Sick Chicken Please Help!

MidnightMaran

Songster
Jun 23, 2017
176
267
146
Oklahoma
My six year old hen is sick. She hasn’t been laying many eggs for a couple years, and yesterday I noticed her puffed up in egg laying position in our backyard/free ranging area, so I kept an eye on her because she wasn’t laying in the nesting box, which she hasn’t had much trouble with in the past.
She went to the coop last night, but this morning when I was refilling their water, I noticed her laying in the floor of the run similarly to yesterday. When I went to lock them in tonight, she was in the same position a few feet away, and a family member said she hadn’t been outside today, even though the door is open. She won’t eat, and only took a couple sips of water. She’s never acted this way before, and never had any egg laying trouble before (but I’m not sure if that is the cause). She’s lying on her belly with her head and tail down, and I noticed her head quivering a bit (I’ve attached pictures) There was some nasty green poo around her vent, but I couldn’t find anything wrong with it. Also, her comb is dropping a bit and her face has a yellowish tint. If anyone knows what this is, please tell me what to do, or if it’s her time to go. I’ve never had a chicken die (of natural causes) before, and she’s really special to me, so I don’t want her to be in any pain. Goodness, I’m crying as I’m writing this. :( Please help if you can.
 

Attachments

  • AD4AB80E-7B18-430C-B320-B9B69B9C5AEF.jpeg
    AD4AB80E-7B18-430C-B320-B9B69B9C5AEF.jpeg
    1.1 MB · Views: 9
  • EEECAA24-472C-4812-B169-3705CBD1AF61.jpeg
    EEECAA24-472C-4812-B169-3705CBD1AF61.jpeg
    521.6 KB · Views: 6

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
66,348
61,299
1,392
southern Ohio
It sounds like she may be suffering from a reproductive disorder, and she could be dying. I would remove her into a wire dog crate or pen with food and water close to her. Offer sips of water, electrolytes or Poultry NutriDrench. Many sick hens will eat scrambled egg or wet chicken feed. Try to make her comfortable. If she seems to be suffering, you could consider putting her down. Check her crop to see if it is empty, full, hard, or puffy. Green poop is usually from not eating enough.
 

MidnightMaran

Songster
Jun 23, 2017
176
267
146
Oklahoma
Her crop is empty, but she ate some yogurt a little while ago. She pecked the food a couple times, but it’s clear she isn’t eating much. I’m worried she might be egg bound, as she shows all the symptoms, but I can’t see anything at the surface of her vent, and it seemed that inspecting it further would cause her pain, so I left it. She tried to stand up and walk to the coop but she couldn’t walk straight and almost fell over, so I moved her to a safe place with bowls of food and water. It’s about sunset here, so all of my other chickens are going in. Unfortunately I can’t take her inside now, so I think I’m going to put her in a crate with some bedding outside, but I don’t want to stress her out. I don’t have NutriDrench, but I gave her some water with apple cider vinegar. I don’t know of any avian vets in our area. I’m really worried about her.
 

MidnightMaran

Songster
Jun 23, 2017
176
267
146
Oklahoma
This morning she was in the same state. She drank and ate some yogurt but didn’t touch her food. I still believe she could be egg bound, so I’m going to give her another epsom salt bath today. How much more should this chicken humanely stand? She’s a survivor and is currently our only remaining senior hen, and she’s really special to me. That said, should I put her down? And when? I still don’t want to lose her, but don’t want her to be in pain.
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
66,348
61,299
1,392
southern Ohio
Has she recently laid an egg? I have had a couple of hens lay eggs up to 7 or 8, but many stop laying before that. You can usually rule out egg binding by inserting a clean finger into her vent 1-2 inches. Sometimes there might be another obstruction, such as lash egg material or solid droppings.
 
Last edited:

MidnightMaran

Songster
Jun 23, 2017
176
267
146
Oklahoma
She hasn’t been laying like she used to for several months, but I just attributed that to her age. Last year we had an extremely cold winter and got almost no eggs, and it never really picked up to where it was before. I’d say shes laying about 1 a week, but it’s hard to tell because all the birds in our small flock lay similar eggs, and one has a bad habit of keeping secret nests! I tried to check for egg binding, but when I just touched her vent it was clear she was in pain and I didn’t want to make it worse. I’ve never had a bird with egg binding before, but I think I can feel an obstruction in her lower area and she’s shaking like she is when she needs to lay an egg. She’s still pretty vocal and isn’t acting depressed, but still won’t eat and can’t stand up.
 

Gunleather

In the Brooder
Jul 18, 2021
13
24
44
My six year old hen is sick. She hasn’t been laying many eggs for a couple years, and yesterday I noticed her puffed up in egg laying position in our backyard/free ranging area, so I kept an eye on her because she wasn’t laying in the nesting box, which she hasn’t had much trouble with in the past.
She went to the coop last night, but this morning when I was refilling their water, I noticed her laying in the floor of the run similarly to yesterday. When I went to lock them in tonight, she was in the same position a few feet away, and a family member said she hadn’t been outside today, even though the door is open. She won’t eat, and only took a couple sips of water. She’s never acted this way before, and never had any egg laying trouble before (but I’m not sure if that is the cause). She’s lying on her belly with her head and tail down, and I noticed her head quivering a bit (I’ve attached pictures) There was some nasty green poo around her vent, but I couldn’t find anything wrong with it. Also, her comb is dropping a bit and her face has a yellowish tint. If anyone knows what this is, please tell me what to do, or if it’s her time to go. I’ve never had a chicken die (of natural causes) before, and she’s really special to me, so I don’t want her to be in any pain. Goodness, I’m crying as I’m writing this. :( Please help if you can.
Call your vet and see if they treat chickens, mine does. If not call around, maybe? I have one, I don't know which one that lays eggs with extremely thin shells and I suspect is the one that doesn't lay very often. I am new to chickens, well a couple years new and learning. Mine do get oyster shells in their feed and free range all day with access to laying pellets.
 

MidnightMaran

Songster
Jun 23, 2017
176
267
146
Oklahoma
I don’t know of any livestock vets in our area, but I’ve asked a couple friends with chickens. One actually referred me to here lol. Until last winter, none of them had ever had laying problems before, but we got a few soft-shelled eggs, so I gave them an additional calcium supplement with their food. I’m also relatively new to chickens, had them for about 5 years and Luna (this one) is the only one left from my first flock.
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
66,348
61,299
1,392
southern Ohio
I would check inside her vent gently. Give her a human calcium tablet with vitamin D, or a Tums with a little egg yolk or tuna for D. That might help her pass an egg. Since she cannot stand, it does sound like she may have something stuck, possibly an egg or lash egg material. Is she passing droppings?
 

MidnightMaran

Songster
Jun 23, 2017
176
267
146
Oklahoma
It looks like she passed a bit of white liquid sometime this morning. We don’t have calcium supplements or Tums. Should I cook the egg yolk before I give it to her?
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom