This is Saturday. Last Monday when I went to "put the chickens to bed" my hen Sasha, about 3.5 years old, was standing on top of the nest box instead of with the other birds on the perch. There was fresh-looking dark squashy stool (semi-diarrhea) under her like she'd just pooped. I shooed her to the perch and she slept with the other birds. Tuesday night, she was on the nest box again. Wednesday all the chickens got out of their pen for a couple hours in the morning and they pecked up a lot of wild carrot seedlings (half inch tall, half inch leaves) which have just sprouted. I expected diarrhea for a day or two from that...and maybe some crop trouble if anybody had gone to the edge of the woods and eaten old long grass. Sasha slept on the nest box again that night.
Thursday morning I decided to put Sasha in my "hospital cage" because of the isolating, which I take as a serious sign of something wrong. Her crop didn't appear to be swollen. I tried to manually check her crop, but I'm new at this and not skilled. She was quite uncooperative, too. In any case, I couldn't feel a thing except breastbone and feathers down there where I thought the crop should be. I gave her a tablespoon of hard-boiled egg with a little extra raw egg yolk, plus the contents of 2 Dulcolax gelcaps and a capsule's worth of digestive enzymes (a kind with extra fiber-digesting power), that morning. Plus water. She had nothing else all day except a little more hard-boiled egg in the evening. Yesterday I left her in the hospital cage and fed her a mashed hard-boiled egg with digestive enzymes in the morning and one without enzymes in the evening.
I put plastic under the pen so I could observe her poops. First one or two medium-dark squashy ones. After that her poop while in the cage was scant. Small amounts of very dark squashy poop plus small amounts of thick-ish looking yellowy liquid. Occasional drips from her bottom. Her behavior was normal. No sign of any swelling in her crop.
This morning I decided to let her out of the "hospital" and see how she does. She eagerly got out and joined her pals, eating eagerly but not voraciously.
Any ideas about what could be going on with Sasha's poop and her isolating, and what to do about it? I confess, I've never wormed these hens. Maybe that's the problem? A little more background info -- She's not laying right now, hasn't for weeks. She went through a severe molt this fall, ended up with some big patches of bare skin but her feathers are growing back well. Everything about her seems normal except the isolating at night and the funky poops.