Hen not eating.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by spookychick, May 3, 2009.

  1. spookychick

    spookychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    One of my layers - a 9 month old Barred Rock - has been standing off from the others in the flock, appears a bit puffed up, and doesn't seem to want to eat.

    I'm not sure what is bothering her. I don't know if she's laying because she was in the coop with all the other girls until just this morning. Her vent looks normal though. She doesn't appear to have any respiratory issues. She doesn't seem to want to walk around much, or sit, although she will go outside when the other hens do.

    I don't know if I should be looking for anything in particular to diagnose what's wrong. She's such a sweet, gentle girl. If anyone has a suggestion, please chime in.

    She normally lays an egg every day, has a good diet, gets fresh water and outside exercise. I give fresh greens from my garden daily. Oyster shells. Grit. Food is fresh and not moldy. The coop and run are clean and not overcrowded. I'm baffled as to what could be wrong.
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  3. spookychick

    spookychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry for the delay. I missed the response here somehow. Here's an update on the situation with my Barred Rock.

    I thought she might be egg bound, so I've been giving her daily warm baths with massage, which she absolutely loves. I separated her from the flock. Gave her a nice warm cage on the sun porch with a red heat lamp to keep her cozy warm. She has soft music on as well because I read that helps with relaxation. DH thinks I've lost my mind, but it seems to be working! I tried offering different foods, and found she'd eat whole grain bread soaked in Aviacharge, so that's what we went with to start off. She'd only eat if I was sitting with her, and offering encouragement.

    The first day she wasn't pooping, which is why I suspected an egg issue. But she is pooping now, and it's dark green with white streaks. And from the link you sent I think that's simply because she was off her feed for a few days and has a higher concentration of bile in her droppings.

    She's eating with a lot more enthusiasm today, and without me having to watch over her. She's also readily drinking the Aviacharge. And I offered her fresh sprouts from the garden today, which she gobbled up, too.

    Her posture has improved. No more hunched stance. And she doesn't just stand all the time anymore. She'll nest in the shavings and listen to her music.

    I don't know what the problem was, but she seems to be thoroughly enjoying the special treatment. She hasn't passed an egg, or anything that looks like it might have been plugging her up.

    I don't see any parasites, but I haven't examined her droppings yet as there isn't much and she covers them up with shavings as soon as she poops. I've never seen one of my hens do that before. The stools don't appear foamy though.

    Anyway, the good news is she seems to be improving daily. I just wish I knew what the problem was to begin with.
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    You are a loving chicken mom and I'm sure she can feel that. Hope she continues to improve.

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