Pale, lethargic chicken

KatsGotChicks

In the Brooder
Jun 25, 2016
10
6
27
Help! I went outside this morning to find one of my hens laying on her side in the yard. She is very weak and barely even moves her head or opens her eyes. Her comb and wattles are pale and shriveled/flopped over. Her body temp seems low. She had some dried poop on her butt. I have washed her off and bundled her in a blanket with a hot water bottle. I plan on feeding her with a syringe dropper. My husband says he noticed her sitting around and staying mostly inside the coop for the last few days. Someone has been laying wrinkle eggs, could this be related? I see no wounds, noting is moist or oozing. Ive never seen signs of parasites on my chickens b4, and I don’t think there are any now. What could be the cause of her illness, and what can I do for her other than basic hygiene and nutrients?
 

Eggcessive

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Wrinkled eggs may be a sign of infectious bronchitis where symptoms are sneezing, but it can cause problems with egg formation and sometimes, kidney problems.
With her comb shriveled and pale, she may not even be laying, but it does sound like she is sick and dehydrated.
I would continue keeping her warm, possibly bringing her inside in a crate. Give her fluids by holding a small cup up to her beak, and add electrolytes or give a couple of ml’s of poultry NutriDrench. Offer some chopped egg, tuna, or liver plus her usual feed. Sometimes they will eat wet feed which gets more liquids into them.


Do you know how old she is? Chickens may be afficted with different problems, but hens over 2 will more frequently have reproductive disorders such as internal laying, egg yolk peritonitis, and ascites. Sometimes it takes some time to figure out the problem.

Do a complete exam, feeling of her breastbone for weight loss, feel of her lower belly for fullness or swelling, check the crop to see if it is empty and flat, or full and hard or puffy. Look her over for lice and mites. What do her poops look like—runny or off color?
 

KatsGotChicks

In the Brooder
Jun 25, 2016
10
6
27
She is around 2. She feels pretty bony and skinny. I felt up and down her neck and found nothing that stood out, so I don’t think there is anything in her crop. I don’t see any lice/mites. Im not sure she has anything in her system to produce poop. She’s so weak I don’t think she’s been eating. She had some greenish poop smeared on her butt when I found her this morning, but hasn’t produced anything since being brought inside. I blended up some oatmeal and mixed in some honey. I have her about 12mL of that. I hope it perks her up!
 

Kiki

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I am sorry your found you bird like this.
Could the others possible be keeping her away from the food?

Search up tube feeding...it may be too late though.
 

KatsGotChicks

In the Brooder
Jun 25, 2016
10
6
27
She is around 2. Nothing in her crop until after I gave her a bunch of runny oatmeal mixed w/ honey via syringe. Then it felt like a water balloon. She has been inside since I found her. She is very bony and skinny, no signs of lice or mites. We haven’t noticed any sneezing. She probably hasn’t eaten for a while, so I don’t think she has anything in her stystem to poop out. There hasn’t been any poop except for the dried on poop that I washed off of her when I found her. :(
 

Eggcessive

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Hopefully, she will start eating and drinking and get her energy up again. I agree that she may have been kept from eating by others, or she had been too weak to eat or get to food and water. Tube feeding is an option to learn, but as long as she is eating and drinking on her own, she may be okay. Right now, fluids are more important than food so that she gets hydrated. Electrolytes in her water, pedialyte, or even gatorade can be useful.
 

KatsGotChicks

In the Brooder
Jun 25, 2016
10
6
27
Improvement! Today she opens her eyes and looks up when I walk in. She’s not standing or moving yet, but she is showing interest in food. She ate the canned tuna I offered her without help! She is having some diarrhea, but it is normal colored.
 

KatsGotChicks

In the Brooder
Jun 25, 2016
10
6
27
Update: hen is doing well. She is eating and drinking on her own and no longer needs to be forced. She isn’t standing or walking yet, but she is finally controlling her legs. She is now able to keep them under herself and use them to keep herself in an upright sitting position. She is still having diarrhea, which is dark (maybe black) and white.
 

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