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Sick Chicken

Georgia Junior Member
edited September 2008 in Poultry Health and Welfare
Hello Chicken lovers

I hope you can help. I have a very sick chicken. Speedy looks good in the face, however she wont walk but can stand and has very green small poo with clear liquid. Only a very little white. She is not leaving her basket to poo.

I thought she may be egg bound from reading other entries, however I couldnt feel anything with the internal examination.

My husband is bathing her now, and trying to feed her ground up shell grit (we dont have any calcium or asprin on hand tonight).

Is there anything else we can do? Will the egg come out tonight if she is bound? I cant imagine her having the energy to lay it ... she seems so frail.

Please help


  • crazychick Senior Member
    edited September 2008
    Hi Georgia,

    Did this come on fairly quickly or has she been getting sicker over a period of a few days or weeks? If she is eggbound, the calcium and aspirin is your first line of defence (I'll post my eggbinding instructions in case you haven't seen them), but the bathing in warm water is important too, especially if she is this sick. Sometimes they have a soft shelled egg, which is not easily felt when you first feel inside her cloaca. You may want to make an appointment with the vet, as well, because she may be brewing an infection. Do you have any antibiotics on hand?

    Signs of eggbinding are: droopy wings, eyes closed, loss of appetite, craving for calcium, tail straight up or drooping (depends on where egg is stuck), vent puckering in and out and often it is swollen and dripping clear or whitish fluid. They will have smallish or NO droppings if the egg is near the end of the oviduct and putting pressure on the rectum. If you suspect she is eggbound, give her 2 cc liquid calcium OR grind up a human calcium tablet and give her half of it (mixed with water) or at the very least, offer her oyster shell. See if you can get some liquid calcium, though- it is available at most pharmacies. Get some KY gel while you're at the pharmacy. Lube your finger and slide it gently into her vent- the area your finger will be in is the rectum, but above it is the oviduct. You may be able to feel an egg in there. Do not try to force the egg out- this is far too painful for the hen. If you do feel an egg and have confirmed egg binding, mix up the following: 5 regular strength (325 mg) aspirin (not ibuprofen or tylenol) into 4 litres (1 gallon) water. Give this to her free choice. If she is not drinking and you need to syringe water into her, mix up 3 aspirin in 1 litre, and get at least 20 cc of this water into her. This will help with any inflammation and pain that occurs with eggbinding. Then, fill up a sink with warm water- not hot, but about the temperature you'd wash dishes in. Stand your hen (or, if she wants to lie down, just fill the water halfway up her body- you don't want her entire body soaked) in the water- so her abdomen is completely underwater. Let her stand there for up to an hour- keep the water warm. If she is struggling, then the water bath is not allowing her to relax (which is what it is supposed to do) and you might as well take her out and either hold hot wet towels on her abdomen or (again, at the very least) put her under a heat lamp after drying her off from her water bath.

    Let us know how she's doing...

  • Georgia Junior Member
    edited September 2008
    Hi Crazychick

    Thank you very much for your response. I followed all of the instructions over night, bath, calcuim, water, warm, quiet. And this morning she woke up feeling better, she passed a much larger then normal poo that was mainly white. Her tail is up and she is walking around happily, eating and drinking. I gave her (and the other chickens) a warm porrige/honey/milk mixure and she is back with the others.

    How strange, no odd eggs to be seen. It came on very quickly, a matter of hours and now she seems fine. I will keep an eye on her.

    I wonder what was wrong?

    Thanks for a fabulous resource ...

  • Georgia Junior Member
    edited September 2008

    This morning I found a part formed egg in her sick bed. It had no shell and alot of liquid, including yolk.

    She is better then yesterday, but a little tired and seperated from the group.

    Thanks, I hope she is on the mend

  • crazychick Senior Member
    edited September 2008
    Glad to hear that she was able to pass the soft shelled egg. It is amazing how quickly they go downhill when they are eggbound! SOunds like you did all the right things and now you know what to do if you ever see a hen displaying the same symptoms!

    Good work - I hope she continues to improve and is back to normal within a day or two.


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