Please help! Sick hen?


6 Years
Apr 18, 2013
One of our Americauna hens, about 6 months old, is looking ill today. This morning is the first time I have noticed her not acting quite right. Our chickens free range in our yard when we are home to keep an eye on them. When I opened the gate to their run his morning, she did not join the rest of them outside. She is sitting in a corner of the run alone. She will stand when approached and will not let me pick her up. When she walks, it's very slow. I tried to give her some mealworms but she was not interested. Her poop is a little mucousy but otherwise looks normal. The feathers under her vent are dirty with what looks like liquidy white stool. Her vent does not appear to be blocked in any way but I could only observe from about two feet away as she will not let me nearer to her. It has possibly been about 3 or 4 days since she last laid an egg but I assume the decreased egg production is due to the shorter days.

We do have some mushrooms popping up in our lawn right now. Could she be ill from eating one?

I have thrown some apples and apple peels from applesauce making into their run for them to eat. This attracted many bees and yellow jackets. Could she be ill from getting stung?

Is she too young to molt?

Any other ideas? I am heartbroken for her and feel so helpless because I don't know what to do! This is our first experience with an ill bird :-(

Thanks in advance for any ideas!
I am so sorry! I know how awful this can be. You will have to get her and examine her well. Could she be egg-bound, have parasites? Also go to the Learning Center above and see if you can find her symptoms to give you more options to check out. Good luck with her! I hope she recovers soon!!
I am so sorry!  I know how awful this can be.  You will have to get her and examine her well.  Could she be egg-bound, have parasites?  Also go to the Learning Center above and see if you can find her symptoms  to give you more options to check out.  Good luck with her!  I hope she recovers soon!!

Thank you! We will get to her when my husband gets home and give her the once over. I can't catch her by myself and I don't want to stress her any more!
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It sounds like she could be egg bound. Feel her abdomen; does it feel hard? And, is she walking hunched over like a penguin? All of these symptoms could mean that she is egg bound. I'd advise giving her a warm water bath, and see if this helps her pass an egg.

A heavy worm load can cause a bird to be lethargic like her. However, this usually comes on gradually, not suddenly. Still, it might be a good idea to worm with a broad spectrum dewormer like Valbazen or Safeguard.

Check her crop. Is it hard or squishy? A hard crop would mean that it was impacted, and that might make her not want to eat. A squishy crop could indicate sour crop.

In the meantime, keep her seperate from the other chickens. She could have a contagious disease, in which cause you wouldn't want her to infect them. Also, she would probably feel better if she was alone and wasn't being picked on by the other chickens.

Try to get her to eat. Give her some scrambled egg, egg yolk, moistened chicken feed, or some yogurt. Keep her hydrated too. If you have some, it would be a good idea to give electrolytes and probiotics. If she doesn't start eating, you may have to tube feed.

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