Lethargic Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shannonj, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. shannonj

    shannonj New Egg

    Aug 5, 2010
    My 15 week old Rhode Island Red (not sure of her weight, she seems about the same weight as the other chickens her age) seemed fine yesterday after a long morning spent outside in our enclosed yard.

    When I let her (and her four coop-mates) outside at 1pm today, she was crouched under the ramp and didn't follow her sisters outside (the rest ran out to freedom as usual).

    I was able to pick her up and could not find any apparent injuries or issues. When I put her back down she *slowly* walked to the corner and sat back down. She sat there for a solid 15 minutes, occasionally opening and closing her eyes, and rarely clucking.

    I called a neighbor who also has chickens and we were not able to ascertain anything, other than that she appears lethargic and is possibly listing side to side a bit when she walks. As neighbor was leaving, the chicken suddenly appeared fine, left the coop and walked into the yard to join her sisters. Unfortunately, her recovery only lasted a minute, she scratched briefly, then sat in the dirt (not under the plants in her usual spot).

    Although she is moving around occasionally (5 or 10 feet) she does not appear to be scratching or eating as normal. She continues to close her eyes and sit with her head down. She looks sort of tired.

    Her poop appears a bit runnier than normal, but not excessively so. No blood or other abnormalities.

    I have tried to offer her water, but she did not seem interested. She has not wandered around the yard to scratch or otherwise eat or drink. She has not taken her usual dust bath either.

    Although I have only noticed these symptoms for 3 hours, I didn't check on the girls this morning, so I'm not sure how long she was crouching under the ramp.

    Bedding: indoor run has gravel covered in wood chips, with a good dusting of DE. Night roosting box has pine shavings on floor.

    I haven't tried feeding her yogurt yet, but I may try that later. I'm hoping that she ate something that has given her a tummy ache but I am concerned that it could be something more serious. I don't want her to suffer, but I am staying realistic that I'm not going to throw money at her and the vet.

    If anyone has seen similar symptoms in their chickens or has any wisdom, I would greatly appreciate it. (This flock is my first, I've only had them about 2 months.)


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