Help! My healthiest hen is not eating/moving...


14 Years
Sep 7, 2008
Salida, CO
1) What type of bird , age and weight - Red Sex-Link hen, about 4 lbs, 2 years and 3 months old.
2) What is the behavior, exactly. - not eating or moving - keeping away from the flock, not resisting me picking her up, not even squawking when I gave her a shot.
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? - 24 hours that I know
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? - no but a hen was dead the night before last - perfectly healthy in the a.m., then dead in the p.m. with no signs of trauma at all
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. - none
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.- nothing happened.
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. - she is not eating at all, but before I had her in the pen (indoor and outdoor run) feeding laying crumble, black oil sunflower seeds, hay and water.
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. - she has not pooped since I brought her in the house (last night)
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?- gave her 1 ml of baytril 100 injected into the breast.
10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? - do not have a bird vet to take her to
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. - no wound
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use - they are in a coop with a light on 24 hrs a day, heater on thermostat, it is nice but not overly warm. they have access to an outside run. For the past 3-4 weeks I have not let them out of the coop due to colder weather and not wanting to lose them to any predators. I lock them up inside at night. I have 1 roo and 10 hens. I have raised them all from eggs and they are normally healthy. All around 2 years old. We have cold nights but they are always inside their coop.
This is my favorite hen and she looks great - no signs at all. but she is not eating. I offered her some canned cat food and gatorade. I added some sulmet to the gatorade as I will start cocci tx just in case. I dont see any signs of weird poop in the coop however.
this sounds so much like the silkie that posted on March 1. Please send updates. We are in Central Colorado where we have 20 deg nights and 50 degree days lately.
Also, I have never vaccinated my hens, have raised all of them for 2-4 years and have a closed flock. This is a photo taken last summer when she was healthy:

This is a photo taken today when she is very pale in her comb:
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Sorry to hear about your bird. Is her butt all poopy? Does she walk at all? At her age my first guess would be egg bound. I would also check her feet, for bumble foot. Can you give her some yogurt? The pale comb may just indicate that she is not laying (either molting or done). Keep a close watch on her... Good luck!
Dear Lesa

Thank you for responding - I have lots of questions for you.
She is not pooping at all! The vent is clean and seems okay - but I am not sure how to check if she is egg-bound? Would I be able to see/feel it?

What is bumble foot?

I tried giving her: canned cat food, yogurt, papaya, creamed corn, gatorade - and she wants NOTHING to do with any of it. She squawked and fussed when I tried to force gatorade down her - so I have stopped doing that.

Is it imperative to force-feed to avoid dehydration? Should I try putting lactated ringers into her for hydration? Where would I stick the needle?

She can walk and before I brought her inside she seemed to walk slowly and was pecking at her feet - which look fine to me.

thanks in advance for your reply(s)!
Sorry to take so long getting back to you... If she is not all poopy, I take this as a good sign. I find that if I hold a small container of water up to the beak (perhaps even putting the beak into the water) they will usually drink. It couldn't hurt to give her a soak in warm water. If she is egg bound, that might help her pass the egg.
Take a look at the bottom of her feet. If you see a kind of black scab, look up bumble foot. If the feet look pink and healthy, you are good.
I just re-read your post, about another chicken dying. That is strange. Seems like something that might be communicable. It seems like 2 years is the time for health problems...
Fingers crossed for you- I hope she pulls out of this. Good luck!

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