chicken with very dark comb looking very poorly, laying down and looks completely devoid of energy.

shetan83

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 7, 2012
37
1
32
San Dimas, CA
Hey everyone,

I have a Rhode Island Red hen who is full grown (2 years old or so?) who is looking very, very poorly. She's been looking listless for a week or so now, but now she looks really really terrible. Her comb is dark and listed over to the side, and she's lying down and breathing shallowly. She hasn't been eating well and is very very thin. At first we thought she was just going through a difficult molt, as her feathers were looking bad and she lost all the feathers on her head. But it seems like that's not the case.

Before her bad turn of events, she kept huddling by herself with her eyes closed and her head sort of droopy. She used to be a very active, happy hen.

None of my other birds (9 hens) are exhibiting any symptons. We have no idea what's caused this. It's been terribly hot here (100+ degree weather for the past few days), but the other birds, while hot, seem fine and alert and their normal selves. We've tried to keep everyone cool with plenty of water, iced watermelon, etc.

This hen in particular though is looking really bad. I think we might lose her. =(

We won't take her to the vet, but we want to do anything in our power to treat her ourselves. It breaks our hearts to see her like this.

Thanks for any help!
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,182
50,764
1,302
southern Ohio
It could be the heat or molting which is very hard on them, but in production hens (if she is a hatchery RIR,) they can be prone to reproductive disorders such as internal laying, egg yolk peritonitis, and ascites. There is not much that can be done for those things other than trying antibiotics, and making them comfortable. A dark comb can be a sign of heart or lung problems, where the chicken is not getting enough oxygen.
 
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shetan83

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 7, 2012
37
1
32
San Dimas, CA
Thank you for your reply. What sort of antibiotics would you recommend? And how should I try and care for her to try and help her recover? Is there anything I should feed her, etc.?
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,182
50,764
1,302
southern Ohio
I can 't post links tonight, but I would do a little searching about internal laying or EYP here on BYC. Procaine penicillin G is the antibiotic commonly used in EYP, but if a vet is available, there would be better antibiotics such as baytril.
 

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