Help! Sick chicken, possibly infected flock


6 Years
Mar 18, 2013
Help! About 6 weeks ago, I gave away 3 roosters and bought 3 hens at a local sale. They are small (5 months old) white chickens and one of them has been acting lethargic for the last few weeks. She looks like she's blind in one eye and has an oily looking ring around her back and has been pecking at herself. We have isolated her and she seems to be feeling a little better, but not great.

Our hens that were laying reliably before getting the new hens have all stopped laying. We have wormed them and are giving them electrolytes. My husband has ordered some sort of respiratory medicine and a broad spectrum antibiotic, but we haven't received them yet. Has anyone had this happen before???

I'm concerned that we bought sick chickens and that all of our chickens are going to get sick.

We live in Mississippi, but have been keeping them in the shade and have a shade cloth over their run.

Any suggestions are appreciated.
This is always a possibility when buying started chickens and mixing them with others. Most people recommend a 30 day or more quarantine period before adding new chickens into an existing flock. Are they shoing any signs of a respiratory illness, such as sneezing, coughing, gasping, snotty beaks, foamy eyes, or swelling around the face? What does the chicken's eye look like--odd color or cloudiness? Could you post any pictures of the chicken's back or a closeup of her eye? It's not uncommon for hens to stop laying in hot weather, so hopefully they are not sick. Giving them poultry vitamins and some probiotics, such as in some plain yogurt mixed with feed, can help to boost their immunity. Tylan and Oxytetracycline are common antibiotics used in treatment of bacterial respiratory diseases. I would send any chicken that died (refrigerated on ice) to your state vet for a necropsy if you should lose one.

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