please help! very sick chicken :(


6 Years
Sep 3, 2013
Hi. I’m completely new to backyard chickens & just adopted 3 chicks on Memorial Day (~4 months ago). We’d been doing well all summer until 10 days ago when 1 of them died very suddenly (lethargic one night/dead in her coop the next morning). So, we’ve been watching the other 2 very closely & now one of them is dangerously ill as well. I’ve been reading all these forums like crazy, but I thought I’d start my own with our specific situation and any help/advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

We live in Colorado and it has been hot lately (85 degrees on average) so the guy at the feed store said the first one could’ve died from dehydration. Since we noticed one of the two remaining acting lethargic yesterday morning we’ve been giving her pediatlite (she won’t always drink, so we drip it in her mouth), yogurt, moistening her food (which she also won’t eat except for very few bites here and there), tried Epsom salts, and I just bought a watermelon to cut up...

She is chirping a bit, which I don’t think she was doing yesterday morning, & I’m SO thankful she made it through the night.

--Her poops are completely watery at this point, but I’m wondering if that’s because I’ve been trying to give her so many liquids. Is that okay for now?
--If she is (hopefully) getting better, how long could it take? She doesn’t seem to be “bouncing back”, but I don’t know if chickens do that; Is it a long, slow recovery?
--How often should I be messing with her to try to feed/water her vs. leaving her alone to recouperate?

Thank you so much for any wisdom!
You may have an outbreak of coccidiosis. Corid liquid 2 tsp. per gallon (or 1/2 tsp per quart) of water for 5-7 days would be the treatment I would start. Blood may or may not be present in the droppings. The chickens have to drink the liquid to get the meds, so you may have to give it with a dropper or syringe, or mix it with food. Don't give vitamins during the treament, but give probiotic and vitamins when finished. It could be the heat especially if the coop get much hotter than outside, but I would treat for cocci since it can kill fast. Make sure their litter is clean and dry, and get them outside on clean grass.
Thank you SO much for your reply. I went back to the feed store & they didn't have Corid, but gave me something similar. I got her to drink a descent amount of it (mixed in her water) and made sure the other, seemingly healthy chicken got some as well. I'm going to let her rest for a bit, and then see if I can get her to drink some more. Hopefully it's not too late. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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