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Chicken not quite there!?!

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I realise chickens hide illness and they can have a mutitude of things going on! But wondered if anyone had any advice. 


My chicken has been off colour for weeks. Started with just sitting around for most of the day, a bit lethargic. Going to food and just standing by it. Appeared to be drinking. Checking her there were no obvious signs like a filled crop or struggling to lay (though she hasn't laid for a week or two now).

The run was littered with her feathers so thought maybe a heavy molt. The dogmother suggested a tonic so have been using that. I have also been helping her along hand feeding her. 

The last couple of days she has been on her feet more and moving around how ever she seems sort of not there....sort of slow.....trying to hand feed her yesterday and she pecked at the food and didnt pick any up. Then just stopped. She has limped a couple of times this morning but nothing obvious going on with her foot. 

Anyone got any ideas 🤷‍♀️ The vet is a long way away and short of antibiotics I'm not sure if it's just a chicken thing that cant be explained?? Or if anyone else has had anything similar? 

Thank you 

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Yellow/ green is an indicator of stress, which could be a parasite attack, internal infection or some internal problem. The pale comb at this time, after being in lay, does point to something serious. Though I doubt this is an issue, fly strike is possible, but after two weeks she would be gone. The white on the comb would be dead skin I think? Or are they paler areas which says a blood supply problem. On the plus side she is pooing something so if she keeps eating and drinking there is a chance.

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Thank you both for your help.

Flubevent arrived today so she is being wormed. 

Dogmother I did notice under her wings earlier stubby ends ....are these the quills? Her wings seemed to feel really thin and there are still white feathers all over the run. 

Does this lethargy seem to happen everytime with a molt Dogmother? The other two dont seem to have been affected, though they are different breeds. They are also starting to pick on her and she was sleeping half out of the coop the other night so I lifted her in. I will try her with a stronger dose of the tonic in the morning. How do I get her to open her beak ? I have a small syringe type thing from my childrens calpol so could do it with that. 


Beantree this hen ALWAYS has a dirty behind....since day 1. We wash her and clean her...and she seems to clean herself too. But I hadn't hear of flystrike before so will keep an eye on her. And maybe give her another bath tomorrow. I just dont do it so much in this weather as I dont want her to get a chill. 

In hand fed her earlier and she gave me some chicken noises which I took as a thank you! 

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It sounds as if there may be something more amiss than just a moult, but we can't be sure just going on descriptions. Quills coming through the skin, especially in bald areas and round the vent will indicate that she is growing new feathers; you can see some on the photo below, and here.


Syringe feeding is easy - video here - but you must take it slowly as they don't have a gag reflex, so could aspirate the liquid. 

Are you in the UK, if so roughly where are you located? It may be that an experienced Omleteer is near you and can take a look. I would suggest that you find a poultry-savvy vet in your area and take her in to be checked out.

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I overlooked the obvious first question, "When was she wormed with Flubenvet?". Could also be a case of bad gut bacteria which have overwhelmed the good bacteria making digestion impossible. I would recommend Avipro Avian to correct that. Fly strike is an attack on bad skin which results from poo sitting on it, so keeping her bottom clean is important. Could apply some vaseline to the skin below the vent to help stop poo sticking.

Opening her beak must be done with care to avoid injury to her lower beak. Grip top beak with finger and thumb and get your nails between the beaks and slowly open them avoiding sideways movement on the lower beak. Then just hold your fingers there, tipping the head back while you very slowly syringe a small amount of liquid. Then release the beak and lift the head to let them swallow. The amount of liquid depends on the hen, so our bantams get 0.3mL at a time, standard hens 1-2mL and a huge cockerel (6Kg) we had could manage 5mL.

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Hi just to say Hen looking brighter last few days. She has started walking around and scratching in the wood chip. Before she just sat around looking all sad 😕


Have been worming them all with the flubevent in food and tonic in their water. A little stronger on the tonic for poorly hen in the only dish she will drink out of. 


I do every morning hold my breath opening the coop as I am waiting for her not to come out one day. But she is still on the go. 


Who knows?! Hens (like children🤣 oh and husbands....) baffle me! All alike I guess...they need sunlight, food, water and a little TLC. 🙂🙃


Thanks for your advice. 

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