On Christmas day I had a 5 mo. old hen found laying on her side out in the yard with her legs to the side trembling. The older hens were picking on her and I immediately picked her up and checked her out. I found no significant injury other than the few peck marks to her face. I placed her in a crate with food and water. She laid there for 3 days and never recovered, never ate or drank or pooped. Her vent area was wet and smelled of ammonia slightly.
I chalked this up to a one time occurrence and the weak young hen was unable to survive.
Now.... last night I went out to check on things and I found one 10 mo. old hen still outside when it was well past time to be in the coop. She was all fluffed up and kind of crouched down a bit. I went inside the run and she let me get near her which she never usually does. I gave her a gentle nudge and she only took a step. I picked her up and immediately noted how thin she was.
My poor Ziggy.... I took her in the coop and placed her on a roost bar. This morning I went to check on her and she was in the poop deck sitting all fluffed up. I picked her up and noted the color of her comb and wattles a dusky color, her eyes appear sunk in and she hangs her head. When placed in the crate she lays on her side.
There is no respiratory problems, no discharge from eyes, nose or mouth.
Ziggy has always been "special" as she is slow and low in the pecking order. I am unsure of poop because there are 14 others and I have not noticed anything wrong to watch for eating and drinking. I set some water in front of her and she just hangs her head. I do not believe that she has ever laid an egg as I always suspected that she hadn't yet.
I am so sad and I don't know what this could be.
I am afraid more hens are going to get this.... whatever it is.
Everything I looked up today doesn't completely add up to any one illness.