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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28967
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Wow this is an awesome service! My chicken has been acting

Customer Question

Wow this is an awesome service!
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the bird?
Customer: My chicken has been acting strange for about a week now. Her head is tucked back, her tail is low and little to no appetite. One of her eyes has also been red and closed.. kinda goopy. She has been pooping but very runny. I have been giving her silver water, pedialite and wiping her eye. I havent been able to get her to eat. Seems she has a hard time aiming with one eye. Not sure what else to do.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your bird?
Customer: She also hasnt laid in well over a week. She doesnt feel egg bound and her crop is totally empty
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your hen. She has symptoms referable to her respiratory tract (infraorbital sinus infection associated with that red eye?), her gastrointestinal tract (runny poop), is anorexic and has stopped laying (nonspecific signs of illness). Unfortunately, these symptoms can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues in chickens. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of such a presentation, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. Necropsy of a newly dead or a sacrificed severely ill bird then refrigerated (not frozen) can be an important diagnostic particularly in large flocks. With this in mind, your best course of action is to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or avian-oriented veterinarian (please see here: for help in arranging a necropsy if you have a large flock. An avian vet would still be ideal for such a hen.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of her financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen. It frustrates me that I can't be more specific for you but such is the dilemma of poultry owners and vets alike.

If you don't have an avian vet available to you, presumptive treatment for the most common gastrointestinal parasites plus a broad spectrum antibiotic are reasonable. Piperazine (Wazine, e.g.) will address roundworms and amprolium (Corid) will address coccidia. Tylosin (Tylan-50) dosed at 20-30 mg/lb once daily intramuscularly into her breast muscle or the injectable solution can be given orally (it's quite distateful, however) for 5-7 days is available in many feed stores and online as are the other drugs. It's best to bring her inside as shown here:

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin