what to feed a sick chicken

by Tamara Goodwin Published 1 year ago Updated 1 year ago

What to Give Chickens When they are Sick?

  • Scrambled Eggs. Eggs are not only tasty to hens, but they are also beneficial for them! Chickens require protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals, which ...
  • Mealworms.
  • Probiotics.
  • Sunflower Seed Oil.
  • Pumpkin.

You can feed your chicken hard-boiled eggs, mealworms, fresh or thawed corn, yogurt, human-grade cooked meats, grapes, cantaloupe, cherries, apples and fresh greens, such as grass, clover, lettuce, spinach and kale. Another option that you can explore to feed your sick chicken is known as the 'Rickets Diet'.Sep 15, 2020

Full Answer

What foods make a chicken sick?

The ASPCA says not to feed me (or your dog):

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate (all forms)
  • Coffee (all forms)
  • Fatty foods
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy or spoiled foods
  • Onions, onion powder
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Salt

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How can you tell if your chicken is sick?

The most common signs of illness in chickens include:

  • Not eating well: going off feed is a tell-tale sign of illness in animals
  • Bubbly or watery eyes or nose
  • Rasping when breathing
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • A strange odor to the bird (s)
  • Swelling of the comb and/or wattles
  • Unusual lesions (sores) on the comb and/or wattles
  • Limping or inability to stand

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What are the signs of a sick chicken?

  • Your chickens are probably sick if they are not eating well. ...
  • Your chickens are sick if they are rasping when breathing.
  • If your chickens have bubbly or watery eyes or nose.
  • If you notice swelling around their eyes.
  • If you notice a strange odor to the birds.
  • If you notice swelling wattles or comb in your chickens.

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What can I Feed my chickens to fatten them up?

You can supplement what you give the chicken to help it fatten up more. Cracked corn, whole wheat and soy can be fed to chickens throughout the day. These items help to pack on the weight.If you decide your chickens need better nutrition for better weight and muscle development I would recommend using a conditioning feed.


What can you give a sick chicken?

If the chicken is not eating independently, they can be fed by spoon, dropper, syringe or tube fed a liquid diet. Layer feed can be can be crushed with warm water or warm milk to make a soupy mash, which a sick chicken may find enticing when little else does.

How do you treat a sick chicken at home?

6 home remedies for a sick chicken: Reduce swelling with honey, use molasses as a laxative, acidify the crop with white vinegarASPIRIN SOLUTION. Action: painkiller, anti-inflammatory. ... CIDER OR WHITE VINEGAR. ... MOLASSES SOLUTION. ... SUCROSE SOLUTION. ... SUGAR OR HONEY. ... ELECTROLYTES.

How do you save a dying chicken?

Try adding 1 teaspoon sugar, molasses or honey to 1 quart of water. This sweet energy boost is great for the first few hours, then you'll want to switch back to plain water. FOOD For lethargic chicks, try feeding them raw egg yolk. This will provide the nutrients they need to begin eating on their own.

What can I feed a lethargic chicken?

2. Feed your lethargic chicken with an eyedropper every few hours.Organic coconut water.Organic chicken feed soaked in the same organic coconut water.Water and apple cider vinegar.Olive oil (only needed once a day)

What is a natural antibiotic for chickens?

Several months ago, the New York Times that commercial chicken processor, Bell & Evans, has been studying oregano as a natural antibiotic for their chickens. They have found that oregano oil and cinnamon specifically seem to work best at keeping pathogens at bay.

How do you nurse a chicken back to health?

4:056:28How to Keep a Sick Chick ALIVE (and hopefully go on to thrive) ❤️YouTubeStart of suggested clipEnd of suggested clipSolution into your egg yolk. And this is your slurry. Now you can add the slurry to your needlelessMoreSolution into your egg yolk. And this is your slurry. Now you can add the slurry to your needleless syringe. And slowly feed it to your baby chick by placing drops on the side of their beak.

How do you know a chicken is dying?

The signs or symptoms of a dying chickens are:Stood very still or lethargic and moving slowly.Not eating or drinking.All fluffed up.Hunched over, sometimes called a roach back, or stood bolt upright.Stood still even when touched or moved.Neck extended with difficulty breathing.More items...•

How do you put a sick chicken down?

