Skinny hen stopped laying and has diarrhea.


9 Years
Jun 9, 2010
One of my 7 month old Red Stars stopped laying a few months ago when we introduced a third chicken to the tractor. I figured it was temporary, but since then she hasn't gained any weight, and perhaps lost a little. I noticed that unlike the other chickens, her droppings were consistently very runny. I haven't noticed any blood or worms. Her behavior seems fine, if a bit too friendly. She will run up to me and the kids, sit on my arm and eat out of my hand. She tries very hard to sneak inside the house and seems to have no lack of appetite.

Despite this she is noticeably much lighter than the other two chickens of the same age. Based on a lot of reading this forum, I suspected worms. Of all the remedies I read about, piperazine seemed like a good choice. Inexpensive, FDA approved, used in humans and easily available. All the other medications were either not OTC, off label, or had to be shipped from the UK (although I may be wrong).
I gave them piperazine in their water for 2 days this past weekend, and have been throwing away the eggs until I get to 7 from each of the laying hens.

So now some questions:

-If the problem was worms, how soon might I expect some weight gain and resumption of laying? I don't want to wait too long in case the problem lies elsewhere. They are fed Layena and lots of table scraps ( 1yo & 4 yo messy boys make a lot of scraps). In addition, every evening they are given free reign over the entire yard.

-Are there any other recommendations for de-worming? There seem to be lots of types of worms, and it sounds like piperazine only helps with roundworms. If so, please indicate a source.

-Could it be something else?

Thank you very much!

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