when and if to cull


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 30, 2009
I've had a sick chicken for about two weeks now and I thought that her comb looked better a few days ago, but I guess not now. I have 7 other girls so it is hard to tell how much she is actually eating. I chose not to seclude her from her friends after advise from alot of people. I have been watching her the past few days and she does go after the "treats" that I put in their outside run.

The basics of her problem are:
#1 she is losing weight now
#2 she seems to fall asleep when standing up
#3 her comb has lost alot of redness and is more flipped over than normal
#4 she seems to huddle in the corner of the outside run area most of the time.

I have tried many things nutrition wise over the past couple weeks, and haven't seen a change for the good. My question is when and if I should cull her. Do I continue to give her time or do it sooner than later? I hate to have to do this, but just like any of my other animals, I don't want them to be suffering.
Any advise would be more than appreciated!! Thanks in advance!
Have you checked for lice/mites?
Has she been wormed lately?
What is the temp there?
What types of treats are you giving her, yoghurt,cheese?
Is she old for a chicken?
Does she have any discharge or sneeze.?
Finding out what is making her unwell can help her through whatever is troubling her.

Hope she gets well soon
I would suggest giving as many details as possible about how you have been treating her. It would be a shame to cull her if there may be a solution that has been overlooked.

1) What type of bird , age and weight.
2) What is the behavior, exactly.
3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
9) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
10) Describe the housing/bedding in use
Is she laying?
ok, well. I have done a cleansing mash consisting of molassas, applesauce, yougurt, hot water, honey, etc...
They all get scratch daily as well as crushed oyster shells and Purina layer feed. I have talked to multiple people on here and even posted something about her to get help for her.
She is an little over 1 year old EE, who hasn't laid since April. Seems to have been molting on her back only since April, although her feathers are filling in much more lately.
Her behavior is very odd. She just stands around and her eyes are half open most of the time. She seems to fall asleep while standing up. She doesn't look aware at all. Where she sleeps always seem to be wet, like she peed.
No bleeding, broken bones, etc and I'm not sure what happened to cause this. My husband noticed that she looked weird a couple weeks ago. Mostly her eyes not being open all the way.
Poop looks fine, watery at times.
I don't have the money to have a vet or someone look at her so I have tried to remedy her myself.
I have checked her for mites and lice and haven't seen any on her. The other birds seen to be fine, so far!
She hasn't been wormed yet.
We live in Maine, so the temps fluctuate, lately it has been getting colder.
No discharge or sneeze.
She sleeps in a coop, on top of the nesting boxes on top of pine shavings.





This is where they sleep


this picture was taken about a month and a half ago, before she got sick

Thanks for the help.
I would try worming. If she has them they may be getting all of the good stuff from her feed. Sounds like she is just run down. Might try some vit. and electrolytes in her water to perk her up. Hope you get her up and running soon. Good Luck
One of my pullets had that exact same pained expression when she was egg-bound... She was very lethargic, sleepy-eyed, and had a little stripe of poo on the feathers under her vent. Is it possible that your girl is egg-bound? You didn't mention if she was laying.

I had a thought about the wet bedding... my chicken that was egg bound laid quite a few soft-shelled eggs that broke right away. A couple of times her sisters could not resist eating the yolk and membrane-like shell. What was left was a big, wet splotch of egg white under the roost.

She is a lovely bird. I hope you can figure out what is wrong!
she hasn't laid since April, I have checked her to see if she was egg bound a month or two ago, but maybe I should do it again. Any tips for the best way to do it??
Gosh, that is a long time not to lay. Did she molt during this time and not start up laying again?

My girl was egg-bound with soft shelled eggs so I could not really feel them when I touched her abdomen. I guess you can feel it if they are bound up with normal eggs. I took the advice on this forum and held her in a basin of very warm water for 30 minutes. She hated it! It was really hard to keep her bottom submerged, but my DH and I took turns holding her down. Poor thing was so miserable! I took her out, wrapped her in a towel, and she immediately laid a small egg with no shell. About three minutes later she laid a larger egg with a very soft shell and was like her old self again! I blow-dried her butt and kept her in the house for observation, but she was just fine!

I was instructed to give her one regular Tums for calcium. I crushed it and mixed it with pellets and yogurt. The next few eggs that she laid had soft shells... but they got better and are now normal.

I would suggest looking at the forum FAQ's... I know there are a couple of links about egg binding. It gets more complicated and dangerous if there is a huge egg stuck in there.
I don't know if there is a way to tell from observation alone if they are egg bound. For my girl, it was the lethargy, closed eyes, weird poo stuck to her bottom, pulsing vent, and she was holding her butt up in a strange way. On the forums people say that egg bound hens adopt a "penguin-like stance" but mine held her rump up instead of down. And I guess sometimes you can feel the egg in their abdomen.

Someone suggested worming... This might not be the best time to do it. It might be more than a sick bird can handle because it is very hard on their bodies.

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