Decapitation is an effective, humane method of dispatching a suffering animal. It is not instantaneous, but very quick, with unconsciousness usually occurring within 15-20 seconds. Unconsciousness occurs when the head is removed, and the Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) escapes from the cut spinal cord.

How long can a chicken go without eating?

Still, like any captive animal, they need regular feeding to both survive and thrive. In general, a chicken can go for no more than 4–5 days without their regular food, as they'll be quite malnourished after this point.

Are scrambled eggs good for chickens?

Eggs are a good source of protein not only for humans but for chickens, too. They will gobble them right up!

How do you make a dying chicken comfortable?

How to comfort a dying chicken.Keep them away from the rest of the flock. ... Keep your voice quiet. ... Find quiet sleeping quarters for your chicken. ... Keep your dying chicken warm. ... Lower the light levels. ... You may need to wrap the chicken in a light cotton towel to stop any flapping.More items...•

Why is my chicken acting weak?

Lethargy can be related to simply being sleepy of an afternoon after a nice treat; a pale comb can result from molting and a break in laying. Droopy wings and panting, may simply be the "I'm hot!" stance, when your bird holds her wings out from her body and breathes with an open beak to help cool down.

Scrambled Eggs

Eggs are not only tasty to hens, but they are also beneficial for them! Chickens require protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals, which are all found in eggs. In a small amount of olive oil or butter, scramble one egg. Allow cooling before mashing and serving. You may think about boiling the egg without mashing the yolk.


Mealworms are high in iron and protein. On the other hand, you will not come across any challenges at the time of giving mealworms to chickens. That’s because they are one of the favorite foods of chicken. You will not come across any challenges when you are buying mealworms as well.


Probiotics can support the gut health of your chicken. As you already know, yogurt is one of the best foods with probiotics. You don’t have to worry about giving a small amount of yogurt to your chicken. However, make sure that you never overdo it. So, we always recommend feeding chicken feeds with probiotics.

Sunflower Seed Oil

Sunflower seed oil is one of the richest sources of protein. Therefore, you may think about giving it to your chicken as well. One of the greatest things about sunflower seed oil is that it is rich in fiber and fat. Hence, most chickens would love to enjoy sunflower seed oil.


Pumpkin is one of the most nutritious foods that you can possibly think about providing to your chicken. That’s because pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. On top of that, you can expect to get numerous minerals with pumpkin as well. Along with the help of pumpkin, you can restore the overall digestive health of your chicken.


Your sick chicken should be hydrated to recover from their illnesses fast. Therefore, you will need to think about providing lots of water to them as well. Make sure that you provide access to fresh and clean water with a chicken waterer. There should be enough clean water for the chicken to drink.

Add garlic or apple cider vinegar to water

You may also think about adding garlic or apple cider vinegar to the water that your chicken drinks. One of the most effective methods to add garlic is to crush it. Garlic comes along with natural antibiotic properties. You should be careful to add it to water in a ratio of up to four cloves per gallon of water.

1. Isolate the sick chicken inside in a cage or roomy, open-air box with a heat lamp

This is step #1. Immediately get your lethargic chicken inside. We set up an old dog cage for our sick hen. You must get the sick chicken inside and away from all the other noisy hens and chickens. Put some soft blankets in the cage. Our little girl put a soft stuffed animal in the cage, which our hen loved. She went and laid down right next to it.

2. Feed your lethargic chicken with an eyedropper every few hours

You’ll need to pick the chicken up in your arms, put the eyedropper by her beak, and literally let out liquid onto her beak, if she’s as weak as Goldie was. Once she senses and feels the liquid on her beak, she should start to drink. Feed your chicken these holistically healing ingredients. Introduce them carefully, and don’t overdose.

3. Hydration is more important for a sick chicken than filling up with food

Make your chicken drink, while making food optional. This is very important. The right hydration is far more important than forcing your chicken to eat. Offer her food, and eventually when she is feeling better she’ll start eating again. But you MUST offer your hen nourishment. When hens get like this, they will not eat by themselves.

4. Keep offering your sick chicken hydration and nourishment, and be there for her

This one’s simple. Don’t let your chicken rot in her cage or get forgotten about! As simple as it is, it’s easy to go about our lives and forget about our dear little animals. So, don’t. Nurture your chicken and repeat the three steps above, and there is no reason she should die on you.

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