HELP needed with sick chicken

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


8 Years
Dec 31, 2011
My sweet Rhode Island Red has been suffering for over two weeks as she becomes more and more lethargic and refuses to cone out of her coop. Her backside is VERY messy. Her comb has lightened in color and flopped to the side. When she does come out of the coop she is disoriented and seems almost as if she is having trouble seeing her way around the yard. She is also missing feathers on her backside which may be a result of the other eight hens in the flock picking on her.
Any advice would be appreciated!
I am not sure about what is wrong with her but I would defiantly isolate her from the rest of the flock if for no other reason than you don't know if she is contagious and to protect her from being pecked to death.
I had a RIR that was pretty much the same way, but I didn't know what to do. I am sorry to say she did pass away after about a month, but if I had had help from the forum, this might not have happened.
She didn't have the messy back as yours does though.

Good luck and I hope someone chimes in with some good advise.

Oh by the way,
from Punkin Center, AZ.
I wish it were under better circumstances.

Give us the following information. The more you tell us, the better we will be able to help you.

1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
2) What is the behavior, exactly.
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use

The "messy bottom" you mentioned- could you be a little more clear about what it is? Poop? White discharge?
Annabelle is a seven month old Rhode Island Red. She weighs about 15 pounds, although she seems to have gained some serious weight over the last few weeks. We recently had a predator attack the chicken coop and take two away, which might explain her missing feathers. She seems very lethargic and confused when she is out of her coop. I recently found her facing a wall and not able to turn herself around.
Her bottom is covered with white hardened poop. She seems to be eating small amounts of organic feed and water. Her poop is very runny and green, as I just discovered while trying to clean off her backside in a bucket of warm water?

I am a total chicken rookie, but any chance that she is egg bound? I would like to ultimately treat her myself if possible. She is in the house now separated from the rest of the flock and drying off after a bath. She still seems very quiet and she is so sweet.

Who knew chickens could pull at your heart this way!
She could be egg bound. It is pretty easy to check. Put a gloved, lubed finger up her vent and see if you can feel a trapped egg. You can try to get it moving through by keeping her vent lubed and giving long, warm baths to encourage muscle relaxation. Some of the things you posted stand out as red flags, though.

The serious weight gain over the past few weeks, as well as the not laying are indicative of reproductive problems. She is obviously not eating well, thus the green stools, so why a sudden weight gain? She should be losing, not gaining. I am guessing she might have EYP (Egg Yolk Peritonitis) and the weight gain is a fluid build up in her abdominal cavity. She is going to need the attention of a vet if that is the case. She will have to go on a course of antibiotics to treat the infection, and she will need to have her abdomen drained periodically because this is going to be a life-long condition that requires palliative care. This will eventually mean her demise, so if she is not a particularly valuable (sentimentally or monetarily) animal I would recommend culling her. She is going to be in some serious pain from this condition as fluid builds up inside her abdominal cavity. She will eat less and less, her breathing will become more and more labored, until she eventually dies. If you treat the fluid build up as needed she can survive for longer, but infection is going to be a constant risk.

Reproductive problems of this nature are common in your production breeds. There is no way you could have predicted this would happen, and unfortunately, there is no real "cure" except for a very expensive and dangerous hysterectomy.

You may want to look at some old posts of SpeckledHen's. She has dealt with more than her fair share of internal layers and has left well-documented treatment courses through every stage of her birds' battles with this. Perhaps some of her posts can help you out in deciding what you want to do.

Good luck.
Advertisement Purina Flock Layer

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom