Sick hen - help please : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have 4 hens(pets), one of them, Gladys, an 18 month old buff orpington is not well. I'm really worried about her. She's just sitting around and when she does move its very slowly, she has eaten a bit and is drinking. She finished her molt about two weeks ago (all her feathers are back) and she has never layed many eggs. They were all wormed last week. The other three seem fine. I have noticed that she had watery droppings for 2 days but now doesn't seem to be doing many droppings , they are very small ones when she does. She's sat next to me sleeping at mo - so I've got her warm and hydrated - but what else can I do? She makes litle noises every now and then - not usual ones for her. I can also feel her breastbone quite well - not as padded as the others. Her comb is a little paler than usual. It seems like she's constipated. I really want to help her.

Please, can anyone suggest anything. I'd really appreciate it if u could.

-- Katherine from UK (, November 03, 2001


Give your hen some acidophilus. If you can't get any, get yogurt.

-- Nina @ wild abandon (, November 03, 2001.

Also, it is always a good idea to put a little cider vinegar in their water or feed electrolytes while sick.

I think it is positive that she is still eating and drinking. I'll be hopeful...

Please let us know the outcome.

-- Ann Markson (, November 03, 2001.

She could have coccidiosis. Place her on Corid (amprolium) in her water for a week. Follow package directions. Wormer does not kill coccidia.

-- Sandra Nelson (, November 03, 2001.

I've had a problem with several of my buff orpingtons getting crop- bound over the last 3 years. Not one of my 10 or so other breeds, only the orpingtons. Feel to see if she has a big hard knot where her crop is. For whatever reason (long bits of coarse grass, hay, or something else that won't go down,) the contents of the crop get bound up, then the bird can get no nutrition and they just waste away. I've read that you can squirt a little cooking oil down their throat and try to work the crop contents back up, but that if you're successful there's still a chance the crop got overstretched and won't function normally, so the same thing will happen again. Let us know what happens with her.

-- Paula (, November 03, 2001.

Thank you all for responding - its very kind of you. Gladdy is asleep on the sofa at the moment. I phoned the vet and I'm taking her tomorrow. She's had a drink and a bit of a digestive biscuit - it was the only thing she would have tonight. I so much hope she'll be ok, its breaking my heart. She wouldn't have bio yogurt - I did give her some yesterday. I'm really worried, I really love my hens. She doesn't seem to be able to poop, only little bits of those cecal type droppings come out - dark coloured ones. I've noticed that the other 3 have watery droppings - it might be coccidiosis - do u think? I'll treat all of them - will it harm them if it isn't cocci? It takes too long for lab results to come back to wait.

-- Katherine from UK (, November 03, 2001.

Could she be egg bound? If she has a large malformed egg, she probably wouldn't be able to pass it, nor droppings either. Often you can FEEL them in the vent.

Treatment until you can get to the vet would be increased humidity, warmth, and some lubricant (like vegetable oil) in the vent if you can work it in. Be careful not to get the oil all over her feathers, ruins her natural insulation. If she'll stay on it, a damp towel on top of a hot water bottle would be one way to go. Another would be to put an empty aquarium (or large heat-proof bowl) on top of a heating pad (on LOW), line the aquarium or bowl with a damp towel, and place the bird on top of the towel. If she won't stay, try holding her on top of it for as long as you can (could be QUITE awhile).

Also if you have Bach Rescue Remedy (or equivalent of a different brand), put 4 drops in a small glass of water, and dip her beak into the water every 5-10 minutes. I read (have not experienced) that this treatment caused an egg-bound hen to pass her egg quite quickly. I'd rub some around the vent area too, myself. Even if egg binding is not what is wrong with her, Rescue Remedy is good for all traumatic situations. Make up your own glass and sip it, good for you too!

I had a cockatiel who was egg bound and had to be anesthetized to have the eggs removed. She had several backed up behind one large, misshapen egg. This can happen even when the bird gets enough calcium supplement. She hasn't had a problem since. My sister had a cockatiel who became egg bound, and passed it as soon as she was anesthetized because her muscles relaxed. If they can't pass the egg on their own (with the treatment I've described), the vet will have to intervene.

-- Joy F [in So. Wisconsin] (, November 03, 2001.

A coccidiostat will not hurt them if they don't have it. If they do have coccidiosis they need to be started on the medicine as soon as possible. I would get corrid or some other drench type brand. God Bless and hug Gladys for me!

-- Nan (, November 03, 2001.

Hi again, have just got back from vets with Gladdy. The vet said she could hear some fluid in her lungs, her heart was fine so was her temperature. She had a shot of broad spectrum penicillin and i have some sulfam....... to put in her water - a coccidistst that they use to treat all animals with cocci - 5ml per 100ml for 5 days. She has had a drink but has not eaten, I also asked for some electrolytes which I've added to that mix - will treat all of them with this. What do you think? Also left fecal sample with her. Thanks in advance, Katherine

-- Katherine from UK (, November 04, 2001.

Remember no other source of water for the whole treatment with the sulfa! I would be MAKING Glady's drink with an eyedropper or syringe. No food or water, means no poop, and she is likely dehydrated. In the future you may want to just treat all your gals every other month for 5 days in their water, especially wet springs and fall. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, November 04, 2001.

She seems to have gone worse, she's spreading her wings out and breathing quite hard - kind of gasping, there's a mucousy sort of noise in her lungs, like rattling, you know when you've got a chest infection. Don't know what to do except for what I am doing. Doesn't seem good.

-- Katherine from UK (, November 04, 2001.

Dosnt sound good. You sure are giving it a good try to get her well though. She maybe to tired to keep fighting. You could try eucalyptus oil in a vaporizer or better yet brew up some sage tea [ sage leaves from garden with hot water poured over it] let it cool and give a little with a eye droper[ sage opens the bronchile tubes to help breathing ].Good luck, hope she gets better.

-- kathy h (, November 04, 2001.

Thank you for all your input, it is very much appreciated. Gladdy died last night. Not sure what it was, she lost the use of her legs and staggered, her wings dropped right down and she was gasping for air, she had a fit and then died. I feel totally heartbroken and am worried about the other three. They seem fine, and are being treated for cocci, but i hope it wasn't something else that is contagious.

-- Katherine from UK (, November 05, 2001.

My sons pet chicken got sick last summer and I took her to a vet. The vet said that BECAUSE THE ILLNESS SEEMED CONNECTED TO AN INJURY ON THE LEG THAT THE CHANCES OF RECOVERY WAS GOOD! This implies that illnesses are hard to treat, you did your best and so did the vet, and not every bird can be saved. It really sounds like this bird had the best of care.

-- terri (, November 05, 2001.

My chicken is sick now too! I gave her some tea (i heard it's good for them) then i put her in a cage in a warmer room. She's lying down all day and her eyes are usually shut. I think she is going to die. Please all of you, i really want her to live. I'll try bach flower rescue remedie right now.

-- jd (, December 05, 2001.

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