Sick Hen - Help Would Be Appreciated


In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 26, 2013
I'm in the process of looking through the website for solutions, but I thought I would put it on here first.

We have 55-60 mixed pullets/cockerels and we have been very fortunate to only have had one chick die on us at week 2 or 3. They are now all 16-17 weeks and they have not started to lay yet. We haven't noticed anything wrong, but when I just went down to let them out to free range, one hen didn't move. At first I thought she was just asleep, but that isn't the case. She is breathing heavy, she is laying down and when I tried putting her up on the roost stick, she couldn't even operate her feet. I have the chickens stay in a pen inside of my old barn and I leave many windows open, but last night and today are very foggy?? Also, yesterday, I started on their winter accommodations (I am going to build a coop within the existing barn and insulate it). This did stir up some old dust (some porcupine crap for sure and who knows what else). They have old hay for bedding and it was recently changed. Any ideas what I should do? These are my daughter's chickens and she has just gone off to school for her second day and will be so upset if this bird dies.

Sincerely a concerned Dad!
1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.) Barred Plymouth Rock, 16 Weeks, She does feel light compared to others, but not terribly and she hasn't developed as much as others all along. Her comb is barely developed.
2) What is the behavior, exactly. Lethargic, eyes closed, poor motor control, heavy breathing
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Just today
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? Not that I can see, they are all free ranging currently
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No
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. Really not sure because we have so many. She was out yesterday though when it was raining (by their choice) and lots of water was available. I did find the waterer not working this morning, but it was at 9:30pm yesterday
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. I will have to try and look at it now, but we didn't notice anything prior to today
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Nothing, just discovered her
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? My preference would be to treat her ourselves, but i'm open to ideas
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use Done in my previous post
When I said we use old hay, what I mean by that is that my father farmed the farm we now live on and the hay we are using has been stored dry in the hay mow for 10-12 years. It is old hay, but it hasn't been used. It may have had other animals in contact with it over the years.
Bring the hen inside to a dog cage where you can watch her. She may have a weak heart or other problem that is just now showing up. She also may be starting to get ready for laying, and sometimes the stress on their bodies is too much. It is common for a chicken to die at this age. First feel her crop to see if it is emptying in the morning. Next look her over for lice and mites. Inspect her vent and belly. You might even insert a gloved and lubricated finger just inside the vent in case an egg might be stuck even though she is young. Give her some scrambled eggs to encourage her to eat and make sure she drinks. Coccidiosis is always an illness to consider when a chicken is lethargic. They may have diarrhea, and it may or may not have blood in it. Corid for 5 days would be the treatment (2 tsp liquid or 1 tsp powder in 1 gallon of water.) Dust or mold on the hay could cause illness too, but then I would watch for respiratory symptoms.
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Sorry meant this to be a seperate thread

have a mean LO roo about 1 1/2 who is acting strange i think he is ill but not sure He usually is agressive when i try and put water into the low part of the run but the last week he wont attack me just stands there looking.He does eat and drink some .No cold symptoms.Droppings look normal one ib the run did look pretty dark thats allThey are coming out of molt or the girls are i dont see much off him just a couple sickle feathers Any general med i can give him ?
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Roxannemc, check him all over for mites and lice, and his crop first thing in the morning to make sure it is empty. Has he been wormed lately? Valbazen would be a good one to use--it is the only one that gets all chickens worms. Safegard is good too. Vitamins and electrolytes might perk him up with all of the heat lately.
Todays update - My daughter and I were up at 5 am today to go chick on our sick hen. She appeared a little stronger. We have her in a cat crate and the only thing we have left in there with her over night was a bit of yogurt. She vommitted over night and her crop is still like a "water balloon" this morning. From the research I have been doing on this site, it seems like it might be sour crop. She has been free ranging, which apparently can lead to this. We massaged her crop this morning and left a bit of water in with her and still just the yogurt. If anyone has any further advice, it would be appreciated.

I have read that people have had good results treating sour crop with monistat. You should be able to find the threads on BYC using the search engine.
Many sites recommend monistat, but if you can get nystatin drops (by prescription) it is much better. Both are anti-fungals. A vet or your own doctor could prescribe it. Someone posted recently about MEDISTATIN that is the same (nystatin) in a non-prescrpition powder.
Many sites recommend monistat, but if you can get nystatin drops (by prescription) it is much better.  Both are anti-fungals. A vet or your own doctor could prescribe it.  Someone posted recently about MEDISTATIN that is the same (nystatin) in a non-prescrpition powder.

Medistatin *is* Nystatin and works great on yeast. I have used it on myself on a spot under my boob that gets a yeast infection in warmer weather, sorry, TMI, I know, lol, but it does work! Just do a search for Medistatin.


Edited to add: Medistatin is a powder.
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