Sick and deteriorating hen


11 Years
Oct 27, 2008
This has been going on the past week and a half with my black astralorpe hen. She seemed to be having difficulty walking and was puffed out and lethargic. Now her two pink waddles (?) are very gray and puffy. I'm worried she may die tonight as she is just laying and has difficulty moving around. I brought her in and have her in a quiet, dark and warm place w/ food and water but don't know what else to do. Any ideas? Thank you!! Tina in MN
Hi Tina,
I'm sorry about your girl. It's been quite a while that she has been ill, so it's hard to give advice.

Is she eating and drinking?
What does her poop look like?
What have you been feeding her?
Have you checked for injuries, lice, mites, worms?

When a bird gets ill, you cannot hurt them by bringing them inside like you did, and giving them a 50/50 solution of Pedialyte (or Gatorade) and water.

You can also try giving her three drops of PolyViSol liquid baby vitamins on her beak per day for a few days, or if you have it, AviaCharge 2000 bird vitamins.

If she is not eating her layer pellets well, you can give her cool hard-boiled or scrambled egg, cooked oatmeal, and/or plain yogurt.

I hope she recovers.
Well, she's still alive but no change. It seems like her legs may be paralized as she isn't moving well at all. I'm feeding her and giving her water. Just her chicken feed and some plain yogurt. She takes a little and then just closes her eyes to rest again. The bedding is wet so I'm thinking it's diarrhea. I hate to see her suffer but can't stand the idea of putting her out of her misery either.
Sorry to hear about your sick hen. I usually don't respond to the ill chicken posts, because I am pretty clueless about this stuff. Just wanted to say that over the last 5 years I've 4 times had hens just get lethargic, NO other symptoms that I can see. The first two I didn't recognise as sick until it was too late, found them dead. One I brought inside and threw everything I could think of at it-vitamins, antibiotics, medicated feed, any and all treats I could think of, lots of attention. It worked and I still have her. Her sister, a Black Australorp, was lethargic and looking sick a couple days ago. I got set up to bring her in. When I brought her in I decided to trim the feathers around the vent (they were a little poopy). while I was trimming she started vomiting, then within a few seconds she was in full seizures. She died within 90 seconds. I'm guessing it was too much stress on her and she either had a heart attack or stroke.
I'm wishing you luck with your BA. I hope this helps in some way- I think you are doing a great job just trying to help her.
I hope someone with more "sick" chicken experience will come along soon and have more concrete advice for you.

Imp- with all fingers crossed
Thank you all so much for caring and responding. I just checked on her and she is laying down, eyes closed but moves when I touch her. I think she's fading and will probably be gone today. I am glad as she won't suffer anymore. She is warm and cozy in a dark area so she'll die peacefully. Have any of you ever sent in a body to be checked for disease afterward? I'm wondering if I should since she was with 4 other chickens. They aren't showing any symptoms though. Thanks again everyone! Her name is/was Jerry and was my sweetest chicken. Never pecked at me once!
Hey, If she is still alive give her animal cracker paste. It saved my rooster. Somebody says it helps with energy. My rooster was laying flat down you would have thought he was dead, but day after day he gained strength today i heard him crow. Good luck

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