Sick Hen


In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 2, 2012
Today I noticed that one of my hens is acting very lethargic, just standing around all puffed up. Normally she is fairly skittish, but now I can get up close before she bolts. I gave her food and she pecked at it a bit before leaving it. She appears perfectly normal, except for the cloaca, which appears perhaps a bit runny and inside a bit may have the tiniest spot of blood. A few weeks ago, I saw that her eggs had very small blood smears on it, but I haven't recently. I know that once a bird starts showing signs of sickness, it may be too late, so please help!
How old is she? Is she laying regularly? What does her poop look like? Are they on a regular deworming program? What does her comb look like? Pale or normal?

Occasional small blood smears on eggs are normal, especially in young hens who have recently started laying. There should not be a lot of blood though and if you can see blood outside the birds vent that is not normal either.

Is there any possibility she's being pecked in that area by the other's? Even if not, watch carefully because if they see that blood they will start pecking at it. Also check carefully to see if she's prolapsing at all.

If she's having runny poop as well I'd probably start with treating her for cocci. While it is more common in younger birds any bird can come down with it, especially if they are weakened at all from any other reason. I don't know if that's what's going on with your bird but you have to start somewhere and since cocci is lethal that is what I'd rule out first.

I'd probably worm them next unless you already have that base covered.
She turned a year old at the end of July, she does lay pretty regularly, I haven't seen her poop, although the feathers below her vent are wet with runnyish poop. Her comb is normal.I doubt she was pecked, she is near to the top of the pecking order. Should I buy some Sulmet right away? Thank you so much for helping!!
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Thanks, I started another thread called "Worms Or Cocci?" because I thought I had it narowed down to those, but now I am quite sure it is flystrike, as I can see the maggots writhing around her cloaca. I just don't know how to get them all off!

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