Sick Hens In Coop
Sick Hens in coop, 1st Hen: Buff Orp hen 4yrs staying inside dark coop, huddled up, head in, shakes head as if tickled.
It has been about 5 days; she is drinking water with electrolytes and eating a small amount of food.
She walked around outside of dark coop a bit the other day. 2nd Hen: Yesterday, a 2yr Red hen, was outside in yard with flock, came inside and started the same scenario.
She lay down in a corner like it was dust bathing, but did not move. Listless, bottom dropped, huddled, head tucked in and shaking head, droppings on bottom.
She also has no feathers on her stomach, but was lying on eggs the other day. No change in food, no new chickens. What could be happening here and what to do? I have 9 hens in a 10x10 pen. Thanks.Answer
I couldn’t say what’s going on with them, for sure. It would be good to separate the sick ones from the others, to prevent the spread of possible disease.
It does sound like something that is spreading through your flock.
There may be something wrong with the feed and they are suffering with upset digestive systems.
When chickens have a poor appetite there is something seriously wrong, that could lead to death. They can only survive so long without enough food.
The best thing would be to take one of the sick hens to the vet and find out for sure what is wrong. You may need to treat the whole flock.
Your pen sounds small for so many hens. If they never get beyond the coop and 10 x 10 yard, they are over crowded.
Over crowding chickens leads to problems. This is high stress living for them, which can lead to their immune systems being too weak to fight disease.
When chickens have too little area to live in they can be grumpy with each other.
There may be pecking and bullying by the most dominant and keeping some of the less dominant chickens from food, too often.
A good size pen for chickens would allow 10 square feet per chicken, when this is their only living space.
In the coop it’s good to have 4 square feet of floor space per chicken.
There are higher bacteria levels when too many chickens are crowded together and diseases can spread quickly, as well as parasites.
Sometimes when chickens are over crowded, they will try to “get rid of” less dominant chickens they feel are invading their space.
This can lead to injuries and even cannibalism, in the worst cases.Return to Raising Chickens Home Page