2 1/2 year old Brabanter lathargic and not laying.

CuriousChicken

Songster
11 Years
Apr 26, 2010
137
42
196
As the title states my hen Courtney, is having egg problems. And I'm here looking for advice, but some things to consider first.

1, shes a fancy breed with low laying expectations and she produced WAY more eggs than expected in her first 2 years with us.

2, she has lost 3 companions in the last year. Our budgie died in January, her rooster passed in March, and 5 days ago our house cat died of post surgical complications. It's been a rough year for pets in our house.

2B, given this I'm a little sensitive at the moment.

3, its winter and we are getting about 10 - 11 good hours of direct sunlight.

4, no signs of egg binding, internal laying or parasites.

5 no breathing issues, mouth mucous, snot, or abdominal bloating.

Now what worries me is she has always been a little sickly. She never really filled out, I would call her body condition a 2. And her face never really turned red, pink is normal for her and shes a little pale right now. I have never had a hen stop laying entirely in winter. Even Courtney's first and second winter she only dropped down to 2 or 3 a week instead of her average 4 or 5 a week.

Also shes never been this lathargic. All she wants is to snuggle. Shes still eating and drinking, her poop looks normal and her crop is emptying entirely at night. Shes on layer feed with grit and oyster shells freely avalible. Her water is clean and filtered.

She was lathargic and depressed when our budgie passed, there was a small interrupt in her laying. Just a week or two. When her rooster passed the same, only her laying interrupt was significantly longer. She wasnt eating good, she layed alot of soft shells and no shell eggs. She also laid at weird times, her usual time is in the after noon but we were finding eggs under her roost in the mornings. This was when we switched her to laying feed, we were providing all flock with grit and oyster shells on the side. It took almost 2 months to get her back on track.

Then she had a HARD molt durning the end of September beginning of October. It was 3 or 4 weeks total and she stopped laying.

In the beginning of November she laid a couple of eggs and I figured she was getting back to normal. Then we noticed the cat not eating and that started a 2 week ordeal of vet visits and late night errands. I noticed she stopped laying again. Then on Tuesday last week we found the cat behind the TV, she was gone...

I would like some honest opinions, I think its winter and shes depressed. But some thoughtful input would be awesome.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,732
14,033
656
western South Dakota
I would hesitate to treat my birds...probably because I never have. Is there a possibility of more chickens? They tend to be a flock animal.

I hate to rain on your parade (sounds like you have had enough) but it might just be her time. Chickens often times are not real long lived. I expect mine to make 3+ years, but I am not terribly surprised if they don't.

The lack of laying don't worry me, but lethargic does. But that might be because she does not have other chickens to be with. To be honest - I would not have expected either the bugle or cat to make much difference to her. Is she a house bird? She might not be getting enough light, or strong enough light, that could effect her laying too.

Mrs K
 

CuriousChicken

Songster
11 Years
Apr 26, 2010
137
42
196
I would hesitate to treat my birds...probably because I never have. Is there a possibility of more chickens? They tend to be a flock animal.

I hate to rain on your parade (sounds like you have had enough) but it might just be her time. Chickens often times are not real long lived. I expect mine to make 3+ years, but I am not terribly surprised if they don't.

The lack of laying don't worry me, but lethargic does. But that might be because she does not have other chickens to be with. To be honest - I would not have expected either the bugle or cat to make much difference to her. Is she a house bird? She might not be getting enough light, or strong enough light, that could effect her laying too.

Mrs K
We have a rooster, and they are both house birds. They cohabitate with us and our 2 lovebirds and others budgie. Our hen and new rooster are very close, they usually spend thier days palling around the house and going to the park. We get them out as often as possible and we have a huge by window where they spend lots of time sunning. I expected to have reduced egg production, but not a full stop.

I've started a vitamin regiment, if she doesn't improve it cant hurt to treat her. It is often done preventative measures when they are chicks. In the mean time vitamins, probiotics and rest.

I monitored her food and water intake today. Shes drinking lots of water, and eating intermittently. She'll eat more with coaxing.
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,615
16,974
832
Nevada County, CA
I'm sorry you're experiencing such a rough year...
:hugs

This is the first year my hens have done a full stop. I have only one hen of 11 still laying. My oldest hens are 3 1/2 years old, so this year is a real anomaly.

I agree that the lethargy is more concerning than the stoppage of egg laying.

How is her crop? Is it emptying overnight?
 

CuriousChicken

Songster
11 Years
Apr 26, 2010
137
42
196
I'm sorry you're experiencing such a rough year...
:hugs

This is the first year my hens have done a full stop. I have only one hen of 11 still laying. My oldest hens are 3 1/2 years old, so this year is a real anomaly.

I agree that the lethargy is more concerning than the stoppage of egg laying.

How is her crop? Is it emptying overnight?
Yup, her crop is still emptying properly. I'm going to start her on vitamins before I go to work. It's going to be my husbands job to make her eat. I change her diaper when I come home for lunch. Hopefully it's full like normal, last night it wasn't.
 

CuriousChicken

Songster
11 Years
Apr 26, 2010
137
42
196
Okay pulled the carbon filter from thier water fountain, cleaned it and added a vitamin supliment. She seems more active today, yesterday she spent lots of time in my lap this morning she wanted down. Shes vigorously grooming and padding around the house on bug hunt. 😤 and this is why I think it might be depression.

Either way she didnt eat good yesterday but she weighs 3 lb 7 oz. Which was right about where she was in January. I'll weigh her again tonight and in the morning. For now vitamin water.

Edit, 1pm my time. There's poop in her Nappy and food in her crop, not as much of either one as there usually is. She is refusing the vitamin water. BRAT! I"m going to syringe feed her some vits andgo back to work.
 
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CuriousChicken

Songster
11 Years
Apr 26, 2010
137
42
196
Update. She is drinking better this morning, her weight is 3lb 7 oz. Same as yesterday and we got her to eat some baby food left over from force feeding the cat. The amprol gets here Monday...
 

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CuriousChicken

Songster
11 Years
Apr 26, 2010
137
42
196
Courtney is doing better. Less droopy and mopey. Shes not losing weight and is eating more. I think she was just sad, I'll keep monitoring her but I think shes okay.
 

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