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Help! My hen won't walk, eat, drink....

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

This morning when I went to check my hens I noticed that one stayed in the coop.  Sleeping in, I guessed.  Later in the morning I noted that she was sitting (very close to the door of the coop) and not moving about or paying attention to the rest of the flock.  I reached down to make her stir and she didn't move.  I put my hand underneath her to disturb her a bit and she begrudgingly stood up and simply plopped back down refusing to move.  A few hours later I checked again and found her sitting in a nesting box where she has stayed for about 4 hours.  I just went to see if perhaps she has a bound egg and she had produced an egg, although about 10g smaller than her usual offering.  I picked her up from the nest and she did flap her wings about, giving me a false sense of hope.  When I put her down again, she just plops to the ground and sits.  Her head is up.  Her eyes are clear.  I haven't seen her eat or drink anything today but her crop had some grains this AM when I checked her so is she's on a hunger strike, I've detected it early.  I checked the legs, they seem fine.  She has a healthy look about her but she's just refusing to eat or drink or move.   She's a 12 month old Buff Orpington as lovely as can be!

Does anyone have any suggestions?

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

Completely confusing..... After posting my concern I went outside to check on the bird again.  She was up and eating.  She is odd though...as if she doesn't want to take a step.  When she moves it is very slow and deliberate and every few steps she drops as if she tripped and fell down.  While I was watching her she astounded me by producing a poop the size of a VERY LARGE macaroon.  I will now call my chicken's poops "Chicken Macaroons".  Anyway, I know something is wrong with her.  It may not be life threatening today but something is not right.

post #3 of 10

I had one do something similar a few months ago. It seems to me that after she dropped the biggest poop I had ever seen from a chicken she got better and got over it. I just thought she was being broody. She is fine now.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Haha!  Seriously, that thing rivaled some of the production from my 35 pound dog!!  lol  I hope she's better now.

post #5 of 10

Could she be broody?  Mine act very reserved and have monstrous poops and can't be seen eating and drinking when they are broody...

RIP Rascal...11/20/08...we miss you!
___________

Gulfport, FL chicken victory!  10 chickens per family, no roosters!
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RIP Rascal...11/20/08...we miss you!
___________

Gulfport, FL chicken victory!  10 chickens per family, no roosters!
Reply
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

I do think that is it.  She is exhibiting all of the signs of being broody and is otherwise healthy and strong.  She is a Buff Orpington also which I'm reading is a breed prone to broodiness.  Tomorrow I will have to begin her "anti-brooding" therapy.

post #7 of 10

Did you ever figure this out? Our BO has seemed broody for the last couple weeks. We call her half-time broody because she is out in the early morning and then back on the nest in the afternoon and evenings. Today, we noticed she was on the nest all day so we took her off and set her outside the coop so she could get some fresh air and move around. She plopped down on the ground and wouldn't move for a few minutes. Then, all of a sudden she jumped up and flew across the yard. She seemed fine for a few minutes, then laid a monster sized poop and after that, she seemed to have a hard time walking. She was very tentative about her steps and just sat down again. She did this several times and eventually made it back to the nest box. These were the exact same symptoms as you were describing. She does not seem to be in pain and she seems otherwise healthy. When she was lying on the ground, she did puff up when the other hens came around her. So, her only real symptom is the giant poop and the weird, slow walk and wobbly legs.  I hope that yours turned out alright and that we can have some hope. Thanks.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yes!  We figured it out.  She was broody.  (We now call it chicken PMS!)  I did a few different things to her in an attempt to snap her out of it...dipped her back end in cool water, separated her from the flock in a really uncomfortable cage, kept her in the yard outside of the coop (really, in my opinion, and the opinion of the other chickens this was a reward for her snarky behavior).  Nothing seemed to work at first.  Once we decided that this was an opportunity to buy a couple of new chicks and sneak them under her in the night, she decided she was through being broody.  Therefore, we never got the new chicks but our girl is back in action...laying one beautiful egg a day and no longer pooping the size of raquet balls! 

Hope that helps.

post #9 of 10

Mammab- Thanks so much for your quick reply. This makes me feel better and I will not be worrying about her. We may just wait it out, as long as she keeps getting off the nest at some point during the day. Especially because I think she is still laying eggs. She is out right now and walking normally. She does sit down every once in awhile but seems otherwise alright. Thanks again!

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

The only risk you run (I think) is if she gets too broody and won't eat/drink.  I've heard they can starve to death.  My bird stopped laying eggs all together when she was really, really bad.  The eggs got smaller and smaller and then stopped all together.  If your hen is still laying and is coming off the nest more than once a day, I wouldn't worry too much either.

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