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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sick Hen Recovers

About a week and a half ago, my hen, Dominique, quit eating. No matter what I left for her, she just did not eat. For three days she did not eat even her oats, the things she loves most. I was stymied.

She didn't have her head and tail tucked. She walked slowly, but never came to the door to greet me. Okay, maybe she comes to the door trying to get out. Whatever. I am not sure she ever drank water, but it never seemed gone at all.

Her crop was not distended. She did not appear to be egg-bound. Her comb did not appear to be dehydrated. All her feathers were fine--clean, no stragglers, and her butt hair was in order, not dirty or anything. ??? The strangest part of all--she appeared to become smaller every day.

I did observe her pooping one day. It was clear liquid and the urine was just gray goo. That's not normal.

The heat is the only thing to which I can attribute her malaise. Plus, if I eat certain things when I am hot, I, too, have diarrhea.

When the temperature went down to low 90s, she slowly seemed to regain her appetite. However, she never rushes to it or to the door as usual.  She has always had plenty of water. She did not seem to appreciate being sprayed with the finest mist from the hose. Yet, even then she did not hurry much.

The only thing she has seemed eager and happy to eat was watermelon scraps.

Gradually, her eating has improved. She still never rushes about but does walk faster. Her food is gone when I go out next. It is still hot but not near 100. She is the first black hen, a Dominique, that I have had. I wonder if her being black increased her discomfort in the heat to the point she quit eating.

Your turn
Have you had a chicken behave this way and figured out the problem?


  1. It does sound like heat, and sounds as if she is one smart chook and knows what is good for her.

    1. EC,
      She was panting only one day and often had her wings hanging. I guess chickens are like us, eating in the heat is not good.


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