Sick/ lethargic hen

J and M Acres

Hatching
Sep 1, 2019
2
3
4
Hello. I have asked google questions about our chickens quite a few times over the last few years and have been directed to this site for answers that have helped, but this time I have not found an answer to my specific question, so I’m asking here directly. We have 15 hens and 1 rooster. They share a rather large coupe with a large fenced in area that we let them out into every morning and put them away every night. We have a mix of breeds with our hens and a couple days ago I noticed one of my Rhode Island Reds sorta just fell over when she was touched. I tried to pick her up but she screamed at me and the rooster came charging so I let her be. She has been able to get up and go into the coupe at night and walk out during the day. We went to put the birds away tonight and noticed she was basically passed out in the doorway. I picked her up with no fight and her eyes closed immediately. We set up a caged area outside of the coupe to keep her separated from everyone else but she doesn’t seem to be doing well. She won’t eat, and won’t drink, and just keeps falling over. I fear that there is no saving her, but wanted to ask if there is anything I can do, or if anyone knows what could cause this and if we should be worried about the rest of our birds? We recently cleaned the coupe out and switched from wood shavings to straw in hopes of keeping it dryer and fresher. Not sure if this could be the cause. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
38,538
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1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
couple days ago I noticed one of my Rhode Island Reds sorta just fell over when she was touched. I tried to pick her up but she screamed at me and the rooster came charging so I let her be. She has been able to get up and go into the coupe at night and walk out during the day. We went to put the birds away tonight and noticed she was basically passed out in the doorway. I picked her up with no fight and her eyes closed immediately.

She won’t eat, and won’t drink, and just keeps falling over.
Hi @J and M Acres :frow Welcome To BYC

Sorry to hear about your hen.
How old is she?

I would examine her - has she been laying eggs regularly? Feel her abdomen for bloat/swelling or feeling of fluid, look through her feathers for any injury that may be hidden, is she able to poop (photos?), check her crop to see that it's empty first thing in the morning.

What do you feed including treats?
How long have you had her?

It's so hard to know what's going on with her, there's so many things. Falling over sounds neurological, but she may be having reproductive issues, disease like Marek's or some type of injury.
Do what you can to hydrate her and keep her relatively warm. If you have poultry vitamins or electrolytes those would be good. I would not worry about food unless she becomes more alert.
 

J and M Acres

Hatching
Sep 1, 2019
2
3
4
Hi @J and M Acres :frow Welcome To BYC

Sorry to hear about your hen.
How old is she?

I would examine her - has she been laying eggs regularly? Feel her abdomen for bloat/swelling or feeling of fluid, look through her feathers for any injury that may be hidden, is she able to poop (photos?), check her crop to see that it's empty first thing in the morning.

What do you feed including treats?
How long have you had her?

It's so hard to know what's going on with her, there's so many things. Falling over sounds neurological, but she may be having reproductive issues, disease like Marek's or some type of injury.
Do what you can to hydrate her and keep her relatively warm. If you have poultry vitamins or electrolytes those would be good. I would not worry about food unless she becomes more alert.


She is about 3 years old. She’s never had any issues like this before, so I’m thinking not neurological. We feed them Dumor poultry crumble and mix in a feather fixer. Treats have always been dried meal worms, but they haven’t had that in a while. I checked for stuck eggs but couldn’t feel any, and it doesn’t feel like she has any bloating or swelling. I’ll check her crop in the morning. The only injury I found was fairly new, she didn’t have it this morning when I saw her. I believe her comb was attacked by one of the other hens while she was down before we found her earlier this evening. I’ll do my best to try to give her some electrolytes, but as I stated in my previous post, she isn’t even drinking.
 

tbcorum

Chirping
5 Years
May 22, 2015
33
48
94
NC
There are wonderful people on this site with so much knowledge! I am so so sorry u are having problems and know my heart goes out to u bc my birds are like my children! I sure her comb red or pale , what color are her gums , what color is her tongue , is her mouth moist or dry?
She could have picked up a parasite from free ranging and it is sucking all the blood from her and she doesn’t have the blood to stand bc of no energy!!
My suggestion is immediate worming , warm blankets , keeping her quiet , hydrating with b vitamins and electrolytes Every few mins give her a few drops and make sure tongue is down so not to go in the lungs !! But first thing I would try is worming her and keeping her warm !! Hydration and it may be a long nt , just like feeding a new born puppy !! Bring her in the house and if u have ivermectin put a couple drops of that on her for the external parasites is what u can try if u want to !! She is really sick and unless u have a vet on hand u have to try something! Been in ur shoes many times ! It always happens on weekend, nts or holiday and something weird ! U are lost asnof what to do but u have to try something!! I totally understand and God bless you and may she get well and u have many more happy yrs with her and the flock !! If she does expire , I would definitely have a necropsy done for the sake of my other babies !! I pray this never happens and the last thing u deal with !!
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Jun 23, 2013
9,134
12,942
977
The Big Island/Hawaii
I would second think the worming ... IF she's that weak, the wormer may cause adverse reaction. Check her over for mites/lice. If you have some Nutri Drench, see if you can get her to drink it, put a drop on the side of her beak. Does sound like a neurological issue.

@casportpony @dawg53
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
38,538
54,655
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
She is about 3 years old. She’s never had any issues like this before, so I’m thinking not neurological. We feed them Dumor poultry crumble and mix in a feather fixer. Treats have always been dried meal worms, but they haven’t had that in a while. I checked for stuck eggs but couldn’t feel any, and it doesn’t feel like she has any bloating or swelling. I’ll check her crop in the morning. The only injury I found was fairly new, she didn’t have it this morning when I saw her. I believe her comb was attacked by one of the other hens while she was down before we found her earlier this evening. I’ll do my best to try to give her some electrolytes, but as I stated in my previous post, she isn’t even drinking.
How is she this morning?
To get some fluids into her you can either syringe them into her as shown in the link below or slowly give drop by drop onto the side of the beak.
Do you know when she last laid an egg? At 3yrs of age, a lot of hens start having reproductive issues that drastically impact their health.
I would also check her crop this morning, it should be empty if she's not eaten or had anything to drink overnight.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...er-construction-check-back-for-updates.73335/
 

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