Lethargic Hen


In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 24, 2014
Livonia NY
Hello everyone!
I am a new member to the site:)
I have a hen that is about 6 months old that seems pretty lethargic.
I noticed two days ago she was acting a little strange while she had her feathers puffed and seeming to start trouble with the other hens by picking fights and making a low growl sound. Yesterday I found an unusually small egg in the coop (all the hens have been laying since mid August now) this egg was considerably smaller than all other eggs they have laid. I of course don't know which hen laid this tiny egg but just with this now lethargic hen I begin to wonder if it is hers.
This morning while feeding them I noticed she was off a fair amount away from the others dozing off then walking with her eyes closed as if she was too tired to deal. So I walked right up to her (unusual for her not to walk away from me) picked her up without a slight struggle from her and noticed she felt a little thin in her breast bone area. I brought her into the house and whipped up some scrambled eggs which she ate slow and mostly with her eyes closed but she ate a good amount then drank water just fine. I waited for her to poo and she did it was a "normal" brownish color constancy seemed good. Her eyes are clear and her color looks great. As of now she is standing quietly in a cozy cage in the house watching cartoons with my son dozing off quite a bit and not making any sounds. Anybody know why the lethargic ness is going on?
Have you wormed your flock at all? Might be a good idea to get them on a regular schedule if you haven't already. Also, what is their usual food? Have you checked them over for mites/lice? Those buggers can really bring a chicken down.
Have you wormed your flock at all?  Might be a good idea to get them on a regular schedule if you haven't already.  Also, what is their usual food?  Have you checked them over for mites/lice?  Those buggers can really bring a chicken down.

Thank you for the reply Baybaypeepers!
I dewormed them over the summer after noticing some had blood in their stools. The dewormer was a powder that was mixed into the food Dailey over a few weeks. If I recall right I did that from early June to Late July. It seemed to work well as there didn't seem to be blood in stools a few days after I started treatment. The chickens are free range but I still offer them chicken feed I think the brand is Purina (sp?) I will check them for mites!
Also, have you looked into on coccidiosis? The blood in the stool makes me think that could possibly be an issue. Are any other hens showing signs of illness?
Yes I had thought about coccidiosis when the blood was in the stool months ago. I made sure that the treatment I gave them would cover coccidia as well as other parasites. How often is good to treat them for worming?
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

If you are seeing a lot of blood in the poop, then coccidiosis is no doubt the cause. You would want to get some Corid (Amprolium) from the feed store. It is used for 5 to 7 days and will take care of cocci.

When and how often you worm really depends on a few things....you clean your facilities are, how many birds you have, if they free range, if you have added new birds from unknown sources to your flock recently. And it also depends on what you are worming with. I have had great luck with Safeguard Liquid Goat Wormer. It takes care of most all worms in the birds body with the exception of a few species of tapeworms. Tapes are not all that common. Valbazen will take care of every worm then have. Once or twice a year is good for free ranged birds or birds kept in crowded spaces.

You might also post this in our emergency section for more help with your hen as well...https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/10/emergencies-diseases-injuries-and-cures

Don't wait too long if you are seeing blood in the stool. Cocci can kill fast. So can an impaction of worms.

Good luck and I hope you can get her back to good health soon.
You could try crushing a calcium pill and feeding it to her in some yogurt or bread. If theres an egg the calcium may help get it out. Speaking of calcium, do you provide oyster shell?

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