Think one of my hens is dying.....


In the Brooder
10 Years
May 27, 2009
Adel, IA
She's been in the dog kennel where they all lay there eggs ( so much for my nice wooden nesting boxes).....for about 5 days or so now. Thought she was being broody, but tonight when I went to move her she almost fell over. Picked her up and took her out of the kennel and it was like she wasn't able to walk very well. No one else is sick and there haven't been any new chickens to my flock at all. How could she catch a disease when I've had her for a year with only one place? I do not know how old she is...she was completely full grown when I got her and her comb has never been real bright that a sign of age? I certainly don't want her to be suffering, but what do I do?

Thanks for the help, Shannon.
If she has been sick for 5 days, you MUST get some liquid into her ASAP, dehydration will kill her a long time before starvation will.

If she will drink, then you need to get some food into her. Boiled or scrambled eggs would be good to start with. This will give her energy. Yogurt is also good, it will start all the good bacteria growing in her gut.

I am sure that someone that knows more than me will chime in with more info.

But, until then, try to get fluid into her.
Okay, I've got some syringes and will try this. There is no way I could drown her could I? Just syringe some water into her mouth, right? Sorry, know that sounds dumb.....but I'm new to this chicken thing. I should know more than I do.

How long do chickens live?

She was acting normal, fiesty at least until yesterday.

Thank you.
i just had a broody a few weeks ago, and when i would pull her out of the nest box, she would lay there limp and in a daze for several minutes, but then jump up and act (relatively) normal.
i wonder if your hen is just in a broody trance?
Oooh...courtney! I hope so, you think thats possible? I would hate to lose another so soon after my Leah.

Thanks.....this gives me some hope. I'll check on her first thing in the morning and if she is pulling any of this sick crap I'm giving her water and yogurt.

Thanks everyone.
Boy am I a dummy.

My girl is all normal this morning, still doesn't want to go outside but is scratching - eating and drinking in the coup and wouldn't let me catch her (very normal for her). So
, but also :rolleyes:for me! She's being broody.....but she must be very bad at it, because she sits NEXT to the eggs and not ON them. Is this normal or is she "special"??? lol

Thank goodness she's not dying....I guess I'm a little overreactive due to losing Leah last week.

Next question(s)....I've been reading some of the posts on the sick chicken thread (guess this is where I should have posted this original thread) - but guys mentioned some things I did not understand or know where to look for these things.....something in the throat or around the beak area...forgot what you called it and one on the other end (forgot what you called that too)....could someone go over the body parts of the chicken for me. Things on a chicken I should know about in case I ever need to help a sick hen.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!! Have I mentioned lately that this chicken board is a wonderful (non-judgemental - even for us dummies) place to be!!! I never feel silly posting a question. Thank goodness for that because I've got a ton of silly questions : )
Go here!

It takes some time to figure out how to get info from this site, but with a little practice, there is a huge amount of info available here.

The link above includes a section on chicken anatomy.

Good luck! And ask away!

Oh, on your sort of broody hen.... they have been trying to breed broodiness out of chickens for generations, to get more eggs, since they don't lay when they are broody. As a result, all sorts of odd things happen. You could try putting her on the eggs and see if instinct takes over. And even if she is a good setter, does not mean she will be a good Mama. You just never know.

Not a dummy, just have things to learn, as we all do. The problem is when people refuse to ask or learn....
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If you do need to get water into her this time or in the future, you can use a dropper and very slowly and carefully dribble a bit at a time along her beak line so she doesn't swallow wrong and choke. Take breaks if/when it begins to stress her out. If she hadn't been eating for some time you can also give her 3 drops daily of Polyvisol childrens liquid vitamins (without iron) daily for some days - administer the same way - this is a supplement often recommended here on BYC - relaying so you don't have to search to find it.......
To get moisture into her when necessary you can also try nice wet fruits like watermelon.
I would like to comment on your original problem. Whenever a hen is spending a lot of time in a nestbox or some other small dark place, she is probably broody, sick, or afraid of one of the other chickens. In any of those 3 cases, I make sure to remove her at least once a day, hand feed her a treat, and dip her beak into water a few times (just as you would a baby chick) to make sure she does not become dehydrated or starve herself to death. Even if a chicken is sick, it can fight off most ailments if it is kept hydrated. After feeding and hydrating her, leave her on the floor (as long as no bullies are around), because she will probably "come to" and get a little more to eat and drink before returning to the nestbox. After seeing how quickly dehydration can do them in, this has become standard procedure for me, for any chicken laying low for any reason.
Went out to check on her again and checked her had dried and some wet green poo. So I guess she is sick. I washed her bum with warm water and dried her off. I dipped her beak in the water and she definetly drinks. She is NOT sneezing and does not have any discharge from beak or eyes. She looks completely normal....although I noticed her toenails were rather long.....can I clip them?

Her actual bum looked good, just the feathers around it were clumped with a green and regular colored poo so I just washed them. I wil be getting some more yogurt today - she also doesn't seem to be able to see very well......bumping into things. Her eyes dialate quite normally when I would cover her eye and then uncover it.....eyes also seem bright and clear.

What might be going on here??? This is odd. Her red thing on top of her head (forget what it's called) is light colored and flopped's pretty much always been like that though.......she has not lost any feathers and looks like a healthy chicken except for the way she is acting.

BTW, I estimate her to be about 4 years old. This is young for a hen, isn't it?

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