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Author Topic: Help with unwell hen  (Read 1804 times)


  • Joined Nov 2008
Help with unwell hen
« on: August 27, 2010, 07:09:00 pm »
One of the girls suddenly went lethargic a couple of days ago.  Comb fine but fluffed up and tail droopy, not moving a lot.  Thought she might have a stuck egg so sat her in warm water yesterday a few times.  I noticed that the top of her beak was overgrown to one side, almost crossing.  Have trimmed it this morning because it looks like she was having a problem eating.  She is still lethargic which is probablynot surprising if she has not been eating properly.  She is obviously very hungry but won't eat layers pellets or corn.  Has taken with gusto any worm offered to her and this evening I mashed some layers pellets with some warm water and she dived into those.  She is drinking fine.  Any ideas as to why her beak grew like it did whereas none of the others are suffering and also why she won't take hard food?  Any ideas would be welcomed!
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  • Joined Aug 2012
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Re: Help with unwell hen
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2010, 09:04:17 pm »
Just a wild guess here - refusing hard food could mean pain - did you manage to look inside her mouth when doing her beak?  Any inflamed areas?  Sorry, no ideas otherwise and I don't know what you give a hen with a sore throat. ::)
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age


  • Joined Aug 2009
  • North East Fife
Re: Help with unwell hen
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2010, 09:15:03 pm »
it could just be one of life's mysteries,

hopefully she makes a full recovery, i had one the same a few weeks back, sadly she died.
expect the worst, and anything other will be a welcomed surprise  :chook:


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Help with unwell hen
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2010, 10:14:25 am »
Thanks for the comments.  Well, she is still with us, and looking somewhat chirpier, I would say, as each day passes.  She prefers to eat her bit of food away from the others so possibly she was starting to be bullied as well, although there is no evidence.  She'll eat a little hard food, but is preferring mash and insects etc.  We'll persevere and see what happens!


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Help with unwell hen
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 09:27:54 am »
Just thought I say that she is absolutely fine now!

But now I have a problem with another one.  She has brown diarrhoea, and her comb is pale this morning.  She is and has been eating while roaming but have to coax her back into coop at night.  Not that interested in feed or corn.  While roaming around she has preferred to be on her own for the last few days.  Did find red mite some days ago but have dealt with them (for the time being).  They were last wormed with Flubenvet 3/4 months ago.  Any ideas?  As I say, she is walking around, doing chickeny things but has the above symptoms.  Don't think she is laying though.  Generally they are moulting and only one of the 4 is laying (I think - unless they have found somewhere else!).  I do know which one is laying though. 

Any comments would be really helpful!


  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Help with unwell hen
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 09:34:17 am »
How old are the hens? Are they coming to the end of their days, I find that breeds that are egg machines, have a relatively short life compared to other breeds, sometimes this can be as short as 2/3 years


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Help with unwell hen
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2010, 09:45:35 am »
Hi - they are 2 1/2 years.....


  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Help with unwell hen
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2010, 10:03:00 am »
I have had two similar cases recently both with different outcomes, both hens are just over 2 years old, they became ill at different times but both had pale combs, hunched up generally looking quite pathetic not moving around much, one was in a pen with 8 others and a cockerel, so I removed her and put in a pen with the hospital cases (ones that need a bit of TLC for various reasons) these are all on cider vinegar in the water one week followed by a tonic in the water on the alternative week. It took a bout 3/4 weeks but she did pick up and is now fine although not laying. The other was also moved to the hospital pen but rather than recovering when we went to put them away on Tuesday night she was laying on her side outside the hen house, needless to say I put her out of any discomfort straight away.
I have kept poultry for over 10 years and find that unless there is an obvious problem, and if trying a tonic or cider vinegar does not work the chicken probably wont recover. Unless you want to pay vet bills, or if the problem is spreading throughout the flock (which will need investigating) it is probably best to cull it. I would always try a tonic etc first though as you never know!

I saw a website ad called Chickenvet, have not looked at it myself yet but it might be worth a look to see if anyone on there can help.



  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Help with unwell hen
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2010, 03:17:43 pm »
Thanks, I'll try a tonic!


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