Severe dehydration in laying hen who was caught under container without water for 3-4 days: please h


5 Years
Sep 22, 2014

we have a very dehydrated bird and we cannot get her to open her beak to drink the molasses water. she was caught under a rubbermaid container for three or four days. she is a wanderer and we thought she'd been preyed upon by a predator.

How do we open her beak to get her to drink? She is very limp with low responsiveness. Please help! Thanks.
You don't want to give her molasses, but give her sugar in water or electrolytes. Molasses is a laxative which will cause more dehydration. If you try dipping her beak into water will she take it? You can pull downward on her wattles and put a few drops into her beak, then release wattles and let her swallow. So sorry this has happened to her. Here is a link for electrolytes:

1/2 teaspoon salt substitute*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 gallon water
*Salt substitute is readily available in most stores in the spice aisle near the salt, but if you do not have it, don't worry, the solution will still have most of the benefits intended to combat heat stress.
Watch the videos here:

Your hen should probably be seen by a vet, but if that's not a possibility, she needs to be be brought indoors, kept warm (80-85 degrees is ideal), and she needs to be tube fed fluids. When I tube a dehydrated bird I use plain water, Pedialyte or Gatorade, and sometimes I add a little sugar or corn syrup to it.

If she can still sit upright or stand she should get 30-60ml every 4-6 hours. If she cannot site upright she should get much less, like 5-10ml, wait for it to clear, then give more as soon as soon as it does.


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