lethargic hen, squishy crop, darkening comb, thin shelled egg??!!


In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 6, 2010
Madison, Florida
My 3 y/o hen laid a thin shelled egg yesterday, the contents of the egg were in the nest box, I found the shell quite a ways away. I found her lethargic, crop like a water balloon, white foamy diarrhea with green bits in it and her comb going purple. My first thought was a bit of egg was still inside her, so we did an exam. Found nothing, but rinsed her with a mild vinegar solution anyways. I separated her, and this morning her crop is the same and she is very sleepy. Her weight is good. Until yesterday she's been in robust health and given us a perfect egg every other day.

I've been reading threads and am awash in possibilities as to what's wrong. Sour crop? Parasites? (We live in rural north Florida, it's been warm and wet and the insect population is thriving!) Blackhead? (Last year we had a problem with our neighbors running their turkeys on our land)

The flock was wormed with Safeguard the first week in February. I'm starting to sew the sort of runny poops I usually associate with worms. Until last week, egg production was at a high - 10 - 11 eggs a day from 14 1 to 4 y/o hens. Lately we've been getting less, with the occasional thin shelled egg. The flock eats layer pellets, free ranges and has oyster sell and (cooked) egg shells available. Any thin shell problems up to now have responded to a little canned salmon. The bird I'm posting about hasn't shown any signs of needing vitamin D or phosphorous, so she hasn't been getting salmon.

The only advice I have available locally is from the lady at the coop who teaches poultry for 4-H, if she's working today. I want to help my hen and am not sure where to start. Thanks in advance for any advice!
Sorry to be so long answering your question. It's been one chicken crisis after another here!

I would start by treating your hen for calcium deficiency. Give her some Tums or other calcium suppliment along with vitamin D and phosphorous. I've found the handiest source of the last two to be canned salmon with the bones. Grind up the bones to make sure the hen eats them, they contain the phosphorous.

My hen turned out to have a very bad sour crop. We vomited her to empty it and fed her some Monistat cream. She responded so quickly that I'm tempted to buy stock in Monistat...
Now I'm waiting to see if her egg shell issues have also improved.

Good luck with your hen! Let me know how she does.

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