HELP! Chickens are sick, droopy, weak, tail down, head back, eyes closed...

MiriPoe

Chirping
Apr 27, 2018
47
76
79
Hi,

I'm tying to find out what is wrong with two of my chickens.
My Silver Laced Wyandotte looked droopy and tail down yesterday in the evening, seemed she was weak, closing her eyes.

I thought she was egg bound and gave her a 20 minute bath with Epson salt and herbs twice yesterday, keeping her in a big box inside over night, with calcium powder mixed in her food, water, fruits, pellets etc. She wanted to be back with the coop this morning, so I let her walk outside and she went straight in the chicken house to lay a egg. She was doing much better still a bit droopy and tired today though. I let her stay with the flog, because she seemed happy and okay again behavior -wise.

Then this afternoon, a second chicken (Easter Egger) showed the same signs just a bit worse. I thought maybe they were fighting some kind of illness and their immune system just has to deal with it. My flock is just over a year old. They have clean water with apple cider tonight two different water stations. My flock is 8 hens and one rooster big.

The second hen is inside my house now in the big box, after I cleaned it and made it cozy for her again. At first she was just standing up, also in the coop before, she just stood there tail down.

When I just held her she started leaning her head back eyes closed. It was weird. I held my finger with water drops close to her mouth and she swallowed tiny bits of water drops with her tiny tongue. She has temperature, her feet are pretty warm.
I put a bit of apple cider vinegar in her water (only a tiny bit) she has small grapes, when I squish them she slurps the juice up a bit, also has her normal layer pellets as food. Maybe she is just weak and tired. I'll try to give her more fluid in a bit the same way I did before...only holding my finger or fruit to her beak.

Did anybody experience this before... please help. :/
I'd be very very thankful for any suggestions to save my chickens.
Could it e that their immune system is fighting something and they could be fine again?

Thank you!
 
Last edited:

boskelli1571

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 7, 2011
3,771
1,483
381
Finger Lakes, NY
Hi,

I'm tying to find out what is wrong with two of my chickens.
My Silver Laced Wyandotte looked droopy and tail down yesterday in the evening, seemed she was weak, closing her eyes.

I thought she was egg bound and gave her a 20 minute bath with Epson salt and herbs twice yesterday, keeping her in a big box inside over night, with calcium powder mixed in her food, water, fruits, pellets etc. She wanted to be back with the coop this morning, so I let her walk outside and she went straight in the chicken house to lay a egg. She was doing much better still a bit droopy and tired today though. I let her stay with the flog, because she seemed happy and okay again behavior -wise.

Then this afternoon, a second chicken showed the same signs just a bit worse. I thought maybe they were fighting some kind of illness and their immune system just has to deal with it. My flock is just over a year old. They have clean water with apple cider tonight two different water stations. My flock is 8 hens and one rooster big.

The second hen is inside my house now in the big box, after I cleaned it and made it cozy for her again. At first she was just standing up, also in the coop before, she just stood there tail down.

When I just held her she started leaning her head back eyes closed. It was weird. I held my finger with water drops close to her mouth and she swallowed tiny bits of water drops with her tiny tongue. She has temperature, her feet are pretty warm.
I put a bit of apple cider vinegar in her water (only a tiny bit) she has small grapes, when I squish them she slurps the juice up a bit, also has her normal layer pellets as food. Maybe she is just weak and tired. I'll try to give her more fluid in a bit the same way I did before...only holding my finger or fruit to her beak.

Did anybody experience this before... please help. :/
I'd be very very thankful for any suggestions to save my chickens.
Could it e that their immune system is fighting something and they could be fine again?

Thank you!
Are they pooping? If so what color/consistency etc. Is it particularly hot in your area right now?
Have they been laying regularly up to now?
Try making a wet mash (oatmeal consistency), add some electrolytes or poultry drench and feed it to them slowly.
 

MiriPoe

Chirping
Apr 27, 2018
47
76
79
Are they pooping? If so what color/consistency etc. Is it particularly hot in your area right now?
Have they been laying regularly up to now?
Try making a wet mash (oatmeal consistency), add some electrolytes or poultry drench and feed it to them slowly.

