HELP! Chicken in trouble - drooling, lethargic


In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 18, 2010
After actually reading the sticky at the top of the page, I'm editing this post to hopefully provide more details.

Original Post: We have 6 hens that we picked up about 2 months ago. Have LOVED them. Now have a chicken that's been in a nestbox for an undetermined amount of time (sometime today). She's lethargic, with drool coming from her beak. Doing research on what is going on but would LOVE some help -- what it is, how to help, how to keep the others from getting it. These are free range chickens... we pen them in a dirt floor room in the barn overnight where the nestboxes and a roost are but during the day they have free range of the pasture around the barn.

any and all help would be appreciated! Thanks!

Added Information:

1) What type of bird , age and weight. -- Barred Rock hen... a little over a year old? Dunno exactly, got her with the others in August. Been a consistent layer.
2) What is the behavior, exactly. -- drooling, lethargic, kept her eyes closed most of the time I was handling her. Looking at her butt, it seems she is actively trying to expell something (her vent? is in constant pucker/unpucker mode). There's a little fecal matter on some of her feathers - assumed to be some that came out and she was still sitting in the nestbox.
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? -- hubby called me at 4:40 and said "she's been sitting in the box for quite a while". What that means I don't know.
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? - no
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. - no
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. - haven't a clue
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. - not to my knowledge
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. - what is on her feathers is runny, but I don't see any really in the nestbox
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? - nothing.
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Whether it was turning on the light or she was better, but she seemed a bit perkier when I just checked on her. Gave her another "bath"... which she "slept" through again. I don't know if it's helping or not. No more drool, but still heavy breathing and her butt is still puckering. Can't feel anything egg-wise and her crop (if I'm checking the right spot) doesn't feel hard or anything. When she was in the bath, I had her in the sink so she was resting her head on the side (better than me holding it up all the time which is what I did earlier). She left her eyes closed and every now and then would lift her head slightly... like when you need to adjust because a little muccus is blocking your airway. A slight little pop (like a muccus bubble) then she'd lay her head back down and breathe heavily again for a while til she repeated the same behavior. I'd swear it was respiratory if it wasn't for her butt puckering.

Anyone have ANY thoughts???
I don't have any experience with this but it sounds like she may be eggbound. Here is a bump for you anyhow. I hope you are able to help her get better fast! I have a sick little chicken too.
Thanks Jerry. Appreciate the reply and good thoughts.

Hen died by 9:30 last night.

Just curious... was there a reason no one else replied? Was it just the time of day or did I not give enough information? I'd like to be able to correct anything I did this time that might have prevented getting some insight in case it happens again. I received more replies on my Dressage (horses) board than I did here... although they were directing me to post here as well.
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This post is not very encouraging. I check this site whenever I need to know anything about my chickens. I have one that is about a year old exhibiting the EXACT same symptoms as listed in this post. I'd really like treatment suggestions. She is in her bath breathing heavily with her butt puckering right now. Her eyes are closed and she is resting her head on the side of the pail I have her in. Her wing is hanging over the side and moving up and down slightly with every breath.

Poor girl. I found her like this yesterday. She has not eaten or drank since. I thought tte other birds were picking on her so i isolated her. She's a little bloody I made a nest of pine shavings around her and set food and water right next to her. This morning she was down from that nesting box in a corner again. ANY IDEAS?????????
I'm newer and have never dealt with an eggbound chicken, but I believe that I've read that a warm bath can help them relax and pass it.
try searching egg bound. I just did and there's lots of threads about treating it. One said soak her in a warm bath for up to 30 and that sometimes it takes a couple of bathes to help. I hope that helps.
She had a 40 minute bath then I put on the rubber gloves and felt around her vent. I don't feel a hard spot. She can no longer support her head. She is opening her beak with each heavy breath now. Poor girl. I want so much to help but I don't know what else to do!
So sorry for your loss. I have been blessed in not having any illnesses so would not have been able to offer any helpful information. Usually someone with more knowledge about treating sick birds will stop by and offer advice or refer you to someone who may be able to help.

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