Hen that is listless, sleeping all the time and not eating...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jbethmann, May 30, 2010.

  1. jbethmann

    jbethmann In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2010
    Hi- My 4 month old hen is listless, not eating or drinking much and just generally not herself. She doesn't have mites or lice and her vent is clear. Her crop seems empty and her comb, which is just coming in, seems normal for her age. She must have decreased her eating for a while now, since she seems smaller than my other 3 hens all of sudden. The other three hens are perky and acting normally. I have put the ill hen in a little pen on her own with some mash of food/scratch and some water. Was able to get her to eat the tiniest bit of plain yogurt but really she is just sleeping all the time.
    The Agway mentioned electrolytes to me on the phone...but they don't have any in stock. Considering it is holiday weekend I can't get through to any vets or other local chicken experts. Was hoping there might be some advice here for me and my hen!
    Thanks, Julia

  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I'm suspecting a digestive problem, but if she won't eat, she definitely won't get better, so the man thing is to get nutrients in her. The best thing you probably have in your fridge is eggs. Feed her boiled egg yolks. This is easily absorbed excellent nutrition. The yogurt (plain) is wonderful too. If she is sleeping, and you are there, i would try to get her on a schedule of waking her up every so often to urge her to eat. Even if you have to kind of slide it onto the side of her beak with your finger.

    Second, is she new to your place? If she has been on your land for less than a month, i might suspect Cocci. If she's been on your land since she was a small chick, i wouldn't suspect that at all.
  3. lab44

    lab44 Hatching

    May 30, 2010
    I have a 2yr old hen doing the same thing , where she molted is all red and is very sleepy. I seperated her and she is eating and drinking a little
  4. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

    Sep 4, 2009
    If you can't get any electrolytes, and I know this is a little off the wall, but how about some Gatorade? Those kinds of drinks are suppose to have electrolytes in them and doctors even have suggested it to babies with upset stomachs. I would try a little of it just to try getting her going. Really, if she isn't eating anything, then if it doesn't work and it doesn't kill her (which I would certainly doubt it would) then it is worth a try. To do nothing will certainly be the end of her.
    Good luck.
  5. MotherJean

    MotherJean Songster

    I recommend Pedialyte. You can find it in any grocery store in the baby food section. Try scrambled or hard boiled eggs, diced fine. I also add warm water to a little of the feed (crumbles if you have them) to make a soft mush. Not a slurry, more like thick Cream of Wheat.
  6. jbethmann

    jbethmann In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2010
    Thank you everyone for responding...what a helpful group this is! She has taken some water and some of the mush. I will try more yogurt and make some eggs for her...great idea. I wasn't sure about the force feeding, but I'll give it a shot.

    I will get some pedialite and let you all know how the night goes!
  7. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Are you certain what you're seeing isn't broody behavior?

    p.s. forgot to ask...is she laying yet?
    Last edited: May 30, 2010

  8. MotherJean

    MotherJean Songster

    OP said she was 4 mos. old. Far too young for broody behavior.
  9. jbethmann

    jbethmann In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2010
    thanks again- no she is not laying yet... she drank some pedialyte and had a teeny bit of egg yolk--hopefully the am will bring a happier bird

    A Q about Cocci?
    A four birds came to my yard in mid-April from a larger farm nearby. The farm has a very good reputation as an organic farm and sells it's own eggs and meat birds. I have never had chickens or any animals in the yard previously. Her vent is clean and other than not eating and not running over to eat I might not notice anything is wrong with her...What are some other causes/symptoms of Cocci?
  10. jbethmann

    jbethmann In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2010
    well, this morning does not bring a happier bird. She is even less interested in food and water... will drink what I pour over her beak. I don't see any other signs of distress... so I am cleaning out the coop and sanitizing the feeder and waterer for the other birds. [​IMG][​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by