Total mystery poorly hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 7FrenchHens, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. 7FrenchHens

    7FrenchHens Hatching

    Sep 24, 2016
    Hi First time on here and although I've had hens for years I still wouldn't call my 'experienced' as nothing ever seemed to go wrong!
    I have adopted 3 battery hens. They've been with me since July and things have been going great. Bernie was particularly featherless but always bright and cheery. I integrated them with my other hens after a good month of having them in the barn to keep an eye on them, and all has been going well. I've just been away for a week and was eager to see the girls moving around this morning. Spotted the three ex-batts doing their girly thing.

    Then later on, saw Dina give Bernie a big peck (but no injuries, bleeding etc). Bernie ran out of the coop fast enough but then seemed to go into shock. Just stood there frozen to the spot and then with her head under her wing. I saw the whole thing so rushed down to her when she was still there 5mis later and brought her into the house. At this point I saw that there was a very small amount of food left and virtually no water. Mmm, my neighbour didn't do such a good job then. But the hens didn't seem thirsty when I filled the water up and of course they ran after the corn I threw for them.

    Bernie's still standing in her box - still very much in shock. I've tried to give her some water and coconut milk and she has swallowed them (only put them on her tongue not force feeding).

    I can't see that she is egg bound or ill in any other way. She doesn't sound wheezy - her eyes seem very pink but no discharge etc.

    Any ideas? Can a bully do this to a hen?

    thanks for any guidance you can give me!


  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Hi,'s a mystery to me? Has Bernie snapped out of it yet? Was the peck she received on the head? Did it knock her loopy? :idunno
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  3. Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Songster

    Sep 2, 2015
    My Coop
    I heard of some hens having a hole in their skulls and when pecked there damage can be done. But that is generally with I believe silkies. So it's odd that she would act this way.
  4. 7FrenchHens

    7FrenchHens Hatching

    Sep 24, 2016
    Thanks for the replies and also the personal messages. Unfortunately she died last night. I've researched it a bit more since and it appears that the bloodshot eyes and clear watery droppings has happened to other ex-battery hens and it's almost as if it's total organ failure due to the intensive stress their bodies take. In reflection it was similar to how my cat died of kidney failure - I wonder if that's why the droppings were clear and watery - kidneys not concentrating the urea? no signs of any infection. Mixed feelings as to whether or not I should have taken her to the vet to have her put to sleep but I didn't go as I felt she wouldn't have survived the journey.

    I'm just consoling myself with the knowledge she couldn't have had a better last two months of her life. It's unfortunate that I was away for the days preceding her demise as I will never really know if I could have done something sooner if I'd been here. The other two ex-battery hens are healthy for now although still underweight despite careful feeding - but they are also having to grow back feathers etc. They've been wormed and so I'll just keep a close eye on them.

    Thanks you for your help.


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