***PICS*** Hen Stuck in Molt & Sick (Yellow Skin, Orange Comb and Wattles)



11 Years
Jun 8, 2009
1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
Wyandott, 2 1/2 year old hen, lighter and thinner than her "twin"

2) What is the behavior, exactly.
Originally thought she was just going through a hard molt. Her feathers have not grown in correctly. She doesn't have much of an appetite, is tired and now won't lay down to rest - stands poofed up and closes her eyes. Her comb and wattles are almost an orange color, her legs are yellow. She hasn't layed in months. I am concerned she is starving to death.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
Five months (since June) Again, in my research I discovered that some hens can take as long as five months to finish the molting process.

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
No, she is the only one out of eight

5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
When she does eat (which is not much that I can see), layer crumbles, BOSS, scrambled eggs & tuna for snack, vegetable scraps, etc. One of the waterers has electrolytes in it.

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
Normal, but small in amount

9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
I would need to completely treat her myself

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
Coop with wood shavings, roost and nesting boxes - she roosts
Last edited:
Please. Should I worm her? Do you think she needs antibiotics? She is just standing by herself, weak and tired. Not laying down to rest with the rest of the flock.
Not sure what's going on. Wouldn't hurt to worm her, I guess, but I would imagine the others would have worms by now, if that's what's ailing her. Looks and sounds very ill and miserable. Sorry to say, but this is one I would humanely put down, to end the suffering. Before she starves to death.
Bless you and her! Yes - by all means give her antibiotics and do isolate her from the others - ensure that she is warm - sometimes these events happen and despite all the advice given she will or not will make it through... you are giving her great care! She needs to have some rest from her companions and hopefully she will make it through!

There is no harm in giving her ACV in her water - you can use a proprietary worming dose to help her further.

Keep up the great work you are doing for her!

Thanks so much for your input, janinepeters!

She just ate a hardboiled egg and I was able to finally capture poop pictures. (What a weird thing to say)!

First this:

And then 5 seconds later, this:

Wow. This is really gross.
Any more ideas? I have her inside in a quiet, heated room. Having difficulty getting her to eat anything, including the tuna that has the antibiotic mixed in! I'm second guessing on whether or not I should worm her...I know it can be hard on them. Thanks for any further input!
If she's weak, I'd hold off on blindly administering worming meds. They're pretty tough of a healthy bird's system and could make her condition worse if that's not the problem. To be honest, her feces look normal (the second, gross one is just a cecal poop), but to be sure, grab a sample that has NOT been in contact with soil and take it to a local vet for worm analysis. Any regular vet who does dog/cat worm testing can do chickens, too and they can tell not only if there is evidence of worms but what type of worms you're dealing with (if there are any). That's important so that you choose the correct medication.

If you haven't yet, check her for lice, mites, and fleas. Flip her upside down and examine her vent area thoroughly, as that's the most likely place to find evidence of lice and mites. Also check her face, comb, and wattles very carefully. Run a search in this forum for lice, mites and fleas so that you know exactly what you're looking for and how to treat them. There is a considerable amount of information available and they're not too hard to deal with. If you DO find any on her, check the rest of the flock, because any are on one, they're likely on all.
Should I dissolve the antibiotic in a little bit of water and drip it into her mouth? She still hasn't had any. Oh, I checked her again for lice/mites and didn't see any, but I dusted her anyway. She is so very pale, almost yellow under the wings and vent area. Thank you!
Last edited:
You can try making a mush out of her chicken feed with some water, sometimes they will eat that. Or a scrambled egg. To get her to drink, use a medicine dropper and dribble it on top of her beak - it will drip down and she will drink some.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom