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Chicken standing with tail in air and pulsating vent

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

We recently lost a chicken due to unknown reasons. We noticed today that one of our chickens was behaving a little off. She keeps her walking limited, and her tail goes straight up and you can clearly see her vent is pulsating, like she is straining in some way. Her comb is bleeding as well (maybe she is getting pecked?). We have brought her into the warm house way from the other hens. She is in a large dog crate with water which she has been drinking from what we can tell. We have checked her comb and it is soft and squishy and we checked to see if there is an egg bound, nothing was felt. However we are still new to chickens and after having lost one recently we did use some olive oil to see if that will help if there is in fact an egg (maybe I didn't feel it?) just to be safe.

 

Any suggestions on what else could be the problem? What else we could do? She has no mites or worms seen. Clean vent so no diarrhea or anything like that. Maybe there isn't even something wrong other then her comb being pecked by the others. (There was some noise today and we thought maybe there was some fighting due to a new pecking order after we lost a hen?) Any suggestions would be appreciated.

post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 
Oh and we were down by one egg. Safe to assume she hasn't laid yet. Not to sure. They are Miller Brown Leghorns and we usually get one egg a day from each hen.
post #3 of 3

Sorry no one has replied. I know how easy it is to get worried about your other chickens after losing one for mysterious reasons.

 

From your description of your hens' behavior, it would seem she's behaving perfectly normal. It's normal for the tail of a healthy chicken to be held aloft, and it's also normal for the vent of a laying hen to pulsate. It's how the sperm from a rooster's mating is able to get up where it can fertilize the egg before she lays it.

 

When a chicken isn't feeling well or is in pain, she holds her tail down low, and she stops being vocal. Chickens become mute when they're sick or in pain. They don't cry and complain like other animals do. When they feel well, they are chatterboxes.

 

It must be very cold up where you are, and bringing your hen inside where it's much, much warmer than outside where she has been living is not good for her. Watch her comb and wattles while you have her indoors. If they turn bright cherry red, it means she's suffering from overheating. If she's panting, it also confirms it.

 

It is better to keep a chicken where it's only around twenty degrees maximum warmer than outside where they normally are to avoid heat stress. When you return her, if she's been inside for an extended period, she may be better off getting slowly re-acclimated to the freezing temps.

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