Chicken Is Puffed Up Not Moving + Lethargic, (5 Reasons Why)

Chickens can get sick, if you notice that your chicken is starting to develop a change in behavior, this usually means that there is a problem with the bird. One sign of the chicken being sick is if it’s puffed up, not moving, and lethargic. So why is your chicken puffed up, not moving, and lethargic? This article looks into it

Unfortunately, chickens can suffer from a number of illnesses, if your bird is puffed up, not moving and lethargic then reasons for this can be heatstroke, lice/mites, worms, or coccidiosis

Chicken is puffed up not moving and lethargic, reasons why this happens:

Generally, chickens are very happy-go-lucky animals, they will usually be very active whether they’re in their coop or allowed outside. These animals look for food all day, run around all day, and play with each other all day. If your bird isn’t acting this way, here are reasons why you’re chicken is acting differently:


If it is particularly hot that day, then your chicken may simply be feeling overheated. It will react by puffing up its feathers and not doing too much movement, this is not a serious issue.

If the bird’s wings are hanging down then the animal is likely suffering from a heat stroke


Another reason why your bird may be acting this way may be lice or mites.

These parasites can cause birds to become tired and not want to move, you can check for these if you stretch out the bird’s wing and blow air under it. Look closely to see if you can find any lice or mites running around on the bird’s skin.

You may also need to check the bird’s rear, do this by moving the feathers in the area to check the bird’s vent. Look to see if there are any red or clear bugs on the bird 


Worms can also be the reason behind why your chickens are acting this way, figuring out if your chicken has worms involves you having a look at its poop.

If you notice that there are any white specs in the poop, or any worm-like objects in it, then worms are likely the reason for their change in behavior.


Coccidiosis is another well-known disease that affects these birds, this is an infection of the gut that affects not only chickens but a variety of other animals as well.

In addition to the bird being lethargic and having ruffled feathers, the bird can also have blood or mucus in its droppings and have a loss of appetite if it’s suffering from this illness. Medication can be used on the bird to treat this illness.


If your chicken is not moving then this may not always be a bad sign. If the bird is simply not moving because she is unwilling to leave her nest, and is sitting on eggs, then the bird is likely brooding, she’s waiting for the eggs to hatch

What does a sick chicken look like? 

Chickens can show that they’re ill in a variety of ways. If you notice that your chicken is showing signs of these symptoms, it may be sick:

Let’s you pick it up: Healthy birds are not the easiest to catch and pick up, they run around and will not want to be picked up (even if it knows you very well) if your bird allows you to pick it up with no resistance then it is likely sick or injured.

Unhealthy comb: Healthy chickens have combs that are deep red, especially if they are egg-laying birds. If the comb is pale or white, then this can mean that the bird is suffering from blood loss, if the comb is purple, then the bird is not getting enough oxygen and is sick.

Mushy, full crop: A crop that is not draining can be a sign of a sour crop. If you feel the crop and it feels full and mushy, if food won’t go down, and if there is a horrible smell coming from the bird’s beak, then your chicken is likely suffering from sour crop

Hard crop: Another issue that your chicken may suffer from is an impacted crop. This happens when food does not pass through the crop down into the rest of the digestive system. The crop will feel like a hard solid lump and will not pass food.

Respiratory issues: If your bird is wheezing and sneezing excessively then the bird may be suffering from gapeworm or a respiratory infection. Do not become worried if this happens once in a while, but if it happens too often, then you may want to have your bird checked

How do you treat a sick chicken:


Separating the bird from the others is the first thing you should do if you think that your bird is sick. You don’t know if the bird will contaminate other birds so removing it and moving it to an isolated location will keep other birds from getting sick as well


Hydration can help your sick chicken. If the chicken is able to drink water from a bowl, you can give them water in small quantities through a dropper or a spoon, this will help them digest food, regulate the bird’s body temperature, and eliminate bodily waste.

All of this will help the bird fight the illness


Food is secondary when you’re trying to help a sick chicken, but it is still important. The chicken may not be eating on its own so you may have to feed it yourself. You can feed the bird using a syringe, a dropper, or a spoon.

To make food easier for the bird to eat, you can make a food mash by crushing the bird’s food in warm water or milk before feeding

A vet:

Contacting a vet and taking the bird for a consultation is likely the best help you can offer the bird. You may not be able to diagnose exactly what’s wrong with the bird but a vet will.

If you treat the bird and try to medicate it without having an accurate diagnosis, you can make the condition worse or enable the condition to continue


In conclusion, there are a number of reasons why your birds may be lethargic, puffed up, and not wanting to move, these can include mites, lice, heatstroke, worms, or coccidiosis.

Other signs of your chicken being sick include a mushy crop, the crop not draining, the bird wheezing, and it allowing you to pick you it with no resistance 

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other chicken related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Reasons why your chicken’s beak is bleeding, How to make eggshells stronger, methods that make a big difference,  What do chickens do when they are scared? An ultimate guide, Anti pecking spray for chickens, do you need it? Which is best

Chicken Is Puffed Up Not Moving + Lethargic, (5 Reasons Why)
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