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Everyone,

We have a Red that is really sick right now and we do not know what to do. 

She started off broodie. We pulled her from the nest and locked her out of the nesting box at night so she would roost with the rest of the girls. She was OK for a day, but then stopped getting up on the roost and now just lays on the floor. 

Her comb is pale and kind of floppy. her wings have drooped and touch the floor as she is laying down. We thought she might be really dehydrated so we tried hand feeding her grapes and bit of yogurt but she wont eat much. I put fresh water in front of her and she will only drink a few gulps. Mainly she just lays on the ground with her eyes closed. 

She has been having some diarrhea. Kind of yellowish, different than her normal dark green/brown with white and clear. 

We typically feed the girls scratch and pecks whole grain feed. Leave out some scratch and oyster shells. They have their own run, but we let them free range in the yard on the weekends.

She is looking really bad this morning. We hope she makes it through the day so I can try and feed her some more grapes tonight.

Any thoughts on what might help?

Thank you.  

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Replies to This Discussion

Hey Dan,

With a sick hen the first thing to do is to isolate her from the other hens in case it is infectious - get her into a straw-lined cage in a shed or somewhere.  Then you can treat her separately, as well. I am not a vet - just someone who has treated a number of sick hens and learned by doing.  Unless you go to a vet, it is guesswork and you can only try your best.  There are a lot of bugs out there that hens are susceptible to.

Things to try as generic fixes:  Put a light over her cage so she stays warm.  Get some poultry tetracycline at Cenex or Hohls and put it in her drinking water.  Or you can try natural antibiotics like grapefruit seed oil. You can also give her a vitamin/electrolyte mix (also available at Hohls or Cenex) which will get her some nutrition to counteract the diarrhea.  It goes in her water - or if she won't drink you can administer these things using an eyedropper (herbal tincture bottle), holding her beak open a bit and dribbling it onto her tongue.  Continue giving her treats, to tempt her.

These are first steps.  Try them and see if she improves any.  Other foks may have other fixes. 

Good luck,  Alicia

From what I have read your advice is sound. I will try to pick up some goods at cenex tonight on my way home

Alicia Wills said:

Hey Dan,

With a sick hen the first thing to do is to isolate her from the other hens in case it is infectious - get her into a straw-lined cage in a shed or somewhere.  Then you can treat her separately, as well. I am not a vet - just someone who has treated a number of sick hens and learned by doing.  Unless you go to a vet, it is guesswork and you can only try your best.  There are a lot of bugs out there that hens are susceptible to.

Things to try as generic fixes:  Put a light over her cage so she stays warm.  Get some poultry tetracycline at Cenex or Hohls and put it in her drinking water.  Or you can try natural antibiotics like grapefruit seed oil. You can also give her a vitamin/electrolyte mix (also available at Hohls or Cenex) which will get her some nutrition to counteract the diarrhea.  It goes in her water - or if she won't drink you can administer these things using an eyedropper (herbal tincture bottle), holding her beak open a bit and dribbling it onto her tongue.  Continue giving her treats, to tempt her.

These are first steps.  Try them and see if she improves any.  Other foks may have other fixes. 

Good luck,  Alicia

Hello,  I am sorry, I can not speak to the illness but when one of my ladies is acting sick, I first separate her in a dog crate with shavings.   If she's not drinking I use a left over syringe and put water into her for her to drink.  At least I know she is getting fluid.

sometimes snacks may get the appetite going.  1/2 apple or sunflowers seeds, hulled.....have you checked her for a bound egg?   ~  Good luck,  Jamie

If you do give a hen (or any bird for that matter) liquid orally be careful not to get anything in their windpipe or you could drown them. Birds' work a bit differently than we do, there will be a little hole at the base of their tongue, this is their windpipe, if using an eyedropper or syringe you want to get it all the way in the back/corner of their throat.

Also if you have/can borrow/find a copy of The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow (either for now or in the future) it's supposed to be the best available info for small flock owners in terms of diagnosing and treating flock problems.

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