Sick Rhode island Red Hen
Sick Rhode island Red Hen: Chicken found lethargic, eyes clear, no oozing, white liquid diarrhea and head bobbing, rolling listing...wanting to close it's eyes and no eat/drink.
Seems to be tilting to one side. parasite? We feed it an all purpose poultry pellet, scratches for bugs, grass and we give it some scraps 1 x a week (veggie leftovers, stale bread (never moldy) or rice leftovers).
We have 21 hens that roost in apple trees and have clean ever-fount waterer and we are in Seattle so little wet as far as conditions.
No one else sick, just her in the hen house, all others outside and healthy. No sneezing, wheezing or discharge. Any help is greatly appreciated.
My worries are an outbreak or something. What do I need to do to protect others quickly.
I would quickly get some electrolytes into her. Something like Gatorade, with sugar, to boost her energy, and keep her warm with a heat lamp.
As sick as she is, she may need an antibiotic to help kill off whatever possible bacteria has got her down.
Another possibility is that she may have ingested sometime toxic. The symptoms would be similar. Antibiotics wouldn’t help that, but encouraging lots of fluids to flush her system, could.
I would hold her head and dip the tip of her beak in a spoon or jar lid, watching to see if she swallows. Keep dipping her beak as long as she swallows, giving breaks as needed.
Their diet sounds okay. I wonder why they would choose to sleep in the trees in Seattle, rather than in the hen house, where it would probably be dry and less windy.
Most chickens prefer the security of a coop that is locked up at night to keep them safer from predators, like raccoons, that can climb trees. Staying out of stormy damp drafts is healthier for chickens, too.
I would suggest a vitamin schedule for your flock before you attempt to treat an unknown disease with antibiotics.
This sick hen may have an internal parasite problem that hasn’t bothered the others. I would suggest getting a stool sample vet checked, especially if you see no signs of worms. Some live culture yogurt may help if she is strong enough to take more solid food.
Watering it down with some soaked feed may help. Check her body over for any signs of injury or being under weight. It may be too late to help her as she sounds very weak.
On the chance there is something contagious, I would highly recommend separating her from the flock and cleaning the hen house from all her droppings. Hope you can save her, and it doesn’t sound like the rest of the flock has been affected by this.
Getting an exam of the bird or blood or stool samples tested at the vet is really the only way to get to the truth of this matter.Return to Raising Chickens Home Page