HELP! I'm crying... I honestly don't know what is happening?


9 Years
Jul 9, 2010
excuse my bad grammer and spelling for a second, this is really urgent!

for the last two months, i have switched my chickens diet to oatmeal and table scraps, they have been doing great so far. but now i realize, they layed eggs all through winter which was against nature (oatmeal makes chickens lay lots of eggs). for the last week and this week i have noticed my chicken's eggs are weaker. i first thought that our young hen is laying eggs but I now figured out that my other hens are laying weeker eggs. I went to feed them yesterday, noticed one of the hens, Len, was sitting in the corner, kind of weak, but able to walk around. she wasnt eating. we immediately brought her inside and gave her some duramycin and a mixture of yogurt and apples. today, i got back from school and noticed that she was looking better, and had a lot more energy. now it is 7pm here and that chicken is doing ok, i would say. i still never found at exactly what problem she had.

Now, just ten minutes ago, i had to face another shock- i went to feed my chickens and noticed ANOTHER one of the hens, Bailey. was sitting down and her left wing was leaned over (looked like she was leaning to the side) i went inside their coop to feed them. the rest of the chickens rushed over to eat and she started to walk but fell over. now she is inside too with Len, and she is in much worse condition. Bailey is sitting down, leaned over to the sides, and is blinking and sometimes with her eyes closed. We just fed Bailey and len Duramycin (chicken antibiotic) and some more yogurt and apples mixture. She is still leant over and looks "gloomy".

Here are the possiblities and why:
-merricks disease (chickens have not been vaccinated for it)
-calcium deficency (weak eggs, "paralysis" wing in one of the chickens like i described) <----My strongest hunch is on this so i fed Bailey a mixture of bread and calcium tablets just now
-protein deficency (just a guess... they dont get much protein in their diet)
-moldy (this is probably the least likely... we are very carefull with scarps but it is still a possibility)

Chicken description: there are only 3 of them and I love them to death. they are 4 years old and have been in relatively good health for last couple of years. they have clumped droppings but they are also watery. they are silkie hens.
Last edited:
Get some tums or other antacid that is made up of calcium, and crush it up and mix it in some yogurt- a lot of it. Feed this to them, mixing it with something red, like chopped strawberry or red sweet pepper if they don't go after it right away.

This will help the calcium quickly, which is what I think you're suffering. You need to get a liquid calcium supplement from the feed store (goat section) and give them 2 capfuls in their water. They need crushed oyster shell in a bowl to take as much or as little as they like from this point on.

Hope they get better!

I'm so sorry this is difficult for you all.
I doubt your chickens just keeled over from laying all winter or there would be a lot of dead chickens on BYC. You can't "make" a chicken lay. If their bodies aren't up to it, they stop laying. I suspect they have some sort of disease. Go through the emergency section & see if you find any matches.
Honestly, - to me it sounds like nutritional deficiency. You can boost them quickly with some poly-vi-sol baby vitamins with NO IRON. They are liquid and you give them a dropper once per day - at least that what I do for a quick vitamin boost - I go by weight - and the bottle says 1 dropper per day for infants - which generally weigh from 6-10 lbs - about the same as a chicken. They are about $15 for the bottle and you can get them just about anywhere.

For calcium, you can get some oyster shell for them to eat - they will know what it is - and for some quick protein you can give them scrambled egg. When I make eggs for my birds, I just crumble up the shell and cook it right in with the eggs. no sense in wasting the extra calcium source - and a great way to recycle

Chickens can and do continue to lay eggs during the winter - though at a slower rate than during the summer months - and without the calcium, protein and vitamins that are in their layer feed - they will quickly deplete their systems reserves. You really should be feeding them a balanced layer feed all year round - and if not a layer feed, then a balanced feed like flock raiser with a calcium supplement available for them as they need it.

If they are deficient in calcium, their eggs will be very soft and could break internally prior to being laid or cause egg binding - which can cause death if not resolved quickly.

