Body Checked Eggs from a Production Red or Bronchitits?


8 Years
Mar 2, 2011
I have a very nice (at one point) looking Hatchery Production-Type Red hen (breed unknown). I have been raising and breeding chickens for 15 years and have never seen this many body-checked eggs from one hen in this short amount of time.

She is very friendly but moves quite slowly. I have no idea how old she is because she is a rescue and came from a very bad environment. Like most of my chickens, rescues are hard to ID age. She appears to be somewhat healthy at the moment but my very large RIR rooster over-bred her about a month and a half ago and her feathers/skin still haven't healed. This is a classic sign that I am dealing with a older girl who is likely ready to stop laying all together.

That fact does not bother me, as I could care less if she ever lays an egg. I wanted to provide her a better home than the one she had and I intend to do so with or without eggs. I separated her from the main flock and she free-ranges with some American Gamefowl Bantams (also rescues) in my yard and roosts on a small pole next to a Standard American Gamefowl. She still lays daily. She has very few wing feathers left but she is not being bred so I am hoping she will help with the soluble antibiotics I am providing her. Her feathers are very brittle and coarse but she is beginning to show signs of molting. This makes me hopeful that she will feather back out correctly if she remains separated from the rooster.

Any idea on how to tell if this disease related or just age. She has no symptoms other than a bit of a wheeze but nothing too major (likely from age as well). The disease that causes this is a form of bronchitis but she has not one of the symptoms. This disease, however, is sometimes docile and the hen will show no signs therefore a blood test is required to detect it's presence.

I am not very good at estimating the age of a hen based on sight alone. I have had her for almost a year and am only just now beginning to see an improve then this happened. As I said I only want her to have a better life than before and if I can help her I will. On the other hand, I have around 40 Chickens here that are rescues and some of them would likely not survive disease of any kind simply because I only got them last month. I want to help her but I want to protect them as well. Not a single other chicken on my property is showing any sign of illness or laying these type eggs. In short, I am very confused and concerned.

Any advice or input about the cause of this or even the age of the hen could be vital to preventing another chicken dying in this world that didn't have to. If you have ANY ideas please respond. Thank you in advance!

Here is a picture of the hen:

Last month (newest pics I have of her)

She is blue legged for some reason which makes her a mystery breed.....

Again Thank you!

Timothy in KY


9 Years
Sep 30, 2010
Northern Virginia
Well, since you have brought together grown birds from multiple sources I would guess that you have a respiratory infection going on. Wheezing is a sign, and sometimes you might not see anything else. It's very nice of you to try and give these birds a better life. Do you have them separated from your own flock? These things can be very contagious. She may get better but will probably be a carrier. Be sure you have them quarantined when you get new ones for 30 days. This is not fool-proof. They can look very healthy and still be carriers of the disease. I would try a hen saddle for her missing feathers. It does look like she has been over bred by an aggressive rooster. Some folks buy them on the auction site here or you can fashion an old t-shirt.

The odd egg laying can even by a symptom of some of the respiratory diseases too. I think it's infectious bronchitis that does the weird ones. I have no guess on her age. I am not good at that either. Good luck with her.

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