7 month old chicken - nasal discharge, stopped laying, comb isn't as bright... molting? light?


Apr 18, 2020
SW Connecticut
Gertrude (our 7 month old barred rock) suddenly stopped laying about 3 weeks ago after giving me 6 eggs a week for 6 weeks. At first I thought it was was the lack of sun (we are in CT) but November 1 is a little early to stop, no?
So in case of worms I decided to give some DE mixed in food, but her poops have been totally normal, so seemed prophylactic if anything.

Her waddle looks a bit paler closer to her head, but the edges and face remains very red. (se picture!)

She certainly has started looking a scraggly and feathers pretty beat up - as I started noticing a LOT of feathers from her around the coop and lawn. Is 7 months too early for molting?

This morning she showed up at my door (begging for treats as usual) - and I noticed orange/yellow discharge from her left nostril. Shes acting normal, maybe hanging out next to my door a bit more than usual, but otherwise running around, being active, and avoiding the rooster. She is not having a hard time breathing, there is no rattling, and no sneezing. Could it be Coyza? Without face inflammation? A cold? The others are all fine. My BuffOrp sneezes from time to time - but she has been doing that for 3 months.

Any recs are welcome! Shes a pet, so could care less about the eggs. Just curious what is going on.

She gets vitamins with oregano oil mixed into her water (ropa poultry complete) most days of the week, and a teeny bit of ACV once a week.


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I would have simply said molting at 7 months, not too early, not laying b/c of that, which also causes pale wattles as hormones are reduced...until you stated the nose drainage.

Coryza smells bad, typically, and usually has face swelling. MG/CRD usually causes rails (asthma rattles). It could be a "chicken cold." But , DE can be irritating to the respiratory track, so it could be discharge from that since you just freshly gave that to her out of the ordinary. (Which is why I don't use DE in feed/coop).

I would watch and wait to see if anymore develops. Stop the DE in case that is causing respiratory irritation. Continue to support with the oregano oil in water. You can give her ACV regularly. Tablespoon in gallon is sufficient.

Keep us posted.
Yesterday Gertie started with a pale comb/face. No nasal discharge since that picture a few days ago. I talked to my husband and he said they finished up the DE spiked feed a coupleWeeks ago (he feeds them in morning) so not sure it could have been the DE. Normal behavior - still trying to kill the silkies. Foraging. Preening. All normal. She has started biting me the last day or so. That’s new. Before it was nothing but love.

Any thoughts?
Could the yellow material around her nostril be egg yolk that she might have come across in the coop?
Maybe - but it would have to be her own and one she squirreled away somewhere. I’ll check my garage again in the morning - that’s the only other place she’s laid a couple times. She’s my only laying hen at the moment - funny, since she’s not laying. But I really don’t mind the laying/not laying. She’s a pet. My buff is only 5 months and unlikely to start laying right now bc of the sun, and the silkies are taking their own sweet time.

Pale comb would just be some molting then? There are certainly plenty of her feathers around the coop and my doors (where she comes to beg for treats) - but unsure of enough to be molting unless she’s doing the couple at a time method. I guess time will tell!

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