Not eating but drinking please advise

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Attila the Hen, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2010
    Blue Ridge GA
    I have searched the forum and do not see what I am looking for. It unbelievable, but there isn't much on a bird not eating. One of my hens, Buff Orpington 8 months old is not eating. She wants to drink though. She doesn't seem ill at the moment. She is out and about but isn't eating. I'll be watching her closely. One of the threads suggested bringing her in.
    I picked her up and felt around her body but I don't know what I'm looking for. She felt a bit hard around the lower part of her stomach but that may just be how chickens feel. I'll try another one later.
    Any suggestions?
  2. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    If you haven't seperated her do so now, try her with different foods, maybe bread or treats she likes. If she's drinking put some vitamins in the water. Watch for poop and check that, see what it looks like and check it against the poop web page. Check her comb for paleness or things like that. Keep her warm but not to warm, 60* or thereabouts. Chickens can take more cold than heat. Feel between her legs near her vent, if she is egg bound you will feel an egg shaped hardness. Then check for help in that area on the BYC pages if she is. Check her vent is it wet and pale, this will tell you if she's laying. Has she been laying?

    Hens should always have access to oyster shell grit. Chickens in general should always have access to insoluble grit. This prevents sour crop.

    Hoping all goes well

  3. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    I would also add yogurt, but rancher is right on everything else. have you recently dewormed or given any medications?

    I had a hen not eating but drinking a few weeks ago. took her in the house for 1 day, fed her all she wanted (which was nothing). not bread, not yogurt, not corn. Forced her to eat the yogurt by dipping her beak in it and some would go in her mouth (careful to avoid getting it in her nose). She wasn't eating, but I was afraid she was too nervous being away from everyone and in the house. I put her back with the flock but forced her yogurt twice daily for another day or 2 and on the 3rd day she was eating like the others.

    in my case I am sure it was sour crop caused not by impaction, but lack of good bacteria in the gut that was disturbed by antibiotics.

    a lot of things can cause them not to eat, most commonly sour crop, impacted crop, heavy worm load, internal laying, it is important to assess the chicken and see what you can see/smell and what the poo looks like. Pick up and examine a healthy birds abdomen to see how it is supposed to feel. If you smell something, check another for the same smell. Any dirty feathers around the vent? those sorts of things.

    good luck

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by