Sick Chicken?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by WoodsmanA, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. WoodsmanA

    WoodsmanA Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 2, 2016
    I've got six bared rock hens alongside six rouen ducks as somewhat of a "starter flock." All the birds are going through their first winter here on my homestead. I raised them all from day olds. First winter for me with birds, too. Perhaps what I'm seeing in one of my chickens is a result of the cold? It was 12 degrees overnight. Up until now the cold and snow have not seemed to bother any of my birds. They all seemed happy and healthy this morning when I opened the coop doors. It was 25 degrees in the coop. I gave them an hour with the heat lamp on after I opened the door but they didn't really seem to care it was on. They jumped right out and into the cold. This afternoon I noticed one of the chickens acting listless and sleepy. I grabbed a bag of scratch and tossed out a couple handfuls. All the chickens went crazy and started pecking and scratching. The one, however, just stood there with her eyes closed. She still runs from me when I get close. None of them like to be handled so I just don't ever handle them. However, when I cornered her I was able to pick her up and she didn't try to jump away. She closed her eyes in my arms. Thought maybe she was egg bound. Lubed up a glove and couldn't feel anything. Exterior she's a hearty and healthy looking bird. Breast bone feels normal as far as I know. I have no idea if shes eating and drinking or what her droppings look like. I don't helicopter over all of my birds... But, since I've noticed this behavior she has not eaten or had any water, I know that much. No strange smells or odors coming off her. I did give her a 15 minute soak in warm water in a bin in case she is egg bound. This seemed to perk her up for a minute or two but then it was right back to sleep. The moment I noticed the sleepiness in the one bird she was holding her tail down but since I haven't seen her hold it down anymore. That's pretty much what I have for knowledge of the situation at the moment. Any thoughts? If she's ill, what could it be? I'm trying to learn as much as I can about knowing the health of my birds through observation as, again, this is my first set of birds.

    I attached a couple pictures. You'll see the sleepy chicken (to any of you more experienced folks, do the eyelids look pale to you?). Threw in a couple other pictures just for fun.





  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock True BYC Addict

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    How is she doing?
    When was the last time she laid an egg?
    How does her crop feel?
    How does her abdomen feel - hard, soft, squishy, bloated, fluid filled, normal, etc.?

    If you can separate her so you can monitor her food/water intake, take a look at her poop and check the function of her crop that would be helpful.

    There can be numerous causes, so sometimes it a process of elimination. Check to see if her crop is functioning properly - it should be full at night and empty in the morning before eating/drinking. Crop impaction or sour crop could be possibilities.

    Internal laying/reproductive disorders like Peritonitis, Ascites, tumors or cancer can cause a fluffed up, lethargic appearance.

    If giving her a soak seemed to help, you may want to do that again. Soak her in a warm epsom salts bath. Offer extra calcium, fresh water (add some poultry vitamins if you have them) and her normal feed - you can also give some hard boiled egg, tuna, mackerel or meat. Making sure she is drinking well first.

    Let us know how she is doing.

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