This is my first flock. I have 4 hens and 1 duck (that we just discovered is a drake not a hen). They are almost 5 months old. They all sleep in their coop at night and have free run of the fenced backyard when we are home. We live right on a river, so the yard is more "forest" than grass.
My mother woke up before me this morning and let the poultry out. My cochin, Bianca, was still up on the roosting bench. However, she ultimately did come down on her own and exited the coop. Then, she went to the side of the yard and laid down in the dirt against the fence. My mother called to me and said that Bianca was acting strange and to come see. In the time it took for me to get up, she had gone over and picked the chicken up and brought her to the porch. This, in of itself, is strange because usually Bianca does not allow you to randomly pick her up.
When I took her in my arms, she was (obviously) very lethargic and her wattle was warm. Also, she was keeping her eyes closed. The rest of her body felt warm as well. I checked her vent and it doesn't have any sort of residue on it. Bianca (no any of the others) has laid an egg yet. I feed them a high protein food plus whatever they scrounge. I occassionally throw out crushed eggshell which they all pick at.
I do not know about her poop as they all roost in the same space and then run free. She was acting fine yesterday. Right now, she is sitting in my rocking chair by herself, hasn't moved. She does open her eyes and lift her head if you come around the back of the chair, but then she goes back to sleeping.
I am worried she is having trouble laying her first egg, perhaps? She has a little bit of leftover food in her crop from yesterday; it is not hard nor full. She is just lying there, fluffed up, looking tired. However, when she does open her eyes, they seem clear.
Please please help as we have to leave for work very soon. I am going to keep her in a crate today while we are gone so she is safe from the other chickens and duck.
Please help ASAP. Thank you so much!
Edited by tigerangel2 - 8/14/10 at 10:00am