hen weak, not eating/drinking UPDATE-Botulism?


11 Years
Sep 7, 2008
I really hope someone can help, our poor Dottie is not doing very well.

1) What type of bird , age and weight. 2 year old calif. white/ barred rock mix, not sure of her weight but she seems thin.
2) What is the behavior, exactly. Open-beak heavy breathing, just stands in one spot with wings drooped.
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Started late yesterday afternoon.
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? No
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. Nothing I know of. We have been battling mites, but she seemed the least affected.
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. She was outside eating and drinking yesterday with the other hens. Layer feed and forage.
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. We put her in a pen in the garage yesterday when we noticed her condition. She has only pooped ONCE since then. It was white liquid with undigested grass in it.
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? We've been giving her electrolytes, olive oil, and keffir through a syringe every 30 min. to 1 hr. and I've massaged her crop, as it felt very hard last night. Today, it feels ok. It still feels like there is a little something in there. I'm not sure what a completely empty crop would feel like.
10 ) 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? We hope to treat her ourselves, as there isn't a poultry vet here.
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use We have 4 hens in a 4'x6' house with wood shavings. They spend all day running the backyard.

UPDATE: I came across some info on Botulism and it seems like she may have this. Weak, limp wings, eyes closed, not moving. I went ahead and gave her some castor oil, because that is what we have and we don't have much to lose at this point. When I opened her mouth, I noticed she had mucus which she didn't have earlier. Anyone have experience with this?
She past away late last night, poor girl. I'm now concerned for the other hens.
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Sorry Dottie is not doing so well

What have you used to treat mites? (name/dose)
We dusted the chickens with Gardstar garden and poultry dust from TSC. We also used it in the coop, after a good cleaning.

We haven't used any medications, so far.
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Thank you. We tried, but I didn't figure out what was wrong until it was too late. I feel like I should give the 3remaining hens molasses water today to help flush their systems. Does anyone have any experience with this?

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