today it was warm enough and sunny- I put her in a pen-within-a-pen so nobody could pick on her, and sure enough- I threw food down for all of them and she started picking and eating! Her crop was actually full this evening! I brought her back indoors for the night as I don't have a way to separate/protect her from the others inside the coop. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy:( so I guess I can't put her out again... oh well. It was funny when I put her out there, the two roos instantly started dancing at her:)  None of that for awhile, though, she's pretty weak still. Maybe there's hope...

Five dogs, two cats, four budgies, one parrot, 12 chickens of various ages, and a great DH who built me the coop of my dreams:)

The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different. ~ Hippocrates

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Five dogs, two cats, four budgies, one parrot, 12 chickens of various ages, and a great DH who built me the coop of my dreams:)

The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different. ~ Hippocrates

Reply
post #5 of 6
I have one recovering from sour crop right now and she's been very fussy about eating even though her crop is finally clear again. So far, she's willing to eat:
-tomatoes (particularly the seeds and pulp inside)
-kale
-cucumbers
-brown rice
-sunflower seeds

She's super thin and I'm worried she won't eat much of anything that has protein or fat in it. But I'm just so happy to see her even trying after ingesting nothing for 5 days (she was tube fed for two days).

Good luck with your girl-maybe some of these things will be inspiring to her too!
Edited by deacons - 3/27/16 at 5:34pm

Fun little flock of 8: I RIR, 1 Barred Rock, 2 Golden Comets, 4 Golden Laced Wyandottes

Watch the best-ever chicken commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLwML2PagbY

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Fun little flock of 8: I RIR, 1 Barred Rock, 2 Golden Comets, 4 Golden Laced Wyandottes

Watch the best-ever chicken commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLwML2PagbY

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post #6 of 6

Hens know better than you or I what they need or want.  Give her water spiked with electrolytes and vitamins with sugar added, up to 50-50 by volume.  In other words for every quart of water add up to a quart (4 cups) of sugar.  Then heat or boil the water to insure that the sugar is completely dissolved.  Don't forget to let the water cool before putting it before her.  Also cultured buttermilk is very good for hens as well as for the hen's children.  Honey water is also good and it provides easily digested calories.   Cooked eggs should also be allowed to cool to room temperature before you serve them.  Chickens are chickens and I never saw one saucer and blow its food or beverages to cool it before the chicken dug in.  

Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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