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Chicken with lice issue now very sick

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi Members,

  We adopted a stray chicken 2 years ago.  She was found on the roadside, by no home or farm.  Her beak has been cut.  She has a history of lice infestation, more than likely because she can't fight the bugs off with a cropped beak.  For the last week, she has become very sick.  The is lethargic, wandering almost like she is delirious.  She has little energy and is hunched over and weak with diarrhea.  She has lost weight. We bathed her in Neem last week with a vinegar rinse.  I also went another step and used the Garden/Poultry dust with Pyrethrin.  She presently has no sign of lice but she continues to be very ill.  She is eating but is picky about what she eats.  Any ideas on medication and diet to give her strength and energy? I have given her some vitamins. I see no signs of mites. Suggestions appreciated. I really hate to lose her.  I have separated her from the flock but I think she is depressed.  Thanks upfront for ideas. 

post #2 of 13

I don't have any ideas on medication  but would suggest giving your chicken  hard boiled eggs chopped up.  It is a COMPLETE NUTRITION having all that a chicken needs.

Here are some other possibilities.  Your chicken may be old.    Your chicken may be a sexlink  that do not live long lives. They lay eggs very well and then burn out.

WISHING YOU BEST.   lets see what others suggest.  :)

post #3 of 13

What does her poo look like?

Any photos?

Has she been wormed?

Is she a lone chicken or do you have others?

Does she still lay  eggs - if so when was the last time she laid an egg?

What does her abdomen feel like?

@cavemanrich has given you sound advice on giving her hard boiled eggs. If she won't eat eggs, then you can try wetting her normal poultry feed to see if she will eat that.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi.  She lays sporadically.  Last week was the last time she laid.  Since we found her she lays eggs with VERY thin shells, which was the case last week.  She has never been one to lay regularly.  I haven't given her hard boiled but will try that.  I have been just cooking an egg and crushing the shell  She ALWAYS goes for the shells.  I have given her some dog food soaked in water and meal worms and pumpkin seeds are going down as well.  I will take a photo of her and her poop.  I have wormer but was afraid to try that for fear she is compromised but perhaps I should.

post #5 of 13

You may want to increase her calcium consumption. Most people offer oyster shell in addition to the layer feed. Soft shell eggs can be caused by nutritional deficiency, usually lack of calcium and vitamins E, B12 and D as well as phosphorous and selenium. You can usually find poultry vitamins at your local feed store or online.

Scrambled egg is fine to give. If she is going for the egg shell she may be telling you more calcium

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 


post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

I did start her on a vitamin- liquid type that you give to chicks but can also give to adults. I do have adult vitamins and sprinkle some on her food too but vitamins are new to her.  Her belly feels fine.  So some questions for you:  do you recommend wormer after seeing photos?  Any other recommendations?  What type of chicken does she look like? As you can see her beak is incredibly short.  I think it's rather cruel. She suffers because someone did this to her.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

I do offer calcium to her.  I have a container for all of our chickens to eat free will.  But obviously she is telling me something by going for those shells.  I give her egg shells most every day.

Edited by saltidog - 4/23/16 at 9:27pm
post #10 of 13

I feed mine the egg shells as well

You asked the wrong person on the breed:) I'm really no good at that, but I'll give it a shot. Since she has a trimmed beak I would guess some type Production Red chicken.

Worming won't hurt.

It's possible that she may be starting to have internal laying issues like Peritonitis, but she's showing no swollen abdomen or awkward stance.

Other than worming, I'm nor sure what will help.

Do you ever see her dust bathe? Have all the lice/mites gone down to a controllable level (most all chickens have a few).


You can use Valbazen  1/2 ml orally and then repeated in 10 days for each chicken or Fenbendazole (Safeguard, Panacur) at 1/4 ml per pound for 5 days in a row for de-worming.

Withdrawal (egg throw away period) is 14days.

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