Not eating and is all bones.

#lovemychickens

Chirping
Jul 24, 2017
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I have a Rhode Island Red who is about 2 1/2 years old. She has been on layer feed and an occasional treat of scratch/ corn/ black oil sunflower seeds. About two weeks ago she started to be a little less active and about a week and a half ago she was just standing there not moving around much. Eventually she would just sit there and she would stay out in the run while the others went into the coop. We brought her in and checked to see if she was egg bound and there’s no egg. We’ve kept her inside where it’s warm and quiet. I don’t know when the last time she laid an egg was because we haven’t been getting many eggs due to the cold MN winter and less daylight and I don’t know who is laying an egg here and there. She is drinking some water when it’s out in front of her but isn’t eating. Her poop is dark green/ brown.. sometimes it almost looks black.. and has the consistency of tiny fish eggs/ large coffee grounds. I thought maybe worms so I wormed her and she is still lethargic acting. Her comb and wattles are a nice red color. No drainage from her nostrils or eyes. Every once in a while she pants/ breathes heavy. I checked for sour and impacted crop and that’s not it either. Any help would be appreciated. I don’t know what is causing this and I don’t want her to die. 😭
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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Sorry about your hen. Some hens will prematurely suffer from reproductive disorders (internal laying, egg yolk peritonitis, salpingitis,) or may have ascites or water belly. As long as her crop is empty early in the morning, it sounds like her crop is working, but crop problems occur with repro disorders sometimes. Has she lost weight in her breast muscles and doe she feel light? Is there a fullness in her lower belly between the legs compared to other hens? I would bring her in to a crate and offer some wet chicken feed mixed with a small amount of plain greek yogurt. Scrambled egg is good too, and add some chick vitamins to her water for a few days. Poultry NutriDrench 2 ml daily would be a good substitute.
 

#lovemychickens

Chirping
Jul 24, 2017
63
71
81
She has no breast muscle left and I can feel her bones under her. She does have some fullness still in the far back of her. Crop is empty in the morning but honestly hasn’t had much in there except water since she isn’t eating. I’ve tried the yogurt which she ate at first and no longer eats. I’ve offered her eggs, soft bread, wet chicken feed, cottage cheese, berries, lettuce.. I think I’ve tried just about everything. I’ve also put ACV in her water. I’m at a loss. Is it better to just put her down?!? I don’t want to give up on her but don’t want her to suffer either. My heart is breaking!
 

chicken danz

Crowing
May 20, 2010
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Waverly
Check inside her mouth to see if there is a white or yellow build up. That would indicate trichomanosis. If so you need to treat ASAP. Message me and I will give you treatment suggestions.
The fact that her poop is green is an indication that she has no food in her system and or that her liver is malfunctioning. To keep her alive just a bit longer add sugar and some salt to her water. And if you are near a store grab some pedialyte or equivelant, the kind with no flavor and mix that about 50 50 with the sugar/salt water. Add a few drops of veggie oil to the mix as well in case there is some bloakage in her system. The fat won't hurt her at all!!! You may have to use a dropper and give it to her by mouth if she isn't drinking it on her own.
The next thing to check is to check for mites and or poultry lice. Sometimes to see these you need to give them a bath in warm water and look under the feathers. If she has these you probably need to dip her in a mix of warm water with a glug of permectin ( do not confuse with pyrethrum!!) or buy some sevin dust for plants and give her a good coating of it. Careful not to stir up too much dust!
There are several things that can cause this sort of thing. A liver malfunction, a heart problem, viruses, bacterial infections, a blockage in the trachea, etc etc. If the cause isn't apparent then you just have to start from stabilizing her by giving her some energy to function on then eliminate one thing at a time.
In the event of a fatty liver or heart problems you can't tell for sure and there is really nothing you can do to save her.
If a chicken is sick you need to keep her warm. Avoid dairy products.
Although sometimes the bacteria in things like yogurt help the digestive system, chickens do not digest diary products; they don't have the enzymes present to break them down properly, and it can further cause additional problems.
Let me know what you find if anything. If she starts eating again offer her some softly scrambled egg with some water added so they are more fluid to begin with.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
Apr 3, 2011
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If you check inside her beak and throat with a light, look for any cankers, or yellow gunk, and smell for a bad odor.

Cancer is another illness that can affect the reproductive system or other organs. Vitamins, especially B vitamins can sometimes help with appetite. If you would like to try tube feeding her and want to learn how, here is a good thread to learn how:

 

#lovemychickens

Chirping
Jul 24, 2017
63
71
81
She’s still alive! I bought some unflavored Pedialyte and did a 50/50 ratio with water. She drank some but not a lot. She ate maybe a 1/4 slice of bread and a few strands of shredded lettuce. I checked her mouth and there is no yellow or white spots. The inside of her mouth is a pale pink. I checked for mites and lice and she doesn’t have any. What else could it be?
 
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