hen not eating


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 1, 2008
South Wales, UK
I have a barneveldar hen about 3 years old and stopped eating all of a sudden and causing her to lose condition. Also losing feathers around the tail area from bullying by the other hens. I have been to the vets and have had a course of antibiotics injected into the breast every other day for a week - but no improvements. The vet also checked for mites/lice with the feather loss but that was ok. poops have been a bit runny of dark green and white and her comb is looking very healthy. I have brought her into the house for some tlc and having to feed her by hand with hard boiled egg and chopped greens dipped in grit. I am also having to syringe baby food into her to try ang get some food into her and i am having to syringe water to her to ensure she has fluids. because of her not eating she is now losing weight and I don't want to lose her.
I'm sorry to hear your hen is not doing well. Did the vet check the stools for internal parasites (worms, coccidiosis)?

When you noticed she stopped eating, did you notice any other symptoms? Was she roosting all day..hiding in the nest box. Did she look fluffed up, stand funny, etc? Any other info you can think of may help.
I have just recently wormed my flock when the symptoms started. When I noticed that she wasn't looking so good she wasn't roosting and was coming out into the garden in the morning with the other hens, but just stood in the corner and looked a bit fluffed up. If I went close to her she just ran off. I kept an eye out and noticed she wasn't eating and decided to bring her inside.
We have got building work going on in the garden and so there is not much foliage, but I supply them with fresh greens from the house daily, but with my poorly hen I have started taking her over to my gran's garden where there is a big lawn to encourage her to eat. Over there she is not showing signs of fluffing up and is putting her head down to eat but not actually picking anything up, she is also walking around a bit better there and has been basking in the afternoon sun, and she is not so easy to catch when i'm ready to fetch her home. She is not fluffing up so much these last few days. The rest of my hens seem fine. Please help.
check her crop...
she could have sour crop, or an impaction..

feel the crop for any lump, or hardness, or grainy feeling.
Her crop feels empty, but this morning her breathing has worsened and her eyes are running and she is salivating from the mouth.
I have some other antibiotics in the house to use which I will try, but any other suggestions are appreciated.
Today she seems to be improving and has stopped salivating, but will continue with the antibiotics, she is still not eating so am continuing to feed by hand, but her poops seem to be improving slightly - still dark green and white and only runny sometimes. One thing I have noticed today is that her insides are making a noise as if her stomach is rumbling but its a more hollow sound - what could this be? From reading other members messages I am going to try the cider vinegar in the water and some yogurt which seems to be a popular remedy. Any other suggestions please?
I sure wish I could help but I'm having the same problem with one of my Australorp hens. She won't stand for very long, walks like she's arthritic, finds a comfortable spot & sits around most of the day. Her plumage is good & her eyes are clear. The stools are normal & haven't seen any worms in them upon inspection. If I use apple cider vinegar, how much should be added to water? I have some Manna Pro chlor-tetracycline crumbles & nutri drench vitamins. I keep their coops very clean & never leave dirty drinking water for them & they free range during the day.
* cath, this is just a thought, but if I were you, I think I'd go back to basics; cut out the greens, no more antibiotics for a time, and feed her straight layer or a fresh layer mash with a little yogurt. ACV in her water is o.k., and I might add a little hempseed to her food for extra protien and efa's and to help put a little weight back on her.
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Hi, Ive been off line for a few days due to bad weather over here corrupting our ISP. My barneveldar is not improving and is becoming increasingly thinner. She hasn't had any antibiotics now for over a week.
Other than her loss of appetite and weight loss she looks in good health. I really am at my witts end. She is now at my grandmothers since the weather has improved and is enjoying strutting around the lawn. She is even going through the scratching the ground process putting her head down but not picking anything up. I wish she would just start eating again as suddenly as she stopped.
Thanks to d.k., today I have been trying to give her some layers pellets moistened into a paste, but am only able to get a couple of mouth fulls into her at a time and then she becomes quite difficult and fights to get away from me. I will continue with this.

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