When they get old...........


12 Years
Oct 26, 2007
It's very sad. I don't euthanize my sick/old chickens. I just keep them comfortable. My 2 out of the original 17 hens have lived to be almost 12 years old. Last year, one of them developed a limp. I took her to an avian vet and they took xrays, and they weren't sure, but it looked like a mass near her ovary. So I took her home and she did pretty good, in spite of her limp. About a month ago, her limp seemed to be getting worse. Then I noticed that she had a lot of diarrhea, and then her energy went down. About 10 days ago, I put her in a dog crate so I could monitor her better. I noticed that her crop was full and she probably wasn't digesting anything.
I'm thinking if she did have a tumor, it was probably enlarging enough to shut off her GI tract. I tried to give her an antibiotic, but wasn't eating the stuff I would mix it with and I wasn't going to fight with her to get it down her throat. Plus.......it would probably just sit in her crop.
She was drinking water, so I added aspirin to her water.
I checked out her vent area, to be sure she didn't have mites, since I've seen that happen when they are laying down all the time. No mites, but it appears as though her previous constant diarrhea caused several areas below her vent to open up. I either give her a bath to clean that off, or just sponge it off with warm water and then coat it with triple antibiotic cream.

She seems comfortable and doesn't move much. I don't think it will be much longer.
Every time one of my hens died, it broke my heart. I really dread saying goodbye to her. She's been such a sweetheart. Her name is Skunk (she is black and white) and is a Black Australorp.

I haven't been aggressive with figuring out what's wrong because she's so old, and I didn't want to cause her more pain by doing things to her. I will miss her when she finally passes. :(


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Nov 23, 2010
St. Louis, MO
The aspirin was probably a good idea.
I've lost a bird to cancer before.
The antibiotics won't cure cancer.
It is much kinder to an old hen friend to euthanize. Her quality of life isn't good.
Proper animal husbandry is to take the best care of them you can.
If you're not wanting to spend the thousands of dollars it would take to treat her(which I don't recommend), it's best to put her down.
Last edited:


5 Years
Aug 11, 2014
Magnolia, Texas
x2, what Canoe said.

She could be in quite a lot of pain, especially if the tumor, as you say, has grown to the point that it's pressing on her insides.

I know it's hard, but I might encourage you to help her take that final journey.


Very sorry for your troubles.


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