Lethargic skinny chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Vadgo, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. Vadgo

    Vadgo In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2009
    I called the chickens to give them treats and noticed my 1.5 yr old Buttercup "running" over to get food on slow motion and looking like she was drunk. She acts "normal", only everything is in slow motion. You know how their heads bob when they walk? hers is a slow motion bob. She forages with the others just fine, but her wings are droopy, her bottom is clean (no diarrhea that I can tell), the comb does look pale and a bit limp. She eats and drinks just fine, and ran away when I went to pick her up, but she was so slow that I caught her. Her crop was full, but not not hard. Forgot to check this morning to see if it emptied.

    When I picked her up I was surprised to see that she is skin, bones and feathers! But none of my chickens are fat. They all seem skinny to me compared to the stuff you get at the grocery store, but the buttercup was beyond skinny. They eat layer crumbles.
    I have no idea if she has been laying or not. I felt her tummy, and it's all bones, nothing feels swollen, though she did feel squishy and like she has sand inside her. I don't think there's an egg in there either. I thought maybe mites had been sucking her dry, so I put Iprenex on her, but I didn't see mites or lice on her or the other chickens. She does not make any noise, no clucks, nothing, except when I picked her up, but it was so quiet, I could barely hear her.

    Then I noticed my mottled houdan is silent too, but she's "weaning" her baby chicks and seems to not make noise when they're around, so I thought maybe it was to not encourage them, because she acts just fine when apart from her babies. None of the other chickens have any similar symptoms.

    What could it be and what can I do? I bought some electrolytes and will put her in a cage by herself tonight when I get home.

  2. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    She may require worming, some birds are more sensitive to worms than others which is why she's so thin and your others are doing okay.
  3. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Songster

    Jun 30, 2008
    I agree - if you haven't wormed your chickens lately, you should. And dust their coop and the birds themselves to get rid of mites.

    Give her electrolyte water, and for food, you can buy baby parrot feed at petsmart - get that, mix it with water and feed it to her. I also mixed it with yogurt when my Holly was sick, for extra nutrients/good stuff for her digestive system. If you do feed her yogurt, get plain yogurt or activia.

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