Sick Chicken


In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 20, 2012
Huntington WV
I'm hoping someone can help me, I have a hen who is sick I think. She's been acting weird for about a week I really didn't think to much of since they are molting right now anyway, but the other hens have come out of it are laying and getting their feathers back. But Covie my beautiful white hen is holding her head down in her shoulders and looks like she all humped up. I don't really know how to explain except it's looks like someone just ponked her head down in her shoulders at first she was just moping around but now shes standing in a nesting box just standing there. I know something is wrong with her I just don't know what. If anyone has any advice or experience with this please let me know. I love my hen and hate to see her suffering.
First of all, so sorry your little girl is sick.

I know if you give everyone more information and possibly pictures, you'll get a faster response:

1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
2) What is the behavior, exactly.
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
Could she be eggbound?

You can type eggbound in BYC search key or google to see if it matches what you are seeing.

I think maybe I'd try to give her a warm water bath to see if she passes an egg???

Is her abdomen swollen?
How is her crop? Does it empty overnight?

Any diarrhea?
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She just started doing this today, she was facing forward earlier but now
she just faces the back. She has never had feathers on her backside since
I've had her. I purchased the hens about 5 months ago from someone who
kept them in a coop all the time. I have 21 all together 12 that were a year
old, Covie is one of those although now they are about 18 months or so.
I assumed the missing feathers were due to the Rooster Robbie who also
in the coop. But I'm not sure I only have about 5 hens who look like that.


See it looks like her heads down in her shoulders, now she's been
doing that at least a week or so but she had been out in the pen with
the other chickens until yesterday and she wouldn't come out of the coop
but she was walking around. Today she just stands in that nesting box.
The last picture is of half our coop. We have a large area I keep fresh straw
in the nesting boxes and the floor. We have 24 nesting boxes and about 100 feet of roosting space.
This coop leads out to a 40x20 pen and we have
an additional 40x50 pen leading off that. I know free range is ideal but between the hawks
and the dogs along with everything else on the riverbank I doubt they'd last long. This way at
least they have a good clean safe area.

I haven't seen anything physically wrong with the hen no marks other than her bare tail. I do have 2 ducks
in the pen but everyone seems to get along fine. I have noticed Covie being a little anti social but the white hens
seem to be that way, they are friendly enough but would just as soon be left alone. My Mamaw said sometimes
chickens will get things stuck in their throat or eat an insect that stings them or what not but I just don't know, she suggested
that I try and get a little warm water down it's neck, which the hen tolerated but I don't think it amounted to any relief. We
are pretty new to chickens but I have to say they are the most peaceful serene creatures I have ever been around
if it's been a stressful day I can sit with them and feel better instantly. I hate to see her like this. If anyone has any input
I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much for the quick response to my earlier post I appreciate it.
Good Morning All, Covie made it through the night Thank God. I have moved her from the coop to our house she is currently taking a warm bath in my laundry sink and doesn't seem to mind at all. I did notice her comb is purple and her bottom lid is covering her eyes she is responsive when I talk to her she especially likes to be sung too lol spoiled little chicken. When I first put her in she fell face forward which really scared me but I was reading some other post where people have had problems with the chickens balance, I sat her upright and she nestled down in the water and seems to be resting. She does feel lighter than normal though and I tried to feel and see if her abdomen was hard and it does seem to be, I am fixing to go back to the coop to feel the other chickens so I have something to compare it to. I tried feeding her oats and I tried the acv water and she won't have any of either, should I try and force something down her with a syringe does anyone have any input on this. We do not have a vet in the area that knows anything about chickens or that will even see her so it would appear I am on my own for treatment:(
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Poor little girl. She's not taking a bath by herself, right? You are taking great care of her! Make sure she is good and dry before you put her back in the coop. Even better if you can keep her inside. She will need to stay warm. Did she pass an egg? I wouldn't try to force any food down her throat. I have a sick chicken right now and as sick as she is, she finds mealworms irresistible! I was given the advice to drip some water on top of her beak and she will swallow it. Is she breathing ok? Have you looked into Sour Crop? Keep us posted.
Oh no i didn't leave her my laundry sink is in my basement and I just worked down there while she bathed, she didn't offer to move she just nestled down in the warm water but as the water started draining she started stirring around some. I have a large crate she's in now I put down an old throw rug and a towel and covered it in straw put her some acv water and oats in it I covered part of so to give her a dark place to be if she wants. I put a small space heater so she can have some warmth she'll remain inside with us until she's better I am afraid if I take her back to the coop she may die. We've had some bad weather here 6 inches of snow on Halloween I couldn't believe it. It's in the 40's today but the air has a bite to it. But anyway back to Covie her comb is so purple, I read that means poor circulation do you know if that's true? She seems to be breathing okay I felt her belly down towards her tail, I can't feel an egg but maybe I'm not doing it right, but I can feel like a hard line straight down from her breast bone is that normal? I also read where they said to give it 1000 mg of calcium and Vit E and VitB complex do you have any advice for me regarding this? When do you think I should give her another bath? I am so sorry to bombard you with all these questions I just don't know where else to turn. She has not used the bathroom as far as I know, is sour crop common? I've never heard of that I'll have to do some research on that. I will get some mealworms and try that, I hope your baby is okay is she eggbound?
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Hi, I am so sorry about this whole thing. I hope she gets better.
I am new to chickens so I really cannot help except to say I can
understand, I rehabbed wild bunnies for 16 years and it gets pretty hard to do.
Mary Grace.
I forgot to ask if you took the rooster out of the coop with the girls. Looks like he
is too aggressive with them. Poor girl.
Mary Grace.
The rooster is still in the coop the hens that are like that were like that when I got them and there is only about five out of 21 that are that way I read somewhere you could trim the roosters nails but I'm not sure about that. Covie is laying down now and she looks terrible I am at a complete loss I am afraid she's dying:(((((

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