I believe I've got a sick hen


In the Brooder
6 Years
Jun 12, 2013
Roy, Washington
I've got 3 RIR's and 3 W Leghorns. All hatched in March and raised together. All seem to be very fat and happy just not laying yet.

3 days ago before work I let them out in the morning to free range. Usually they're all the the run door lining up to go play but I notice one of my leghorns isn't out yet. Very unusual so I peek my head in the coop and she's lying in a nesting box. When she sees me she casually gets up and walks over to the roost. This is the first time I've seen any of the girls use a box for anything so I walk over and check. There it was MY FIRST EGG!! The egg was soft and didn't seem fully developed but I was still happy I got one.

Anyways since that morning 3 days ago she hasn't moved from that roost. Everyday I'd go in, pick her up and bring her outside but she immediately heads back for the roost. Doesn't take any food, water or any playing time outside like the rest of the girls? She looks lethargic, her tail is down, the pink around her eyes has gone to a pale cream color and her comb has gone limp (but still very red in color). This afternoon I see she has finally come out to bathe with the other girls but isn't running, scratching, or making the wild noises with the rest. I have seen her forage a little but mostly lay in the same spot.

My question is that is she sick or is this an egg laying related thing? Is her body changing to lay? None of the other girls have missed a step. They're going on with their day just fine. Please help!!!

Thank you, Brian

Take a rubber glove and lubricate a finger and insert it 1 1/2 inches into her vent and gently feel for an egg that is stuck. If anything is there , soak her in a warm bath for 15 minutes to see if she passes it. If she has a broken egg inside, the shell must come out. Then check her crop (first thing in morning is best because it should be flat.) Sour crop can make her sick. Does she have diarrhea?

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