Help sick hens???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by aryehgill, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. aryehgill

    aryehgill New Egg

    Jan 26, 2017
    Due to severe weather change in illinois 4 of my hens and my only roo have been acting very lethargic nd not moving around like they usually do any ideas on what it could be and how to treat it i dont want somethi mg terible happening to my ladies
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  2. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Lethargy can be caused by so many things, and you don't give many details.

    I can make some guesses, but we will need more info to be able to better help you.

    Since you say the weather has changed dramatically, shall I assume for frigid cold?

    Birds actually handle cold really well. They don't handle damp drafts well though. And more importantly, they do not handle poor air quality well at all.

    If it is wretched outside, may I assume they have been locked inside in smaller quarters or longer periods than normal?

    First thing check your air flow. Is it adequate? Have you dampened down everything so tight for the frigid weather that you've prevented good airflow?

    If so, the ammonia build up may have gotten ahead of things (even with frozen poo). You may have more moisture than you realize in the coop.

    Also, they are enclosed and not dust bathing as much as they normally do. You may have a build up of lice or mites that are zapping their energy.

    Then of course you may have worm over load that has kicked in with the stress of cold.

    Another possibility is they need more protein and fat to help fend off the cold weather. You may have to beef up your feed to 18 to 20% protein to help offset the cold. Corn is an excellent treat that will help them build body heat. BOSS is also a good high fat treat. Feed at night time to help them retain their body heat.

    And you have them in a heated area, potentially with a heat lamp over the water bowl to keep it from freezing. Has it possibly created an environment for coccidiosis? Huddled, lethargic birds, is often a sign of coccidiosis which does not survive sub freezing temperatures but can thrive in a heated, enclosed coop with birds that are milling about longer than usual.

    Those or some general ideas. Again we need more information to be able to better help.


    EDITED TO ADD: and a final thought....birds do slow down in really cold weather, but they shouldn't act sick or lethargic. My birds don't see snow often (although yours in Illinois will). My birds will stand by mesmerized and fearful of the snow, not venturing out but huddled in the coop. Snow can do funny things to birds psychologically.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017

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