It is night here and it is rather cold and foggy here the past days, I just checked on her she is laying down in a normal way and her body is moving up and down while she breathes calmly.
They both pooped just fine (normal dark poop/normal consistency), and laid eggs today. I smelled poop when I picked her up twice, but it smelled more like gas release. My Wyandotte is molting, so I could see her bottom better. The Easter Egger who has problems now is fully feathered. I will check more tomorrow. I hope she makes it through the night...she seems pretty weak...

Making the wet mash tomorrow very early in the morning...

They might got something from wild birds that check out their garden outside run often for left over scratch...we have lots of different birds visiting...
 

MiriPoe

Chirping
Apr 27, 2018
47
76
79
I really have no idea! But, I would give the whole flock less treats, more apple cider vinegar (not in their water, just separate) vitamins (just grogel plus b is fine mixed with apple cider vinegar is great!), and give them all some rest.

I always thought the apple cider vinegar would be too strong for them pur? I will do that tomorrow though. Somebody suggested bread crumbs soaked in apple cider vinegar... will try that too tomorrow morning... Good night from CA! Thank you so much for your help everybody!!!
 

msiler

Songster
Nov 26, 2018
358
482
161
This sounds exactly like what happened to my silkie girl, the one in my avatar actually. Poor thing was having the same symptoms as yours! I thought it was just do the hot weather, but she kept getting progressively worse and worse. I looked it up and thought the same as you, could she be egg bound? Well when I went to go check her I found she was crawling in mites. I did research, it is transferred most commonly from wild birds and all the mite bites can make them severely anemic and can kill them... I ended up losing her in the end even after killing all the mites :hit
How you check for them is by lifting up their wing and quickly blowing the soft down that is there. You will tend to see little bugs running away from your air. Check everywhere you can if you don't see them! If you find them, I am not sure of the best way to get rid of them. For my silkie, I knew I was running out of time so I went straight to a weight appropriate dosage of a livestock pestiside called Ultra boss. I know it worked because the mites dropped off, dead, in about 30 minutes. I have heard for minor cases, dichotomous earth will work. You can find both of those at your farm store, Ultra boss will probably be in the horse section but it does say it is safe for poultry.

Anyway, that was probably too much information since you don't know what it is yet. First step is to get some fluid into your girls like you are doing, especially the weaker one. Then check for mites asap. This was my first time dealing with them so I had no idea.... Good luck and keep us updated!
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
6 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,444
3,192
407
Portland OR
Excellent thought, @msiler - checking for parasites by the vent and top of the tail is another good practice. If it is mites, Elector PSP does a really good job, but it is SPENDY. A little goes a long way - it's used as a premise spray too. Looking under the roost, visiting the roost at night - check the other birds - are all good ways to see if you might have unwelcome guests. There are a bunch of threads on external parasites - I want to say it's permethrin (or some variant) that's the active ingredient to kill them.
 

boskelli1571

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 7, 2011
3,771
1,483
381
Finger Lakes, NY
I always thought the apple cider vinegar would be too strong for them pur? I will do that tomorrow though. Somebody suggested bread crumbs soaked in apple cider vinegar... will try that too tomorrow morning... Good night from CA! Thank you so much for your help everybody!!!
This is a good point and recent research suggests that ACV should be added sparingly to water if at all. It changes the gut PH and can cause upset.
 

MiriPoe

Chirping
Apr 27, 2018
47
76
79
I found her with stretched out wings eyes closed still breathing this morning and gave her some water drops with my finger. I rested her head so it is not laying in the wood shavings... she is still breathing and swallowing...Oh I wish I could do more. :/
 

MiriPoe

Chirping
Apr 27, 2018
47
76
79
Excellent thought, @msiler - checking for parasites by the vent and top of the tail is another good practice. If it is mites, Elector PSP does a really good job, but it is SPENDY. A little goes a long way - it's used as a premise spray too. Looking under the roost, visiting the roost at night - check the other birds - are all good ways to see if you might have unwelcome guests. There are a bunch of threads on external parasites - I want to say it's permethrin (or some variant) that's the active ingredient to kill them.
I thought they might ate a plant they are not supposed to eat... not sure... please see up-date...cleaning out the entire coop with vinegar today....
 

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