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Hi all,

I have 4 Black Rock chickens which I bought 3 years ago. They were really good layers, pretty much giving me 4 eggs a day until around October last year. I now have on average, 6/8 a week. Over the last 3 weeks they hardly eat anything and have become a lot quieter. Today I noticed one of them has stayed inside all day and after just checking on her she looks really poorly

Her wattle leans to one side and is turning black, when I tried to move her she looked unsteady and lethargic. The other 3 seem fine with bright red wattles and are full of beans, although no eggs today!

Does anyone know what could be the matter with her?


Perhaps you could ring the vet just in case she is suffering.


Up,until 3 years ago I kept a lot of fowl. It could be a breathing problem.  Could the bird have been damaged in some way ?  It sounds respiratory to me. Has it got sour crop as this may be preventing the bird breathing properly. has it got a swollen crop that you can move around with your hand. If so let me know and I will try and help. 

Also good ventilation and change of bedding regularly is vitally important. 

But it really does sound like respiratory, heart or lung probs. so sorry !!

I think you should ask this question on a dedicated chicken website. Try Downsizer, maybe. There are smallholder/livestock message boards around.

Loz..........your Chickens will gradually lay less as they get older.  Light levels play a part in how active they are but they should be eating normally whatever time of year.

If one is sickly looking, keep it confined away from the others and seek advice from a Vet...........a good Vet who is experienced with Poultry...not just a vet who deals with domestic pets. 

I'm taking it that the poorly Chicken isn't just going into a moult ?  If not, I wouldn't waste any time getting her checked out.

Best of luck



Thanks for your feedback guys....

No red mite and not moulting, very well ventilated and the hen house is cleaned weekly with fresh bedding, without fail...had a look on another website and it could be a lack of oxygen affecting her lungs In that case, the lady noticed the poorly hen at the beginning of the day and the hen died the same day :'( Hope this isn't the case with mine. I will check in the morning (or my husband will) and let you know.

Give them all some Poultry Spice as a pick me up until you can get it properly checked out by a vet.  It's just a herbal pick me up that helps at times of stress e.g. moult, moving house, illness etc.  Sounds like something has affected blood flow to that area like low oxygen levels in the blood, are there any other symptoms like sneezing or wheezing?

flowering rose

to be good layers for that time is good .with out seeing her s, she could be brooding, or egg bound, and I am sure you know they go through a phase of  not laying for awhile  when they loose their feathers and with the daylight going they lay less,or  crop bound. a trip to the vet might be in order.

I used to go on the accidental smallholders site but there is another site which is dedicated to chickens and that's the forum.  I'm sure someone will identify your chicken's illness very quickly and let you know if it's contageous to the other birds.  Good luck and let us know how it all evolves.

So sorry to hear about your chicken not being well. Hope you find out what is wrong soon. 

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