One dead this morning, the other two are looking lethargic and hunched.


6 Years
Sep 25, 2013
Hi, first time backyard chicken owner here. I live in eastern washington state and have (had) three pullets around 15 wks old. This morning I came out to find one of my chickens died in the night - in the hen house no less. Yesterday she seemed fine, nothing out of the ordinary. Active, eating, and drinking. It has been cold and rainy the past 4-5 days so I didn't think much of her being hunched most of the time (they all were a little but still looking for food and moving about the coop). I checked her body and couldn't find any obvious signs of death - no puncture marks or anything like that, no swollen eyes or crop.

I checked the other two, and they seem fine besides being particularly lethargic and hunched as well. They came running for breakfast as usual, and both ate but then went back inside the house and huddled together. I thought maybe they are too cold so I went and got a heat lamp. However, I have done some further reading and think that can't be the case. It is only ~40F, so not that cold, and they are Buckeyes, which are a particularly cold-hardy breed. made it sound like they would be fine well into negative temperatures. Their house is small - 3ft X 4ft X 3ft, with plenty of bedding. Not much warmer than the outside as the small 1ft X 1ft door stays open all day, but a little warmer none the less.

So, even though they don't have diarrhea or bloody poop, I thought I might treat for coccidiosis. I know they are very susceptible to it, and the lethargic behavior matches. Other than that I can't think of anything. Their eyes, beaks, and crops seem fine.

Any suggestions?
Coccidiosis can occur in wet conditions, especially if they have recently moved to new ground. There are 9 strains of cocci, and most chickens are immune to the kind on their home turf by 10-12 weeks old, but any bird can get other strains. Usually birds are not eating well, and have diarrhea (sometimes bloody.) Treatment is Corid liquid 2 tsp (or 1 tsp powder) per gallon of water for 5-7 days. In the meantime, check them for lice and mites esp. in the vent area, and think of worming them.
40 degrees is too cold for a sick chicken, so a well secured heat lamp is a good idea. Check their perches at night for mites and check them for mites and lice.

If you decide to treat for coccidiosis, the mfg of Corid and Amprol told me that the 20% powder dose for poultry is 4.5 grams which I think is 1.5 teaspoons, it is *not* 1/2 teaspoon! The 9.6% liquid dose is 2 teaspoons. Make fresh daily for 5 days. When I get off this iPad I'll post some more Corid/Amprol info for you.

Poop pictures would be helpful.


New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom