Hen is extremely pale, lethargic; not eating or leaving coop

SniperGoose

Crowing
Apr 15, 2018
307
1,153
267
Central PA
I have 9 hens (around 4 years old), and recently I noticed one of them, Ruby, isn't acting like herself. She started molting the other week when it was in the 80's here, and right now it's been in the upper 40's, so I imagine that's quite a sudden change for her to adapt to, given she doesn't have all her new feathers grown in yet. Yet the other hens are also molting and none of them are acting like that. I can tell they're a little cold, but they're acting normal.
Ruby won't leave the coop either; she just stands in there. I tried giving her food, but she won't eat any. She walked over to me today and I picked her up to snuggle her a little bit. She is extremely lightweight, and she normally weighs more than that. So she definitely hasn't been eating much.

I was thinking of bringing her inside today and maybe keeping her in here for a few days so I can monitor her closely. Maybe being warmer would help her too. Any suggestions on what else I should do to help her? Thanks!
 

coach723

Free Ranging
7 Years
Feb 12, 2015
7,290
12,077
621
North Florida
If you have a vet that will do a fecal test for you, do that to check for internal parasites.
Check her over well for any hidden wounds, lice/mites, any swelling or lumps anywhere.
Is her crop working properly, is it empty completely in the morning? At 4 years old a reproductive problem is also a possibility. Molt can also make them feel pretty down sometimes. Seeing what her droppings look like may help in figuring out what's going on.
 

SniperGoose

Crowing
Apr 15, 2018
307
1,153
267
Central PA
Thanks for all the replies everyone!

I haven't seen any droppings since bringing her inside, but I'll be on the lookout for that and keep you updated! Her butt isn't messy though. Her crop feels rather mushy ... It feels like there's a little bit of food in there, but not much. I've never wormed the chickens, as they've never shown signs of having any parasites before. But if you think that's the problem, I'll absolutely get right on that. She doesn't have any mites/lice, and I see no injuries/swelling/lumps on her. I made her some scrambled eggs, and she had no interest in them. I have some water in there with Sav-a-Chick electrolytes in it, but she isn't drinking either. Right now she's just laying down sleeping. She seems to have gotten a little bit of color back in her comb since I've brought her inside, but other than that nothing has changed. I'll let her rest for now and later I'll try to get her to eat a little bit.

I'll keep monitoring her and keep you updated!
 
Last edited:

coach723

Free Ranging
7 Years
Feb 12, 2015
7,290
12,077
621
North Florida
Certain types of worms live inside the intestine and rarely detach so you would never know they have them unless you did see one by chance or looked in the intestine. I'm drawing a blank on the type of worm it is but I know it's long.
Most worms will not be visible with the naked eye in the droppings, which is why a fecal test is the best way to know. Occasionally a roundworm may be passed in droppings, or tapeworm segments, those are usually the only ones actually seen, and most often even they are not actually seen. The fecal test looks for the worm eggs, which are microscopic and are shed in the droppings.
 

SniperGoose

Crowing
Apr 15, 2018
307
1,153
267
Central PA
So you're thinking she does indeed have worms of some kind then? I unfortunately am not going to be able to afford to do the vet option right now, as I'm currently without a full-time job (but am looking). My part-time job/freelancing barely covers my bills. So are there any less expensive options to help get rid of the worms?

I put some diatomaceous earth (food grade) in her feed as well. She pecked at her feed a little bit ago, but she didn't eat much. Her droppings are runny as well. She seems to be slightly more perky than what she was this morning, but still very lethargic.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom