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Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 9011
Experience:  13 years of pet, wildlife, and zoo avian experience, PLEASE rate my service when satisfied.
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One of hens is not eating or drinking she just stands in the

Customer Question

One of hens is not eating or drinking she just stands in the hen run all hunched up and she has her eyes closed most of the time for the last 3 days. I have checked her for mights and lice and there is no sign of either. This morning I noticed one of the other hens is looking as if she is going the same way, I also noticed this second hen had a runny poo.
I also forgot to mention the first sick hen seems to have lost a lot of feathers from her under side. I have 12 hens in total and they are very free ranging over 4 acres.
Any idea what the problem is?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Dan replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question, I'm Dr. Dan and I'll try to help you.

I'm sorry that your bird is feeling bad, chickens are fun little birds and it is awful when they feel sick. Given that the feathers are plucked from her underside and she is so lethargic I would suspect she has a stuck egg, or worse an egg yolk floating free in her "belly." Egg yolks in the belly are a common side effect of being a hen and can be very problematic. If you want to help her out and increase the odds that she'll survive then she'll need the vet to help support her with medications fluids and nutrition and possibly even surgery if you'll allow it. If it is a stuck egg then vet can remove it and solve the problem.

If I'm right and it's a free floating yolk then about 1/3 will live, 1/3 will live and never lay again, and 1/3 will die. If you want to try to nurse her she needs to be feed by hand and given water by hand daily and she needs to be kept around 80F as a temperature, this will provide the nursing care she needs while she tries to recover on her own. I'd strongly recommend veterinary care.

Dr. Dan