my hen is sick. what does she have?

Flock Runner

9 Years
Nov 27, 2011
one of my hens is really sick. she went missing for three days and i thought she had been eaten or something. she did come back, but she's sick. she's sneezing a lot, having a hard time breathing, being lethargic, and has yellowish green diarea. does this sound like anthing in particular? can it be cured? and most of all, is it contageous? i really really REALLY don't want to ave to cull her. she's only a year old and a real sweat heart.
makes me

Uniontown Poultry

9 Years
Sep 7, 2010
Southwestern Pennsylvania
An avian vet, or a vet that will see your chicken and do a tracheal culture, can tell you what the illness is. The trouble breathing and the lethargy are the most worrisome symptoms at this point. If she sounds like a Mr. Coffee maker, it may be pneumonia. A vet could tell you for sure, and prescribe the right antibiotics, but not everyone has a vet near them, or the money, or the desire. When I took my show bird for similar symptoms, it turned out to be bacterial pneumonia, and the whole episode set me back $150.

Without a vet, I'd recommend supportive therapy: put her indoors, by herself, in a place that has a source of heat (heat lamp or pad). Give her water with poultry electrolytes in it (available at farm/feed stores), and watery treats like watermelon or canteloupe or tomatoes. You can give her a little bread if she will eat it. See if the electrolytes help the diarrhea, and if the heat therapy (especially if it's a light) helps dry her out. Heat is good for relaxing them, and letting them use their caloric intake for immune response rather than heatng the body. You can try an over the counter antibiotic from the feed store but I would have no idea which one. You may want to contact Peter Brown the "Chicken Doctor" at First State Veterinary. I think he has a number or email on his website. Until you can run medicine through her, the supportive care can be very helpful. Good Luck!

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