Sick hen. Maybe sour crop?

clucking hen

Feb 15, 2015
So like a week ago I noticed my americauna hen (3 years old now?) seemed a little less active/kind of stand offish. I just made sure she got food and water and hoped for the best, I've overreacted to things like his before and I couldn't really find anything particularly wrong about her. Anyways, a couple of days ago I picked her up to check on her and brown liquid spewed out of her beak. I did some research and thought it was sour crop, so I made her vomit up more brown liquid(won't do that again, I just read some horror stories about it), sometimes with some seeds in it, and I gave her apple cider vinegar in her water and some yogurt, which she liked. She felt better I think, more active, but then when I checked on her later she seemed worse. So I did some research, and here's what confuses me: Her breath doesn't smell. Her crop is empty. At first it was kind of squishy, but now it always just feels empty, with maybe a little bit of liquid. Also, treatment for sour crop seemed pretty straight forward and effective, but she seems worse.

Anyways, she's now super weak. She climbed out of the box I had her in and tried to jump on a roost the other night, but just fell to the ground and couldn't get back up:hit. I've only seen her poop once, it was super runny and mostly white. Her fluffbutt is caked with poop, which normally I would wash off but I don't want to stress her out more. At this point she won't move around, but still seems to be thirsty and will stand up to drink.

Does anyone know what is wrong with her? How can I treat it?


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
Are you giving her water with electrolytes and vitamins? Since her crop is empty most of the time now, I would guess that she doesn't have sour crop. She may just be ill and weak from another cause. Getting as much fluid into her as possible is best. Offer her some watery chicken feed and a little raw or cooked egg. If you have some plain yogurt, a teaspoonful to the mush would be good. Feel of her breastbone for weight loss and feel her lower belly for fullness or bloating. Look her over for mites and lice. You can check her for a stuck egg by inserting a finger an inch or two inside her vent where it should normally just feel soft. The runny white poop may be a sign of dehydration.

Glenda Heywoodo

Dec 19, 2016
Cassville Missouri
Glenda Heywood answered
Lethargic chicken/three vit's/wet mash/E.coli
For this problem I recommend my wet mash probiotic with yoguart be given.
I prefer to use the wet mash probiotic that includes chicken feed, yoguart and milk with applesauce
because chickens will eat the yoguart completely in the wet mash where as some chickens will not just eat yoguart ans it gets on their beaks, of which then they throw it away when cleaning the beaks
as you will notice if staanding too close to them eating the yoguart

So read on down where I give the recipe
some advice for helping the chicken get over the lathargice

lathargic , I would suggest and advanced case of E.coli.

With all that is noted here is some good help that I have found to work for the health of the chicken

you mention sluggish behavior that denotes she has a gut problem

So here is what I would do at this time to help her get to feeling better.


you can use milk as moisture additive for adult chickens but:
chicks have to use water as moisture additive.

This is for single bird and I would isolate her so you know what she is eating
if you do not have a rabbit cage you can put her in the garage in a dog carrier till she is better
I would start with the Vit E and Vit B complex and Selenium with wet mash

A) chickens do get some upset in the gut with E.coli and then it goes to a nervous disorder
natural probiotic wet mash with Vit E and Vit B complex and Selenium added immediately
basically the chicken has some nerve damage from the E.coli do this immediately
need neurolodigal vit E and Vit B complex and Selenium for E.coli and the nervous disorder Also the apple cider vineager in water

(1) 2 tbsp acv per gallon of water till chickens are well and then 2 times a week for life
for one chicken use 1 tbsp of ACV
1 pint of water

(2) immediately give the chicken 1000 mg capsule of liquid Vit E by cutting the end of the capsule and taking the vit E liquid and mix in wet mash probiotic

(2-B) total amt of capsules equals the total amt of chickens fed vit's multiply amt of recipe times amt of chickens fed it and the amt of vit's times amt of chickens given them

(3-A) also need to crush a vit B complex pill in tabsp and add tsp of water to it
put it in the chickens wet mash after it is disolved

(3-B) take a Selenium capsule and crush it in a tbsp and add little water to disolve it and ad to the wet mash also.

(3-C) then give this to the chicken twice a week for two weeks should see much improvement

after the chicken has eaten the wet mash probiotic clean wet feeder and restock dry crumble feed.

(4 Do the three Vit's twice today then for 7 days till you see some improvement in the chicken

(5 today I would see if the chicken will eat a wet mash with the Vitamins E and B complex and Slenium

natural probiotic wet mash
2 tbp of dry crumbles
1 tbsp flax seed meal (the kind people take)
3 tbp of milk sweet, sour or buttermilk
1 tbsp of non flavored yogurt
2 tbsp of apple sauce
put it on top so the chicken can smell and see it
mix good and put the
vit E liquid as directed in the wet mash
and crumble the Vit B complex tablet in a tabsp with litle waterand add to the wet mash
Crush the Selenium tablet and add water and add to the wet mash

(6 Do this twice a day for 7 days to see if the chicken is better
then do this once a day for another week then once a week for a while
this should give the nervous system some stability and cure the bad E.coli in the gut
(6-A) they should clean it up in 20-30 minutes
this will help them get good gut flora
also put 2 tbsp of ACV in gallon of water and keep giving them this water for a week straight ( do not use ACV while giving medications.
then give it 3-5 times a week for life
Glenda Heywood Cassville Missouri


Mone Shell Hughes - Cejas
I started doing this and my babies are doing so much better! Every 2 to 3 days. At first they would not eat it but I would not give them anything else. Now they see my bowl and they get so happy

Glenda Heywood
yes that is why I used apple sauce at first, glad you like it and thanks for commenting come join meat National Poultry News and National Poultry News#3
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Jorli Wales
· Friends with Sharon Honea and 2 others
Glenda you mention using a "wet mash probiotic." Is this something we can buy or is it made with crumbles, milk, yogurt etc.?

Glenda Heywood Yes you make it from your own kitchen. It is made as I stated in te recipe and set over night and in morning if dryadd a little milk and stir t. Do Not make it soupy as chickens don't like it soupy and will stick to their beaks. After stiring ina

Glenda Heywood You can buy a probiotic to put in the wet mash recipe, the probiotic is the vitamins added in my recipe, the wet mash mixture is very good for the chickens. I would use the vitamins every other time as you are feeding this 3 times a week after they get over the sickness. But their gut needs the vitamins every day for a week, then every other time you feed the wet mash recipe

Jorli Wales
· Friends with Sharon Honea and 2 others
Okay, well I would have no idea which probiotic to get there are so many! So I will use the vitamins like you do!


Vickie Leslie Henson
Glenda Heywood do you do this all the time or just sick chickens

Glenda Heywood
Yes do it all the time 3 times a week. you can add the vitamins once a week. my daughter feeds it 3 times a week for healthy chickens to lay healthy eggs.

Vickie Leslie Henson
I will do chicks too or just grown ones

Glenda Heywood yes feed it to baby chicks but do not put the vitamins in it but once every two weeks. they should be fed this when they get two weeks old and on up

Vickie Leslie Henson Thanks Glenda Heywood for all your helpful advice

Glenda Heywood
You are more than welcome. yes you can come to any of my facebook sites and read other chicken articles. If you want to get a hold of me come to my site Glenda Heywood and put your message on there. my other two sites are National Poultry News and National Poultry News#3. hope to see you there.

clucking hen

Feb 15, 2015
OK she won't even stand up now, just sit with eyes closed and beak open. I found no mites or egg, and she definitely has lost weight. At this point I'm wondering whether to just put her out of her misery. I just don't want this to drag on for days.
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