Lethargic hen

ChickWin

Chirping
Aug 1, 2019
21
53
54
Stagecoach, TX
When checking on the flock tonight we noticed one of our hens being lethargic and not coming to greet me as they all do expecting a little tread before bedtime.
I try to offer her some worms, she pecked them but didn't eat any. I picked her up and noticed her breathing sounded rough. Also notice a wound by one of her ears (maybe pecking).
She stayed very quietly in my arms (very unusual). I rubbed a little of Vet Rx under her wings and we separated her from the others.
It has been very hot the last 3 weeks - days reaching 100° and night rarely under 80°. All our girls go though a lot of water and some have very liquid poop. We give them fresh water (with some ice) and add electrolyte and vitamins. They have plenty of shaded area. Our laying hens are laying less and our 22 weeks old hens haven't laid a single egg yet. We moved them all in the same coop as the laying hens about 2 weeks ago.
The lethargic hen is one of the 22 weeks old, she's a production red or a New Hampshire red.
When we put her in the separate pen, she sneezed and we noticed some blood by her beak. I didn't notice anything wrong with her eyes or a runny nose.
We are planning on getting some Corid tomorrow and treat the entire flock.
I welcome any idea's or advise as I'm not sure about what may be her issue.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
24,660
36,368
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Since it's been so hot, it would be a good idea to also give her some electrolytes.

The breathing you describe sounds like a respiratory infection, but the blood nudges it over into the possible injury column.

Give her a good looking over for signs of injury to her back and neck areas. The lungs on a chicken are vulnerable on its back, and an injury could affect her breathing, especially if there may be internal hemorrhaging.
 

ChickWin

Chirping
Aug 1, 2019
21
53
54
Stagecoach, TX
Since it's been so hot, it would be a good idea to also give her some electrolytes.

The breathing you describe sounds like a respiratory infection, but the blood nudges it over into the possible injury column.

Give her a good looking over for signs of injury to her back and neck areas. The lungs on a chicken are vulnerable on its back, and an injury could affect her breathing, especially if there may be internal hemorrhaging.
Hi, Thank you for your input. We add electrolytes to our girls water everyday during the summer to help them. I have not seen any injuries, but I'll check her again tonight.
This morning she drank but wouldn't touch the scramble egg I fixed her. She still has the raspy noise when breathing, holding her butt feather down and doesn't move too much in her little enclosure.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
24,660
36,368
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Sometimes crop issues cause noisy sounds when a chicken breathes. Feel the crop tonight before roosting and then again first thing in the morning. If the crop is full, there's a crop disorder.

Hard and full in the morning may be an impacted crop. Full and squishy may be a yeast infection. Either will cause a chicken to act quite sick.
 

ChickWin

Chirping
Aug 1, 2019
21
53
54
Stagecoach, TX
Sometimes crop issues cause noisy sounds when a chicken breathes. Feel the crop tonight before roosting and then again first thing in the morning. If the crop is full, there's a crop disorder.

Hard and full in the morning may be an impacted crop. Full and squishy may be a yeast infection. Either will cause a chicken to act quite sick.
I will check her crop tonight, it didn't seem full yesterday, but I'll check it tonight and see if anything could be bothering her there. thank you.
 

ChickWin

Chirping
Aug 1, 2019
21
53
54
Stagecoach, TX
The key is to check the crop first thing in the morning to see if it's emptied completely overnight. If a crop has anything in it in the morning, it may need treating for a crop disorer.
She didn't really eat a lot yesterday, we gave her a bath with Epsom salt, gave her some Nutri Drench and rubbed a little bit of VetRX by her nose. This morning I checked her but couldn't feel anything in her crop it looked empty (but I'm no expert). She got up and started arranging her feathers, I added a few drops of VetRX to her water, rubbed some under her wings. We mashed up some feed pellets with Oat milk but she didn't go for it. Her poop is liquid bright green and white. Not sure what to think or to do.
 

micstrachan

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Apr 10, 2016
11,682
63,165
1,197
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Sorry about your hen. Just a heads up, bathing a sick hen that is not egg bound can make them sicker or even kill them. (I learned this the hard way.)

I have had luck perking up a sick hen with syringe feeding tiny amounts (less than half a mL) under or onto the tongue so she can swallow on her own. Having said that, mine are easily handled. A hen who gets super stressed from handling might not be a candidate for syringe feeding. Though I have not yet done it myself, it appears to me that tube feeding is pretty quick and could be less stressful for the bird.

I agree with everything @azygous has said.
 

ChickWin

Chirping
Aug 1, 2019
21
53
54
Stagecoach, TX
Sorry about your hen. Just a heads up, bathing a sick hen that is not egg bound can make them sicker or even kill them. (I learned this the hard way.)

I have had luck perking up a sick hen with syringe feeding tiny amounts (less than half a mL) under or onto the tongue so she can swallow on her own. Having said that, mine are easily handled. A hen who gets super stressed from handling might not be a candidate for syringe feeding. Though I have not yet done it myself, it appears to me that tube feeding is pretty quick and could be less stressful for the bird.

I agree with everything @azygous has said.
Thank you for the warning, since she hasn't laid any egg yet, I tried it thinking this could have been her issue. I won't bath her again. Looking for the Tylan, seems that the soluble recommended for chicken is only available with prescription (WTH). Tylon 200 Injection you can get at TSC.
She's pretty calm or more likely weak, we gave her the vitamins with syringe yesterday. I'm a little afraid to use the Tube feeding. I'll see tonight when I get home how she's doing. Thank you both for the input.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom