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Lethargic chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mtnw, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. mtnw

    mtnw Hatching

    Nov 18, 2011
    I'm new to raising chickens in an urban environment. I have four chickens and average two eggs a day. One of the chickens, however, has become very lethargic and sleeps a lot. She did not go into the coop last evening. Tonight I gave her some mineral oil and massaged her graw. I placed her in the coop despite the fact that she showed no interest in going into the coop.

    Any suggestions. Of the four chickens, she's the most docile, but she's doesn't act like the others.


  2. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Songster

    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    I don't know what a "graw" is.... haven't heard that yet. My ignorance, I am sure.

    Does she smell sour, is that why you gave her oil and massaged her "crop"?? If it was her crop? Food pouch on chest.

    How old is she? In my limited experience, if a chicken is more than six months old or thereabouts, they may well have worms. Have you wormed your flock? How many in your flock, and how old are they.... all of them? How long have you had them? Have you wormed them before, when, with what? Did you repeat?

    Has she stopped laying? Is she acting like she is trying to lay but can't, or is she sleeping and lethargic in and around the nest? Search and check for Eggbound, especially if she is young, has not been laying long.

    If you want to save her... (and I lost a hen that acted like that before I wormed the first time).... Get to the feed store and get some wormer Valbazen is quite pricey, expensive... Zimectrin Gold is less so.. comes in a smaller container, you get less...

    Valbazen is a milky liquid, like Milk of Magnesia consistency. Zimectrin Gold is a horse wormer a paste in a syringe. There are really no good Chicken wormers that kill all types of worms... these will.

    Use the SEARCH here on BYC -- dawg53 gives excellent info. on worming.

    Valbazen is given orally.. to each chicken one at a time... 1/2 cc/ml per standard size chicken... 1/4 cc/ml per bantam or small chicken. Repeat in ten days. There is the windpipe, the airway right behind the tongue in a chicken, you will see it when you open their mouth... AVOID IT... anytime you have to give water, food, medicine, vitamins, etc. orally, avoid that airway... You must withhold (not eat) eggs or chickens when worming.... withhold eggs starting with the first dose, redose in ten days.. then withhold the eggs for another 14 days.. safe on the 15th day after the second dose... 25th day after the first dose.
    Zimectrin Gold is a paste.... you can put it on bread or something they love to eat (mine love salad shrimp)... a "pea" size for standard chickens.. like a small green pea.. "wasabi peas".... or a BB size for Bantam and small chickens.. the size of a tiny BB from a BB gun. Same withholding.
    Use one or the other of these wormers... worm twice.. UNLESS YOU SEE TAPEWORM SEGMENTS IN THE POOP... (looks like rice?)... If it is tapeworms it will take three or four doses... ten days apart. You can use Valbazen for two doses and then switch up and use the Zimectrin Gold for a dose and keep checking the poop.

    Also... check your sick hen for mites... look under her wings and around her vent (egg and poop hole) for little bugs crawling around... if she has mites, get and sprinkle Sevin Dust on her areas where there are mites... underwings / "armpits", around the vent... on top of the tail where it meets the back...

    Now, an ugly fact.. if she is sick and you have her in the flock.. they can sense the weakness and may kill her. It is better to separate her until she gets strong again. But, you need to treat the whole flock.

    You can also get Buttermilk to mix with their food about three days after dosing with worming medicine.. clean and dust the coop, nesting boxes, roosts, etc with Sevin Dust as well. And, you can get Duramycin 10 (Tetracycline) -- an antibiotic to add to the water... especially hers.. 1 tsp. per gallon... change every day for at least three, five or seven days.... watch to see if symptoms improve in her or if anyone else gets the same symptoms.

    You can get a powdered Vitamin and Electrolyte solution to add to the water... but, if they are getting laying mash, crumble or pellets.. layer feed has all they need in it. Pedialyte, unflavored for her added to her water might help her, if she is not eating. Scrambled eggs and yogurt for her as well if she is not eating much.

    Well.. I don't know much..... really... please check for input from others.. but, I do suggest, if the chickens have never been wormed and are more than five months old... six or seven months or more... that worming immediately might be the key.

    Please Search here for each and every symptom you see.. and give more info about the chickens, their coop, bedding, ages, floor, feed, what you have done so far, how many you have... worming history, etc... I am giving you "blind" input as you did not provide much info... so... this may be useless.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011

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