I have a chicken that is approximately 5-6 months old. She is a Red Sex Link. We got her (and three of her sisters) about 5 weeks ago, and we were told they were around 18-20 weeks of age. The chicken in question (named Moisturizer by my 3 year old) has a number of symptoms that may be of concern: 1) she has a chronically dirty backside, 2) a floppy comb, 3) she is rather rotund (compared to her sisters), and 4) has trouble flying/getting into the chicken coop. She generally roosts on the floor at night. She eats and drinks fine, forages with the others, and has bright eyes and seems alert. We have bathed her, but her rear area gets soiled almost immediately. I don't think she has ever laid an egg (we are averaging 2 per day from our 4 chickens). I have read about egg binding, but it seems that is more an emergency situation...this has been going on for weeks. Any ideas of what we can do or should be doing? Or what this could be? We are feeding organic layer food, they have scratch for a treat, access to oyster shells. They forage in our year/woods during the day. This is a small backyard flock, and I am not a farmer...so have no experience in such things. Thanks!
Question About Egg Binding
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Welcome to BYC, and sorry you waited a bit for a response. Love the name! Three things that stand out are that she has not laid eggs, she has trouble getting up to the coop and the roosts, and that she is rotund. Can you feel of her breast area to see if she is full or skinny under the feathers, and feel of her lower belly for any swelling or tightness. She could be suffering from either fatty liver disease or from one of the reproductive disorders, such as internal laying or egg yolk peritonitis. Fatty liver syndrome is more common in older birds who have been laying, then stop. Internal laying is more common in hens 2 and older, but is also found occasionally in a pullet who does not lay. Does she have any problems with labored breathing? You may want to treat her with some probiotics and try to firm up her droppings. You can use plain yogurt, or your feed may already contain them. Here is some reading about the diseases above:
Edited by Eggcessive - 6/24/16 at 3:39pm