Please Help! Sick Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by benedict2019, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. benedict2019

    benedict2019 Hatching

    Oct 20, 2019
    My Easter Egger hen, roughly 9 and a half years old, has progressively been losing her vision. The other day we found her continuously turning her head as though she were dying, and when my mom picked her up, she rolled onto her back (she would NEVER do this) but she didn't do this when I picked her up. After about 10 minutes, she snapped out of it, and 2 days later she's doing it again! Although this time she seems more alert. She drank water not too long ago and I've been trying to convince her to eat. Is this some sort of sickness that we can cure or is she dying of old age?
    microchick likes this.
  2. microchick

    microchick Crossing the Road

    First off @benedict2019, welcome to BYC! So sorry your first post is concerning a sick hen but so glad you joined us. You have come to the right place for help.

    You said you suspect she is 1) going blind and 2) dying from old age. Is she exhibiting any symptoms other than lack of appetite and loss of vision? 9 is a geriatric hen to be sure. You must have given her excellent care and love down through the years.

    As for illnesses, if she isn't having trouble breathing, not having discharge from her beak or nose, not having any swelling of her face, I would probably be looking at an age related problem. Birds have the same things go wrong that we do as we age, they just cannot tell us where it hurts. If she were human I would suspect that she is having a Transient Ischemic Attack which is stroke like symptoms that pass and the person returns to normal afterwards. But does that happen in an elderly chicken? I am afraid I dunno:confused:

    If she is acting normal, drinking etc, I would give her electrolytes in her water for support and offer her some delicacies like scrambled eggs to entice her to eat.

    I'm also going to put out a shout to @Eggcessive, and @casportpony for their opinions.

    Sure hope your old one has a little more time left in her. That is an impressive age for a hen.
  3. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I have a couple of nine-year old hens, also a hen that's ten and one that's eleven. They are all showing signs of body parts slowing down and not functioning optimally. I myself have a growing list of body parts that either need kick starting with drugs or have quit working entirely. Old age is the pits. But no one, including chickens, usually specifically dies from it.

    Usually what happens is that pathogens take advantage of lower functioning immune systems or organs cease to function. The trick is to figure out what we can do, if anything, to kick start your hen's works. @microchick has pretty much nailed it. We can try to think of things to try to help your hen get right again, squeezing out a few more months or even years for her to have a happy life.

    I had a young rooster many years ago with apparent cardio issues. He would have a seizure, almost pass out, flopping off his perch, and then miraculously recover. But it was alarming to watch. I started giving him one baby aspirin once a day, and he had no more seizures. Eventually, I quit giving the aspirin, thinking his problem was fixed. Then I found him dead under his perch one morning. Could he have lived longer if I'd continued the aspirin? Who knows?

    I suggest you try the aspirin, and also give a B-complex each day to improve immune responses and circulation. Maybe throw in 400iu vitamin E, too. Heck, at age nine, it can't hurt, and if it works, hooray!
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I think that Azygous covered it well. I have an 8 1/2 year old hen and just lost another this year, and the remaining one acts like a little old lady. All of my chickens are over 6, and some have various problems. I would give your hen some Poultry NutriDrench or a good chicken vitamin refularly, and perhaps try the aspirin. A low dose 81 mg aspirin once a day probably would not hurt, hidden in some food or given in water.
    azygous, microchick and townchicks like this.

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