Hen drinking excessively, not eating

Bekalodon

Chirping
Jun 9, 2018
26
42
66
This morning at chicken wakeup, my 2 1/2 year old Barred Rock hen went straight to the water and wouldn't stop drinking. I tried to encourage her to eat feed, but she showed no interest. She did eat some birdseed though.

I have not seen her poop this morning but my mom, who cleaned the coop, said there was normal poop under her spot. She also said that she had seen Stella eat normally on previous days.

Stella is not lethargic or showing any other obvious sign of sickness. However, we did just get a little over a week ago, so we're still figuring out what is "normal" for her.

I'm worried because her crop is already full with water and I am concerned that she might drink so much water that her crop bursts, but I also don't want to limit her access to water.

Any thoughts what might be going on with her?
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
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Does she have access to grass/free range at her new home with you? If so and she has not had access to it before, they can gorge on green stuff and get impacted, so definitely remove food and water from the coop tonight after they have gone to roost and then check her crop in the morning before you give her access to food, when her crop should be empty and flat. If it is not then you may have a crop impaction as suggested by @Eggcessive

My other thought would be that she is haemorrhaging internally which is dehydrating her and causing her thirst. Something like Fatty Liver Haemorrhagic Syndrome perhaps. Check her abdomen by cupping your hand between her legs from behind and assessing her for any fullness or bloating. Check other chickens at the same time so that you can make a direct comparison.
Get back to us with info on her crop function and belly status and we will try to help from there. A photo is always good helpful.
 

micstrachan

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Apr 10, 2016
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My first thought would be a crop issue, so definitely check that her crop is empty in the morning. Be sure to get to her BEFORE she gets off the roost, even if you have removed feed and water, as she could also eat bedding or feathers (if anyone is molting). I recently had to help a hen through a doughy crop because she would not stop eating feathers. Good luck and please let us know how her crop is in the morning.
 

Bekalodon

Chirping
Jun 9, 2018
26
42
66
My mom checked her crop in the morning before she went out, and I checked again a few minutes, after she had drunk some water.

Mom said there was a small bit of crop when she checked, and that it was soft and mushy. Not sure if we'd call it doughy?

When I checked, it had water in it but definitely reduced in size.

Mom said she saw solid poop under her spot this morning, along with some runny stuff.

We'll check her abdomen when we go out there later.

And I'm now thinking she might be a little lethargic? It's hard to tell because she's always been a little slow moving.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
Since she just joined you a little over a week ago, I would consider treating her for possible coccidiosis with Corid (amprollium,) which is available at most feed stores. Get the liquid or powder and add 2 tsp of the liquid, or 1 1/2 tsp of the powder per gallon of water for 5 days. The powder may be cheaper. Most adult chickens have built up tolerance to coccidia in their soil, but when they move, there is a possibility of new strains (there are about 9 that affect chickens.) It won’t harm her or the others to treat them, even if that is not what is wrong.

I would also keep checking her crop, and massage it several times a day if it still has food in it in early morning. Note any sour or bad odor from her beak as well.
upload_2018-11-25_8-19-46.jpeg
 

Bekalodon

Chirping
Jun 9, 2018
26
42
66
Just checked Stella's abdomen. No swelling!

Offered the chickens crunchy mealworms. She was in among the others going after them, which is a good sign, but I know from personal experience does not rule out serious illness. (Earlier this year we lost our junior rooster to a possible clostridium infection, and he was eating the crunchies to the end.)
And I just saw her poop: dark green and watery.

1125181001.jpg
 

Bekalodon

Chirping
Jun 9, 2018
26
42
66
Since she just joined you a little over a week ago, I would consider treating her for possible coccidiosis with Corid (amprollium,) which is available at most feed stores. Get the liquid or powder and add 2 tsp of the liquid, or 1 1/2 tsp of the powder per gallon of water for 5 days. The powder may be cheaper. Most adult chickens have built up tolerance to coccidia in their soil, but when they move, there is a possibility of new strains (there are about 9 that affect chickens.) It won’t harm her or the others to treat them, even if that is not what is wrong.

I would also keep checking her crop, and massage it several times a day if it still has food in it in early morning. Note any sour or bad odor from her beak as well.
View attachment 1599264

We already have some Corid powder. We'll treat her tomorrow. Ground is too wet to do it today.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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We already have some Corid powder. We'll treat her tomorrow. Ground is too wet to do it today.
Can I ask why the ground being wet makes a difference whether or not you treat with Corid?

I would go ahead and start the Corid today. Dosage for Corid powder is 1 1/2 teaspoons powder per gallon of water.
Your whole flock can drink the treated water if you don't want to separate her, it won't hurt them. Give for 5-7 days as the only source of drinking water.

Watch to see that she is eating/drinking well and re-check her crop first thing in the morning to see if it's empty.
 

Bekalodon

Chirping
Jun 9, 2018
26
42
66
Can I ask why the ground being wet makes a difference whether or not you treat with Corid?

I would go ahead and start the Corid today. Dosage for Corid powder is 1 1/2 teaspoons powder per gallon of water.
Your whole flock can drink the treated water if you don't want to separate her, it won't hurt them. Give for 5-7 days as the only source of drinking water.

Watch to see that she is eating/drinking well and re-check her crop first thing in the morning to see if it's empty.

My chickens prefer to drink off the ground if there's even a drop of puddle...but it should be dry enough this afternoon, maybe, when we get home. We won't be home until maybe 3, but at least that'll give them a couple of hours.
 

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