Hen puffy and not moving...


6 Years
May 25, 2017
Highgate Hill, Qld, Australia
1) What type of bird , age and weight.
ISA Brown I think?, 2 years she's the same weight as the other... not sure.

2) What is the behavior, exactly.
Not moving much, Not sure if she's been eating/drinking but now that she's in isolation I've seen her drink and eat yogurt. Yesterday I did see little wing things on her yesterday... they were probably about 3mm each. She also she just lets me pick her up and she'd usually squat and stomp. She doesn't look kind of puffy.

I've also noticed that none of our other 2 laying chooks (of the same age - white and black one) haven't layed either. We have one older, Buff Susex who one who doesn't lay often.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
this is the third day

4) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
I dont think so

5) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
can't think of anything... I found her outside the coop (she's not the adventurous chook) and she just let me pick her up but nothing appeared to have happened.

6) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
Drinking fresh water and little yogurt.

7) How does the poop look? Normal? Blody? Runny? etc.
Haven't seen a poo and her bottom is clean... i've felt around there and can't tell if a egg is stuck.

8) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
Put her in the cage so she doesn't infect the other and put Diatomaceous Earth on her and the coop.

9 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

10) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

11) Describe the housing/bedding in use
they have a metal coop, with straw and we did use the hemp bedding a few months ago.


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Welcome to BYC!

When you say you saw wing things on her...are these some type of bug?
have you checked for lice or mites?
DE has been known to NOT cure bugs.

Has she pooped since you posted this?

Her crop looks slightly enlarged but it's difficult to tell from a photo. Does it feel hard or soft and squishy or empty? Check her body condition.. Feel her keel bone.... does it feel reasonably well padded or sharp like the bone is about to pushing through the skin.

I've just noticed that you are in Australia, so it could be that she is going into her first major moult. That would account for the lack of production as well as the hunched hen. Some chickens get really depressed when they go through moult and others breeze through it like it's totally normal. Treat them to some high protein treats like scrambled egg, meat/fish, cat food, meal worms. You could change their layer feed to a higher protein grower to help them through it if they are moulting, but ensure they have a source of calcium like crushed oyster shell available in case they need it.

I hope I am right and it's nothing more sinister than a dowdy hen coming to the end of her first cycle and getting ready rejuvenate and grow some fine new feathers.


Hi There,
ok so she has popped although I can't see it, no evidence in the isolation cage, only on her bottom which is some white leftovers...

I've checked for lice and it's not that... her skin looks health. The winged tiny bugs aren't there today and definitely weren't lice. I think it was something hanging around because she wasn't moving much.

She feels like she's still a good weight.

Her crop seems normal to me, but I don't really know what i'm look at. It feels soft and empty probably. I've attached some photos

She is still not moving much but seems slightly more lively and responsive.

Yes hopefully she's just sad about her moulting, it's moving into winter... she doesn't kind of seem depressed so that could be it... she's eating and drinking so I'll keep an eye on her in the cage.


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When she first went to the isolation cage she ate 2 days ago she ate water and yoghurt and some feed.

The first night I let her back in the coop and she did come out of the nest when food came but didn't eat. So I popped her back in isolation.

Yesterday I didn't see her eat the feed and worm meal but it has all gone. She may have spilt it.

I've put half a small can of cat food and some greens and feed today. She's still not moving much.

is there any way to determine if it's unlikely to be contagious and I'll let her be and keep and eye on her eating and drinking?
Still no improvement

Day 3
Pop stuck to bum (we've washed it off in a warm bath)
Looking scruffy
Not eating or drink last 2 days
Crop is full
Comb is droopy
She smells different

Tonight we'll bring her inside so she's warm. Any suggestions would be great.
Unfortunately I think it may be time to consider ending her suffering. Once they stop eating and drinking they go downhill fast and whilst I have messed on trying to get food into them in the past, it usually just stresses them and achieves little else, so I now make that my trigger point for euthanizing.
If you are not ready to give up on her, then the crop would be something to look at. If she is not eating but her crop is full then there is probably a blockage. Massaging the crop can help, I've tried vomiting them although it is risky as they can aspirate.....there are You Tube videos showing how. I've also done surgery as a last resort when it was clear the blockage needed to be physically removed or she would die. It is not to be undertaken lightly. On both occasions I have done crop surgery the hen was emaciated and starving apart from the full crop which contained fibrous material that was plugging her digestive tract and preventing food going through her system. The breast/keel bone felt sharp under the skin with no flesh at all surrounding it.

If your girl smells bad, that would usually indicate an infection and antibiotics might help or fishzole if it is sour crop and it is her breath that is smelling bad.

Good luck whatever you decide.


PS. Apologies if you read my post prior to editing and it didn't quite make sense....I was getting your hen's problem mixed up with someone else's.
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