???? Bare chested and lethargic...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by grasjm36, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. grasjm36

    grasjm36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2009
    Hagerman, ID
    I have a RIR who suddenly and I mean suddenly has absolutely no feathers on her chest. I had thought she already molted back in sept-oct but I am new to owning chickens and am a bit unclear how long molting takes. I am waiting on an order of DE (food grade) and want to dust the coop and my birds.

    Tonight when I went to close the coop up she was in a nest box which is highly unusual for her. I figured since she lost her belly feathers she wouldnt be able to keep her toes warm on the roost so she opted for the nest box. Something still seemed off...she wasnt "all there". She was even having trouble holding her head up. I held her and she did move a bit but seemed to be in slow motion. Out of curiosity I attempted to put her on the roost to see what she would do and she wouldnt even grasp the rung and was very off balanced.

    Normally she is a very vocal bird who isnt too keen on getting handled. But will allow it when you can catch her. How do birds act when they get spooked or scared? Also my five chickens have been fighting from day 1 (back in september) for the first position on the roost and I've never intervened so that the pecking order could be established. Its never been bloody just alot of pushing and pecking...

    Any clue as to what is happening here??
     
  2. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    It sounds to me like she's going broody - wants to sit on eggs and hatch them. Sometimes broody hens tear the feathers out of their own breast so that their warm bare skin covers the eggs, and they go into a sort of "trance" where they seem to not be too aware of what's going on around them - an age old instinct to be still and hunker down over their brood so as not to attract predators. When you take her off the nest does she fluff up in offense?
     
  3. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    Yep, agree she sounds like she's ready to set.
     
  4. grasjm36

    grasjm36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2009
    Hagerman, ID
    I would hope this is the case...

    She isnt getting out of the nest to poo though, its in the nest! And her tail is down, not upright like usual. She didnt get offended when examining her, just trance like I guess. I set some grain, a pear and cat food next to her but she is disinterested.

    We don't have any roosters, does that matter? And she hasnt layed an egg in about 2 weeks, she used to lay an egg every day, and then every other when the cold set in.
     
  5. grasjm36

    grasjm36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2009
    Hagerman, ID
    Also she doesnt seem to be able to stand up on her own.... I'm so worried [​IMG]
     
  6. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    ETA: Sorry For your loss [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  7. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    Quote:Put her outside in the run - she may sit there for a while, but watch to see if in a few minutes she gets up and heads back to the nest.
     
  8. grasjm36

    grasjm36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2009
    Hagerman, ID
    So I tried moving her out of the nest and seeing if she can walk and she literally can not pick herself up.

    Shes using her wings to move around. And when I say moving I mean 3 inches out of the nest box. We made a warm little nest for her. I noticed that she hasnt peeped one bit since whatever happened to her. Shes always vocal. Her comb is starting to turn purpleish on the tips. Her poo is slimey dark green and white. Shes eating some, I still have a bowl of warm mush by her. We will have to bring her into the house and make a basket up for her.

    I'm going to be away from my home for a few weeks pretty soon, I dont know what I'm going to do if she doesnt get better!!
     
  9. grasjm36

    grasjm36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2009
    Hagerman, ID
    My husband and I are starting to think that she was mulled by some predator. She is missing a ton for her wing feathers (she already molted those) and perhaps pinched some type of nerve. She cant lift herself up and she cant speak. While I was inspecting her closely she frantically started flapping her wings and it got her no where. ...
     
  10. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    Oh goodness - that doesn't sound good at all - those are NOT broody hen symptoms. I think you're right - something must have happened to her - but I don't know what to tell you. Personally, I would cull a bird that seemed to be in that much distress. I'm so sorry!
     

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