hen not going in coop

Joe Pet

Nov 24, 2017
I have about a 2 year old Americana hen. She's the original of the fourr that we had. She hasn't laid eggs for about a year. In the last week she hasn't jumped into the coop when it gets dark.

She just stayed outside so we set up a separate house for her. Even so we have to lift her up and put her in.

She's eating and drinking but moves slow. When try to pick her up and do he's doesn't try to get away. Is she just old. Last time she was in the coop she jumped out and almost fell and hit her beak.
She seems to have been fighting some illness for a while. 2 year old is not considered too old. I got 5 yr old hens and they all act and move like my one year old layers and all my 2 yr olds and 3 yr olds are all moving and hopping on perches 6-7 ft high.
See from the pictures the coop is not too high. Neither is her new bed which we set up last week. We have to pick her up and put her in as she lays down near it when it gets dark.

Feeding is like the other fourr hens. Regular feed each day and every other day lettuce , corn and other vegetables. She is active when eating.

Buut slow and little energy. Walking slow and then standing in places not moving. I picked her up to hold her and then put her down and her legs collapsed as she crotched to lay down. I also put her on a pole to roost and her feet didn't grab it tightly.


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She sounds very weak. What's their regular feed? Not laying eggs for a whole year seems like a really bad sign. She's not old so that's not it. Try to get a picture of her today and consider having a vet run a fecal float test for worms or coccidiosis. Whatever is wrong with her could be a problem for the others in time too so it's worth trying to get it diagnosed.
She's not 'old' at 2.....she's sick.

I'd isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two....so you can closely monitor her intake of food and water, crop function(checking at night and in morning before providing more feed), and her poops. Feel her abdomen(below vent and between legs) for squishy or hard swelling.

I like to use a fold-able wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller mesh(1x2) on bottom of crate under tray.
Then you can put tray underneath crate to better observe droppings without it being stepped in. If smaller mesh is carefully installed, tray can still be used inside crate.

Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?

Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.

Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).

Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.
Thanks. I will follow. Last time two of my chickens shedded and lost most of their feathers. When they walked it was criss cross and bending down. I had no idea what was happening. They grew new feathers back. I want to thank this community.
I don't know if she made it. Last night her body was stiff. This morning around her vent was swollen. She opened her eyes a little then closed. Gave her a warm bath to wash away then poop the put her on a warm heating pad. Now eyes are closed and not moving.
I'm sorry if she has indeed passed away. Many people here can help figure out what's wrong. But to be able to help they will need pictures of the birds,droppings, and detailed information about their food. If she had poop stuck on her that's possibly an important detail.

Whatever happened to her could be dangerous to your other birds, so more information and pics please, someone may be able to help.

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