FluffyButtBabies

Chirping
Jun 24, 2020
364
228
83
Virginia
My 4 month old hen was acting a little strange yesterday, but I just blamed it one the newly cold weather. But today she's incredibly lethargic and limp. She's had an impacted crop before and nearly died from it, but pulled through. So of course, that's the first thing I checked for. But to my surprise, her crop is COMPLETELY empty. She hasn't eaten all day, and now I think she might not have eaten yesterday either! I have no clue why she would stop eating, or how to help her. The rest of my flock are as greedy and energetic as always. Another this I noticed is that her breathing is a labored (not incredibly, but enough that you can see her mouth gently moving). I've just brought her in and put her on a heating pad. She won't eat or drink, so I'm using a dropper to give her small amounts of electrolyte water and mushed feed. Can anybody explain what's going on? How do I save her?
 

RainbowHen

Make eggs, not war
Premium Feather Member
Jul 10, 2020
1,530
3,255
276
Wisconsin
My Coop
My 4 month old hen was acting a little strange yesterday, but I just blamed it one the newly cold weather. But today she's incredibly lethargic and limp. She's had an impacted crop before and nearly died from it, but pulled through. So of course, that's the first thing I checked for. But to my surprise, her crop is COMPLETELY empty. She hasn't eaten all day, and now I think she might not have eaten yesterday either! I have no clue why she would stop eating, or how to help her. The rest of my flock are as greedy and energetic as always. Another this I noticed is that her breathing is a labored (not incredibly, but enough that you can see her mouth gently moving). I've just brought her in and put her on a heating pad. She won't eat or drink, so I'm using a dropper to give her small amounts of electrolyte water and mushed feed. Can anybody explain what's going on? How do I save her?
I would check her thoroughly for mites and lice. Does she lay eggs? How does her belly between her legs feel? Normal or bloated and squishy?
 

RainbowHen

Make eggs, not war
Premium Feather Member
Jul 10, 2020
1,530
3,255
276
Wisconsin
My Coop
You can give her some vitamins and minerals in her water. Also make her a mash from her feed and a bit of water and offer scrambled eggs to try to perk her appetite. If she does not eat you may have to tube feed her. Her starvation is a #1 priority.
 

FluffyButtBabies

Chirping
Jun 24, 2020
364
228
83
Virginia
She isn't due to start laying for a few more months, she's still decently young. None of them have lice, I'm very careful with checking because I own a Polish roo. Her crop is almost nonexistent right now and it's as soft as dough. I don't know how to tube feed a bird, I'm worried I'll hurt her. Also, I read somewhere that if a young hen gets an impacted crop then they're more likely to have digestive issues in the future. Could this have something to do with it?
 

RainbowHen

Make eggs, not war
Premium Feather Member
Jul 10, 2020
1,530
3,255
276
Wisconsin
My Coop
She isn't due to start laying for a few more months, she's still decently young. None of them have lice, I'm very careful with checking because I own a Polish roo. Her crop is almost nonexistent right now and it's as soft as dough. I don't know how to tube feed a bird, I'm worried I'll hurt her. Also, I read somewhere that if a young hen gets an impacted crop then they're more likely to have digestive issues in the future. Could this have something to do with it?
It could. Have you checked for mites? Mites are sneaky, tiny little buggers. Often they only come out at night to feed on the birds then hide again during the day. You have to check for them at night under the wings, on the comb, and around the vent but they are very hard to see. I noticed this spring that my birds were doing poorly. Never found a mite on them but found them in the coop. Battled them for months. After treatment my girls put weight back on were back to themselves.
 

FluffyButtBabies

Chirping
Jun 24, 2020
364
228
83
Virginia
Yes, I'm positive they have none. I clean the coop out weekly, and because I handle my bird daily I always check them for obvious issues (bumblefoot, mites/lice, sneezing, etc). The only reason I didn't notice she'd stopped eating is because it had been raining all day yesterday and I just left them in the coop. She won't accept any food or water when I encourage her to take it, so I've been using a syringe. Like I said, none of my other birds are having any issues. It's like she just decided to not eat, and then starved herself.
 

FluffyButtBabies

Chirping
Jun 24, 2020
364
228
83
Virginia
Thanks! I've have chickens for years, and I've never had an issue like this before, that's why I'm so confused. (If I sound agitated, I promise it's not you, I just love my birds and REALLY don't like seeing them sick). I don't think it is parasites though. Usually parasites affect more then one bird in a flock due to their highly contagious nature. Also, I doubt parasites would cause her to stop eating altogether, and they shouldn't make her falter so rapidly.
 

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