1. Hi there,
    2 of the chickens that I have recently taken over the care of at work (new job too) as no one knew what they were doing, so were in a bit of a car crash situation when I started, have started to go sleepy standing with their eyes closed and one of them seems to be breathing differently more noticeably if you like I am very concerned. Background: I have recently wormed them with Flubenvet, I literally turned the coop upside down and scrubbed it inside and out and treated with poultry shield, dusted with Diotom literally every square inch including outside, underneath even the legs and surrounding soil outside and under the coop, I have dusted them given them (over a period) ACV and battles poultry drink and they are now on verm-x layers pellets, I have done all of this as for 2 years non of the above was done So I have been working hard to create a routine and and establish an effective care routine.
    They had northern fowl mite and I think I can see lice still?(I thankfully have never had this with my birds and am still very new to chicken keeping so not sure) they have suffered a lot of feather loss and look scraggy,what do I need to do? and have I in the process of trying to make them better made things worse I am very concerned. please can you help? the birds are just 2 yrs old.

    • It sounds as if you have been taking good care of them, however it also sounds as if they are sick – typically sleepy chickens are ‘on their last legs’ and the noises you describe sound like upper respiratory infection.

      I would suggest you see how they go over a couple of days but if they get any worse, take them to a poultry vet.

  2. Fly strike is very bad this year especially if a hen has watery diarrhoea . Can you advise how to stop the diarrhoea, is it through the hot weather ?

    • Chickens will drink more and pass more liquid out when it is hot. Chickens can’t sweat so this is one method they use to cool themselves down and an important reason to have fresh water available during hot weather that’s kept out of the sun.

      Diarrhoea is however sometimes a problem and can have other causes that I don’t know much about. There was an article on this on the poultrykeeper.com website by chickenvet some time ago – if you look under resources>diseases there is a section for digestive problems.

  3. Could you tell me why one of my chicken who went missing for two weeks then returned, and now has started to pull her feathers out? The other three I have bullied her to start with on her return but now are alright with her. I would appriciate you wisdom. Thank you.

    • The only thing I can think is she went broody and went to sit on some eggs somewhere then stopped being broody or her eggs got taken.

      She could have picked up some lice whilst sitting and is now aggravated by them.

      This is all a long shot / guess though!

      She may just be starting to moult (she will have probably stopped laying) and her feathers will be dropping out and she will preen more often to straighten her feathers out.

  4. We bought 5 Sussex Bantam from a well reputed supplier three weeks ago. We have been trying to get everything “right” but are very inexperienced. All the birds are doing well except one who has become lethargic, is being ostracised a bit and this evening I inspected her and noted that one of her eyes is closed and showing a discharge.

    Any suggestions?


    • It could have been pecked and may need an antibiotic eye ointment.
      I would keep a close eye on her and if it doesn’t improve shortly, take her to the vet for treatment.

  5. Hi. Not sure if this is a health question, or more of a behavioural one. When Marjory is free ranging, she picks up twigs and long bits of grass, and puts them on her back. She seems happy and healthy, so I’m just wondering what she is up to. Any ideas? Thanks.

  6. Hello my lovely girl Joyce, has a massive swollen eye surround. I have opened it and looked for worms and pus bit couldn’t see any. It doesn’t smell and I can’t see any injury, it’s getting bigger by the day. Can you suggest anything please, should I lance it for the out side? Many thanks

    • It could be eye worms, infection or….

      She really needs to see a vet, this is a fairly serious problem that needs attention quickly if you are to save her eye.

  7. Hi, One of my three Black Rock hens, usually very active and lively, is hunched up and listless, and has an enlarged crop. I think the problem is Sour Crop. I have very carefully massaged her crop and drained most of the brown fluid – there was a lot of it – and she now seems a little more comfortable. This is my first encounter with the condition, and I’m not sure what to do next. Your advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    • If it is sour crop, there is usually a really bad smell. I would have a look at the article on sour crop on the poultrykeeper.com website which should give you some guidance. I haven’t really had experience of this condition.

  8. Hi one of my hens was looking very listless today I picked her up to look at her, tipped her slightly head down to look at her rear and loads of yellowing liquid came from her mouth. I massaged her tummy and more came!! I have never seen this before she is now sitting quietly in the box. I have wormed them all in the last couple of weeks with Flubenvet and all the others seem very healthy, any ideas please,

    • This could be a crop problem – Sour Crop or Blocked Crop. The poultrykeeper.com site has more information on these conditions, it’s outside the scope of this site.

  9. Hi there, popping in hoping you might see this and be able to provide some help… one of our 7 chickens is moulting badly. She’s in good spirits, lively and very hungry, but she’s lost a lot of her feathers and is looking ghastly. Her face and comb are pale. She’s certainly not low in the pecking order either – she’s the one that will go for a peck if anyone is near her when the corn is thrown. All 6 other chickens are looking absolutely normal – any idea what this could be? I’m baffled!

    • Moulting is a perfectly natural process. Chickens usually moult in the autumn but can moult at other times as well. It takes longer for older hens to get through the moult.
      Just try not to handle her when she is moulting and provide her with sufficient food (protein). The feathers are full of blood as they grow and she will be sensitive to touch.

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