Lethargic hen, laying in nesting box, clear discharge. Help!


In the Brooder
May 22, 2017

My 18 month old (free range) hybrid laying hen, Celestial, has come down with some illness or other (that I suspect is egg peritonitis).
-Symptoms noticeable beginning today. She is the only one exhibiting symptoms
-She has been lethargic, awkward and sleepy and stands around with her eyes half-closed. Normally bright and active
-She constantly retreats to her nesting box and sits there as if she were trying to lay (no straining to lay) and has been there most of the day
-Unkempt;no preening
-Normal-ish droppings, mixed with a thick transparent or whitish-yellow discharge; first noticed 6;30 this morning
-I gave her a bath yesterday and cleaned matted fecal matter from below her vent
-No egg layed today or yesterday (at least); known for her large, thin shelled, pale eggs
- Eats idly, empty crop. However I fed her a mixture of applesauce, cooked egg, laying pellets and plain yogurt which she ate slowly
-I have not seen her drink any water, although I suspect she has had some
-I have isolated her in a 'hospital box'(an old brooding box), but as that seemed to make her worse, I put her back with my 5 other hens.
-She is housed in a 4 foot by 7 foot coop with a 6 by 8 foot run and with 5 other hens. She free-ranges most days. The bedding is hay.
-She is not broody
-Also, it has been warmer than usual lately. (In the 20's Celcius, compared to 10-19 Celcius)
(Here is her sitting in her box)
I am looking for a diagnosis and treatment suggestions for her. She is a valued member of my flock:(

Last edited:
Glenda Heywood answered
Lethargic chicken/two vit's/wet mash/E.coli
For this problem I recommend my wet mash probiotic with... yoguart be given.
I prefer to use the wet mash probiotic that includes chicken feed, yoguart and milk with applesauce
because chickens will eat the yoguart completely in the wet mash where as some chickens will not just eat yoguart ans it gets on their beaks, of which then they throw it away when cleaning the beaks
as you will notice if staanding too close to them eating the yoguart

So read on down where I give the recipe
some advice for helping the chicken get over the lathargice

lathargic , I would suggest and advanced case of E.coli.

With all that is noted here is some good help that I have found to work for the health of the chicken

you mention sluggish behavior that denotes he has a gut problem

So here is what I would do at this time to help him get to feeling better

This is for single bird and I would isolate him so you know what he is eating
if you do not have a rabbit cage you can put her in the garage in a dog carrier till she is better
I would start with the Vit E and Vit B complex with wet mash

chickens do get some upset in the gut with E.coli and then it goes to a nervous disorder
natural probiotic wet mash with Vit E and Vit B complex added immediately
basically the chicken has some nerve damage from the E.coli do this immediately
need neurolodigal vit E and Vit B complex for E.coli and the nervous disorder Also the apple cider vineager in water

(1) 2 tbsp acv per gallon of water till chickens are well and then 2 times a week for life
for one chicken use 1 tbsp of ACV
1 pint of water

(2 immediately give the chicken 1000 mg capsule of liquid Vit E by cutting the end of the capsule and taking the vit E liquid and mix in wet mash probiotic

(2-B) total amt of capsules equals the total amt of chickens fed vit's multiply amt of recipe times amt of chickens fed it and the amt of vit's times amt of chickens given them

(3 also need to crush a vit B complex pill in tabsp and add tsp of water to it
put it in the chickens wet mash after it is disolved

(3-C) then give this to the chicken twice a week for two weeks should see much improvement

after the chicken has eaten the wet mash probiotic clean wet feeder and restock dry crumble feed.

(4 Do both Vit's twice today then for 7 days till you see some improvement in the chicken

(5 today I would see if the chicken will eat a wet mash with the Vitamins E and B complex

natural probiotic wet mash
2 tbp of dry crumbles
1 tbsp flax seed meal (the kind people take)
3 tbp of milk sweet, sour or buttermilk
1 tbsp of non flavored yogurt
2 tbsp of apple sauce
put it on top so the chicken can smell and see it
mix good and put the
vit E liquid as directed in the wet mash
and crumble the Vit B complex tablet in a tabsp and add to the wet mash

(6 Do this twice a day for 7 days to see if the chicken is better
then do this once a day for another week then once a week for a while
this should give the nervous system some stability and cure the bad E.coli in the gut
(6-A) they should clean it up in 20-30 minutes
this will help them get good gut flora
also put 2 tbsp of ACV in gallon of water and keep giving them this water for a week straight
then give it 3-5 times a week for life
Glenda Heywood Cassville Missouri
Thank you Glenda Heywood for your very helpful suggestions. She is drinking water with ACV now and I will give her the vitamin mash later on today. She seems to have perked up a little and is talking quietly.

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