Help! Lethargic Chicken!


In the Brooder
Nov 17, 2020
Spokane, WA
Hello everyone,

We have a small flock of 5 Crested Cream Legbar Hens that are all about 7 months old. This morning, I let them out of their run to free range (as I do everyday) and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. About an hour later I noticed one of my hens laying by herself. About 45 minutes later she had moved about 5 feet and was still laying down. I approached her and immediately noticed something was wrong. She did not try to stand and she did not make any noise. I brought her in and looked her over for any abrasions and found nothing. Her comb and wattle are still very red and healthy looking. She does still eat and drink but not very much. She has not played her first egg yet so I figure it could be a bound egg? I have soaked her in warm water for about 20 minutes already and she has not improved. She is also constantly closing her eyes to go to sleep. I have an appointment scheduled with our veterinarian today at 3pm but I don't want her to get worse in the meantime if there is something I can do. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
@sca001 : Sorry to hear about your chicken. One of our chickens acted like that and had coccidiosis. If your chicken has it, it is a treatable disease.

Here's some information about the disease and treatment:

Your vet will diagnose her, but in the meantime, I would put her in a crate with a towel or something soft to lay on as you wait for your appointment.
Thank you very much for the information! After looking into it I have a feeling that might be what is wrong with her. She is hard asleep right now. I guess all I can do is wait until the appointment now.
Good luck and keep us posted! We have Mareks in our flock and I was getting ready to cull our chick when someone on here suggested it might be coccidiosis. Your vet will have a better idea though. Our chick took about four days to get better (we kept her in a crate inside) and we treated all the others with Covid. I think we have one now that has coccidiosis again :( Ours were vaccinated for it, but vaccines are not very effective it seems.
Update: Our hen unfortunately did not end up making it 😔 She died around 6am the following morning. The vet visit went well (we thought). The vet determined she was egg bound and successfully removed the egg in one piece. She was also given a calcium injection and a fecal sample was taken to test for worms and parasites. The vet did not think coccidiosis was the culprit. Fast forward a few more days, the vet called and reported no abnormalities in her fecal test. We discussed possible reasons for her death and ended up stumbling upon malnutrition (which shocked me as they always have fresh food and water). Her advice was to try a different feed and see if anything changes with the rest of the flock. I ended up switching from Purina's Pellet Feed to their Crumble Feed. I immediately saw a difference. I am now thinking my hens just did not like the pellets and were not getting the nutrition they needed. Realizing this, I decided to try and turn their nutrition around myself. They now get a fresh breakfast every morning. One day it will be scrambled eggs, yogurt, and kale and the next it will be warm oatmeal, cottage cheese, and kale. They sure do enjoy it! As of now, the rest of the flock seems to be doing very well. I will update this page if anything else comes up so this does not happen to another hen. Thank to all who commented and provided their input. It was truly appreciated!

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