Need to Tube Severely Molting Hen


Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Apr 10, 2016
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Greetings. My young barred rock hen is molting very severely. I’ve brought her in the last few nights and kept her out during the day. However, yesterday she started stumbling so I brought her in. I think she’s very dehydrated, and I want to tube her fluids. This would be my very first tubing. I have everything I need, but I’m afraid to handle her because she is my least handled bird and is basically a porcupine. Advice? This is becoming urgent.

@casportpony @azygous @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock


Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Jun 24, 2012
Step 1:
Bring duck inside and place in a warm room, 80-85 degrees is ideal (watch for signs of over-heating).

Step 2:
Weigh the duck

Step 3:
Once warmed, correct hydration and this should not be done until the duck is warmed up. Tube warmed (102 degrees) Pedialyte or Gatorade at 14 ml per pound of body weight, wait 60-90 minutes and repeat. If no poop is produced by 3 hours after first tubing, repeat once more.

Step 4:
Once the duck is pooping you can start tubing warmed Kaytee Exact baby bird food or a non-lay crumble (lay crumble has too much calcium). Start by tubing 14 ml per pound of body weight and increase a little at each feeding. Do not exceed 23 ml per pound of body weight. Sick birds are tube fed 2-4 times a day.

"Tube feeding, also known as gavage feeding, is an essential part of avian supportive care. Sick birds are often presented with a history of anorexia, and glycogen stores may be depleted within hours in the granivore (including psitacine, passerine and galliform species) secondary to a relatively high metabolic rate. Another important indication for gavage feeding is a documented drop in body weight of 5% to 10%."
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