1 yr old Barred Rock gasping for air & won't stand


13 Years
Sep 19, 2009
Central NC
When I went out to the chicken yard this evening to collect eggs I noticed by 1 yr old BR hen perched on the edge of a baby pool and appeared to be gasping for air. Her beak was open and she was kind of panting. Her back side and belly were a little wet, but not cold so I'm not sure if she had accidentally fallen in the pool or if she was wet from something else. I brought her inside and gave her a warm bath to wash belly/vent area so I could check her out a little better. She didn't seem to mind the bath after a few seconds. At first she seemed a little nervous and stood up, but then laid back down and let me wash her. She's not making any sounds; no talking, no wheezing noises, nothing noticeable other than heavy breathing noises. She won't stand up for more than a couple seconds, I can't really get her to drink anything. I tried giving her some water from a dropper but she doesn't really seem interested in it. Even when I drop a few drops into her beak, she won't close her beak long enough to swallow.

Right now she's in the bathroom laying in the tub. I don't think there's anything else I can do for her tonight, I can't imagine I have any treatments for whatever's wrong with her. I can get to Tractor Supply first thing in the morning if anyone thinks they might have something that could help her. She didn't seem sick yesterday and was out of the chicken yard free ranging with the rest of the flock all weekend while we were home. I'm a little concerned about the rest of the flock, I have 16 other chickens. None of them are acting sick but she wasn't acting sick yesterday either.

Any suggestions???
I just went into the bathroom to check on her and she's dead already.

What could cause death that quickly?!?!
I'm so sorry. I wonder if she fell in the pool and got water in her lungs?
There was only about an inch of water in the pool, her face wasn't wet when I found her though.

Her lower belly back to her vent were pretty bare, I'm not sure if she was getting broody or if something else could cause her to lose feathers. Her comb and waddles were bright red still, her leg skin looked fine, pretty much everything about her looked completely normal. She wasn't puffed up, no discharge from her eyes or nose, nothing abnormal.

My husband and I have been talking trying to come up with anything "odd" that we may not have thought about before, but we're just not coming up with anything. She was definitely out free ranging on Saturday, but we're not 100% sure we remember her being out all day with the others yesterday. I know she was out at least part of the day because she wasn't in the yard when I collected eggs. I hate to even think this let alone mention it, but could poisoning kill that quickly with no other symptoms?
Maybe she was eggbound and when she fell in the pool she contracted her muscles and broke the egg, it can cause shock. That would explain the no standing and the breathing. I'm very sorry you lost her.
***Egg binding would also explain the bare bum area, they some times pull out those feathers because of pressure and discomfort.
If she had just recently pulled the feathers out would the skin be red or irritated looking? I didn't notice an abnormal amount of feathers in their yard but I guess I didn't really look. When I felt around on her belly I didn't feel anything abnormal...which I probably wouldn't if the egg had broken already. A broken egg might make sense though, at least two of our girls have been laying giant eggs the past couple weeks. I'm not sure she's laid any, but at least 2 of the 4 giant eggs have been the same color as hers.

She pooped (peed?) a little between when I left her around 7:20 and when I found her dead. It was the same off white color as the wee bit of poo stuff that was under her in the pool when I first found her this evening. Ugh. Stinking chicken! She was my husband's favorite, I would teased him saying he picked out the Layena chicken food instead of DuMor food just because the chicken on the Layena bag looked like his favorite hen.
When I lost my hen to eggbinding she had plucked out all her behind feathers and her skin didn't look irritated at all, and the runny white poo definitely sound like what I'e seen as well. Even though it doesn't bring her back, hopefully you don't have to worry about your other ladies!:: best wishes::

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom