Need help asap please


In the Brooder
9 Years
Sep 7, 2010
I purchased a hen (not sure what she is) about a month ago from someone who bought them for his six year old. The hen, Lulu is about a year old.

Right after we got her (and maybe before) she started getting really tired after walking and would walk on her withers and now she has a really poopy bottom. She is getting weaker and weaker. She is so skinny and almost gone. We brought her into the house in a dog crate for the night. It is 50 degrees and cools to 30 at night right now. They have heat lights at night.

On Monday I started giving her starter feed (because it has anitbiotics in it) but it is not helping at all. I think she was laying eggs because one egg was always poopy, but none now.

Any suggestions? I am not sure she will be here in the morning.

Egg stuck?

Thank you so much for reading this. I want to do whatever it takes to make her feel better. She is so pretty.

Probably all three. Clean her rear end and visually inspect her for lice/mites, you'll be able to see them if she has them. You stated that she's so skinny and almost gone, I recommend that you buy a bottle of wazine and worm her. Dosage is one half ounce per half gallon of water (since you'll be dosing for only 1 hen.) Let that be her only water to drink for 24 hours straight, then discard and provide her with regular freshwater. Discontinue the starter feed. Provide her with scrambled egg (extra protein) mixed in her layer feed. Continue feeding her this after worming. Keep an eye on the color of her poop. Green is usally a sign of not eating, yellow is usually infection and/or a combination of either. If she has lice or mites, dust her with sevin dust. Repeat the dusting in 10 days to kill nits that have hatched since the first dusting. Make sure you dust the dog crate in the same manner. You also can add poultry nutri drench to her water to give her a vitamin and mineral boost. If you suspect she might be her in a container of warm water halfway up her sides. Gently massage her underside for about 10 minutes or so. Then wear a plastic glove and put some olive oil on it and insert your finger into her vent checking for any debris or obstruction. The warm water helps expand her innards and the massage helps stimulate and move the egg along inside her body. The finger insertion into the vent with olive oil helps stretch the insides and lubes it as well to help her lay the egg much easier. Good luck.
That's happened to 2 of my chickens in the past year, it's like they starved themselves to death. A 3rd I managed to save by making her french toast every day till she got her appetite back.
I am very sad to tell you Lulu did not make it.

I found out the hard way how quickly a chicken can go down. We also found out the hard way that she had mites or fleas. They looked a lot like fleas but were blond instead of brown. I had them crawling all over me and so did my son. Such an aweful feeling! We showered. Is that enough??????

Now, what do we do with the coop and the other chickens? We have 8 more chickens that share a coop with 3 peacocks. How do I treat the area and bedding?

It gets to about 30 at night but colder tonight - around 20 degrees. We have been keeping two heat lamps on in the coop at night so they can stay warm (not sure why when it is 30 degrees out). Will a light freeze kill all but the ones on the chickens? No one else is having any visible issues.

Thank you for trying to help save her. Now if you would be so kind as to help us clean up our mess.

No more rescue chickens for us until we learn more.

A tough lesson to learn...sorry for your loss. We couldve helped sooner if you had posted sooner. Sounds like she had lice...sevin dust wouldve killed them in a heartbeat. As far as the coop goes, you need not only to dust all your chickens and your peacocks, but their house as well, including the roosts and nests....everything. Repeat dusting in 10 days...everything, including your chickens and peacocks. Dont worry, showering will kill the lice that got on you. When you take in new chickens, make sure you quarantine them for at least 30 days minimum, completely seperated a good distance away from your current flock. This gives you time to inspect them for lice/mites and treat them. You should also deworm them. This also gives you time to observe if there's any other problems such as sneezing, snotting dont want to introduce a bacterial, viral or fungal problem to your otherwise healthy flock. In other words, practice biosecurity. If you dont, you could end up having to cull your flock causing alot of grief, heartbreak and expense.
I am trying to answer all the questions in my head so please bear with me.

Why would it kill one chicken and not have the same effect on the others? I am going to completely clean the coop and dust the birds. I am just amazed that she went from a little weakness (which I knew was serious) to death so quickly. Being it was Sunday, my son was tending the coop instead of me and he said he thought she was just sleeping or nesting. I know I should have e-mailed sooner, but hoped she would bounce back after the antibiotics.

Did the bugs (whatever they were) suck all the blood from her? Why did it kill her? Was she a weaker bird to begin with?

Sorry, just need to work out all the questions to prevent any further problems.

You purchased the new chicken a month ago from someone. The chicken was infested with lice when you bought it. You introduced it to the rest of your flock. Therefore some of the lice most likely have migrated to your other chickens and peacocks. Not all of them are going to migrate away from their host (the new chicken)...why should they when they have a nice warm place to suck the blood (and life) out of her? With so much blood loss, it causes anemia and weakens the chickens immune system which opens the doors to other diseases. In your case, the blood loss to the lice was what killed her. Give enough time for the lice to multiply and infest the others you have... and they'll eventually kill all your chickens and peacocks. To prevent this problem from happening again...follow quarantine procedures and inspect your chickens/peacocks frequently for lice/mites, treat with sevin dust, as well as your coop.
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