Hen lethargic, not eating/drinking


9 Years
Jul 20, 2014
Just discovered one of our blue maran hens lying on the ground with her eyes closed, and when I approached, she barely looked at me and simply stayed in the same position- very unusual for her in particular because she's the first to get up and run. She let me pick her up without a struggle and made no noises. I felt her crop which was rather small, and nothing felt blocked or 'watery/squishy' (sour crop).

So I checked around her vent to feel for a bound egg, and felt nothing hard around the outside so I carefully checked 'inside' the vent with a gloved finger... just wet, squishy stuff. Some clear, slimy liquid came out after I removed my finger but there didn't seem to be anything solid.

Afterwards she seemed a bit more alert: her eyes were open and she was walking a little but didn't seem very interested in running off like usual, so we separated her in a crate with water + apple cider vinegar and some food.

She has not made any move to drink or eat and seems completely uninterested.

Our chickens are free range and roam around our yard from dawn until dusk and go into their coops at night. We have 28 laying hens, 6 roosters (getting rid of one soon to another farm), 8 ducks and some pigs. We just recently brought in some broiler chicks and laying chicks that are in separate areas so I'm don't expect they brought in something. I've been careful to wash my hands before and after touching any of the hens and chicks just in case.

We recently (3 days ago) treated all of our laying hens and roosters with Prozap Garden and Poultry dust for a mite infestation. There were no sign of the mites on her when I just checked her - she does have a pea comb so there is nothing to see there in terms of signs of loss of oxygen circulation or anything like that.

Any advice on what to do? She is not sneezing, coughing, wheezing, or breathing hard. She just seems to be acting extremely tired. I have not been able to see any of her droppings yet so cannot tell if she has diahrea or discolouration but can update you on that when I find some in her crate. Should I give her any specific food/herb or other potential treatments?
She may be dehydrated, so water with electrolytes and vitamins would be good for her. SaveAChick, Pedialyte, or Gatorade would all be good substitutes for electrolytes. I would worm her with SafeGuard liquid goat wormer or Valbazen, but not before she starts taking fluids well. Offer her some scrambled bits of egg, and try some water in her feed to make it soupy. Watch her closely for any new symptoms.
Unfortunately, the hen didn't make it. I went out to check on her and add the electrolytes to her water, and she simply died on the spot. She had been laying for awhile, eyes open, looking around. Not sure why she went or what was wrong.

We will be doing a bird necropsy I guess. ):

This is the third hen to die in a couple weeks, the first from an impacted egg, and the other from ascites.

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