If you want to get them something tonight - I would say scrambled egg with the shell cooked into it and maybe some broccoli and milk - to get a quick meal with some calcium in it. The tums are a good idea too - you could even break one up and put it in the egg - Don't know many chickes that will pass up scrambled egg.

The yogurt is probably what boosted the one hen - with some probiotics and calcium.

I hope they get better soon !
Last edited:
If I'm not mistaken, they should be fed layer feed...oatmeal and table scraps arnt going to have all the necessary vitamins and minerals that chickens need to lay eggs, this includes their health and well being as evidenced in their immune systems being weakened in this instance, making them susceptable to disease.
Did you get some layer feed to feed them yet? Feeding the yogurt and eggs is a good emergency way to boost their nutrition intake but they need that layer feed with the protein in it. They are not going to get better till they start eating the proper feed.

ETA: you say they don't get much protein...that is in the layer feed
Last edited:
First of all slow down and take a deep can get through this.

A diet of table scraps and oatmeal is not a complete diet for a chicken (or anything else). Sounds like they have a calcium deficiency like chooks chicks said and also malnutrition. Do you have any layer pellets or crumbles around or did you use them all up before switching their diet? If you have some give them to all the chickens and no more oatmeal and scraps.

Get some super nutrition into them tonight. Start with scrambled eggs. Do you have any frozen chopped spinach in the freezer or any leafy green vegetable in the fridge? If you do chop it up and mix it with the eggs. Have any left over meat? Chicken or maybe pot roast? If so chop some up in tiny pieces so the chickens can eat it. You can also feed cottage cheese (protein and calcium) chopped up strawberries or blueberries.

Feed all of your chicken this so more of them won't go down.

In the morning go to the drug store and buy liquid baby vitamins. The kind WITHOUT iron. Give each of your hens 2 drops in the morning and 2 drops at night for at least 7 days.

If you don't have layer feed buy some along with crushed oyster shell. Make it available to them 24/7. Continue with eggs and greens and other food until their strength comes back. Don't be surprised if they stop laying for a couple of weeks. Chickens need a balanced layer feed in order to be healthy and productive.

I know it's easy to be upset....been there myself but I think this is an easy fix. Other people will also give their opinion. You are in excellent hands on this forum. Please don't cry.

Keep us posted.
Oatmeal and table scraps isn't a good diet for them, they're likely suffering from severe nutritional deficiency. They're definitely not getting enough protein or calcium. You should get them on a good balanced layer feed or FlockRaiser (more protein than layer feed) immediately. Get crushed oyster shell from the feed store and offer it in a seperate bowl at all times, especially if you use the FlockRaiser, as it doesn't have added calcium. But whichever feed you get, give them the oyster shell regardless, they can tell when they need extra calcium and will eat the oyster shell as needed. They should show improvement fairly quickly once they get the proper food.

ETA Check them over real good for any lice/mites, they can take a bird down fast with similar symptoms.
Last edited:
oh my god this was exactly what my hen eagle eye looked like a week ago and now i think she is going to die! i pray to God every couple minutes that she won't die. when she started with the wing to the side i thought she had a broken wing. then a couple days later she wouldn't eat or drink. by the way right when it started i put her in the brooder. i went to BYC and so far everything i tried has only worked a little. go to my subject and see if your hens look like this in a week if so we have the same disease. it is under eagle eye/ i think she is slowly dieing! a few spaces down from yours. are they pooping green? if they are that means they are starving. my hen is and she only eats scrambled eggs if i plop them in her mouth. so far nobody has recognized this disease and you are the 3ed person to post something like this recently. i think we have a new disease on our hands and we better find a cure fast. what i do for my hen is give her plane water and Epson salt mixed together and give her that twice a day in a baby medicine dispenser then some baby pediolight every couple hours. hope this helps and God help both our sick chickens.

P.S. keep us posted.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom