Chicken Seems Like She is Dying Today

by Katerina
(Phoenix, AZ USA)


Chicken Seems Like She is Dying Today: Our hens just started laying a couple of weeks ago. They are about 6 months old.

One of them was perfectly fine yesterday and this morning is laying somewhat sprawled and leaning on the side of the nest with one of her legs stretched out in front, and is still breathing but doesn't open her eyes much. She doesn't seem to be breathing heavily.

Yesterday she was active, friendly (two have recently started squatting and letting me pet them when I come in the coop and she's one of them).

I believe she's laid 2 or 3 eggs in the last few days (black rock), while the other layer has been laying almost every day for 2 or 3 weeks (silver laced Wyandotte).

The 3rd one we don't think has started laying (also black rock but her comb is less developed than the one I am concerned about).

We started with 5 chickens a few months ago. Two died a few weeks ago within about two weeks of each other.

Our 5 came from a friend's house who'd gotten them as day old chicks. They already had several older hens, so once they were out of the house and into the coop, they of course were subject to the pecking order (however none were actually hurt, it just seemed they had less access to food).

The first one that died, we'd called the runt as she'd barely been able to get to the food, but she was growing quite well once we brought the 5 here.

She was still a lot smaller than the others but was very sprightly until we found her one morning. The 2nd one was an Ameracauna who had always seemed a bit different and unfriendly.

We found her one morning facing the wall of the coop and later resting her head on the side of the nest. She was the next to go.

The Ameracauna was the only one we'd been concerned about as at least 3 times I noticed that she seemed somewhat unclean around her vent.

However, the rest of the time she seemed clean, just more skittish than the rest.

We had hoped of course that we wouldn't lose anymore chickens and the 3 we have at this point seemed to be healthy and happy, until this morning.

I wish I knew what else to tell you but I don't know what else would be relevant. This is our first time raising chickens, but we really think we've followed everything to make them happy & healthy!

They get a lot of kitchen scraps (almost all organic, mostly greens, veggies, berries, sometimes oatmeal, sunflower seeds), along with their food pellets, oyster shell.

They have a nice open coop, clean the nest almost every day, The coop at least 3 or 4 times a week. they do not use the roost yet, if that is somehow relevant.

Any help would be hugely appreciated!

Anytime you have a chicken not able to get to feed, it most likely will become sick and weak. She may be egg bound in which case you would need to help her.

Soaking her in a large tub filled with very warm water may relax her muscles enough to pass any eggs that are backed up.

Mineral deficiencies can be caused by poor nutrition. It would be best to separate her and make sure she puts weight back on.

Offering extra vitamins and minerals and conditioning feed may help her get on her feet and recover.

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