40 week old orpington not laying, seems sick please help!??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by zep0000, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. zep0000

    zep0000 New Egg

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    Aug 11, 2010
    Hi there im new to this forum but u guys all seem very experienced, im also quite new to chicken raising and have no where else to go with this problem! basically ive recently purchased 2 blue orps both 40 weeks old, one hen, one roo. The hen isnt laying and they both seem to have rather runny poop. Murtle has also recently aquired a strange cough sort of thing but doesnt do it more than 3 or 4 times a day and doesnt have a runny nose or eyes. she also appears to be molting quite a lot. George the roo doesnt do the coughing thing and hes not molting either. Ive had them both for about 2 weeks now, they both appear quite well, eating and such. Last week i bought a 9 month old black orp hen and put her with george and murtle, shes laying, not molting or coughing and is having a great time running around on our field (apart from being pounced on by george!) also george shows no signs of initiating anything with murtle which i dont know whether i should worry about that or not. The guy i bought the blue orps from said they were 40 weeks and kept them both together, he also said that she was on off laying, but if shes prime age and happy then why would it be on off? Is she molting for a reason like shes sick or something? i dont want to lose my lovely chickens!! i love them to bits!! i have no idea what to do, please help! [​IMG]
     
  2. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    The black hen may have been carrying something that your other hen got, though your roo hasn't yet. It's hard to say. I would say it's perfectly reasonable and expected for your blue hen to stop laying while in a molt, and often they'll stop after a move for some time.
     
  3. zep0000

    zep0000 New Egg

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    Aug 11, 2010
    thanks so much for replying im so worried! how long do you think i should wait? should i have her seen by a vet or someone? i thought it might be due to her molting that shes stopped laying but i didnt know the reason she was molting. how long does it take to molt? her comb and wattle seems to be as red as the black hens but not as big, yet shes supposed to be the oldest? anymore advice would be much appreciated, thanks [​IMG]
     
  4. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Molting is varied depending on the bird- they are all different. It can take a couple of months, even. Just look her over and make sure she's healthy, no parasites, no sign of worms, no white eggs at the base of feathers, etc. You might consider worming them all right now (search worm and Ivermectin on BYC) as you won't have to toss her eggs if she's not laying. That way you'll know you have managed that health issue.

    They molt as a natural process to gain new, fresh feathers before the cold weather, and it gives their body a break from the stress of cranking out an egg every day, because molting is stressful, as well. The process of growing new feathers can really increase their need for protein, so I'll often use a game bird feed 1/2 and 1/2 with my layer feed, plus add powdered vitamins & electrolytes to their drinking water every other change. Boosting all the nutritional intake like that also helps them beat the stress of a new environment and they'll look healthier- you'll see it after a bit.

    Keep the scratch grain down to a handful a day per bird to keep the nutritional value up- it isn't worth much to them (like eating chips all day for us) but they like it a lot.

    If you think there's an illness involved, don't hesitate to find a vet- sometimes avian vets are hard to find, so you might do the looking now.
     
  5. zep0000

    zep0000 New Egg

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    Aug 11, 2010
    thanks so much, thats a big help, ill certainly get them all wormed and get some vitamins in their mix aswell and see what happens, fingers crossed its just a molt and nothing else! thanks again [​IMG]
     

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