Brahma Pullet Acting Oddly

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jburd, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. jburd

    jburd Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2012
    Hi All,

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    This is Lizzy, my LB pullet (an old picture of her). She is the most outgoing bird in my flock of 12 (3 roos who I am trying to re-home, and 9 pullets), but yesterday and today she's just not herself.

    Here's a bit of history: My chickens are 20 weeks old and just one RIR is laying so far. Two roosters are quite aggressive and persistent in chasing and mounting the hens and the other appears to be only interested in Lizzy so far. The roo that likes Liz is a massive LB, and she has no trouble avoiding his clumsy, lumbering attempts to catch her. They are all eating mashed lay ration from our local mill . . . they don't seem to like it much, but they eat it ok. I allow them free-choice scratch grains and oyster shell as well. They sleep inside a large shed/coop at night and are let out into a run during the day.

    Yesterday my father opened the door to let the chickens out into the run. Lizzy refused to come down off her perch when the others did. After a while my father picked her up and put her down outside where she began acting normally for a while. In the early afternoon we heard a commotion outside and ran out to find Lizzy sitting on the ground with her head shoved between two of the rocks lining the fence (much like an ostrich hides her head in the sand). All the other birds were surrounding her. When I picked her up I could find no visible injuries and she ate crackers from my hand as if nothing had happened. Later that night she refused to come in the coop and I had to physically carry her inside and place her on the perch.

    This morning she, once again, refuses to go outside. When I offer her food she eats very well! When I hold her and feel her abdomen I cannot feel anything that could be considered hard like an egg or swollen like peritonitis/ascites. For the past hour and a half I've watched her behavior. She mostly sits and listens to the flock outside, occasionally she will shiver and close her eyes, then start eating some of the food I left for her. Sometimes she will climb back and forth on the perch and at one point I put her near the nesting boxes (thinking she may want to start laying) and she proceeded to climb back and forth on that perch and eat straw out of the boxes.

    It's been 3 hours since I opened the coop door and Lizzy, who used to be thrilled to go outside, now simply sits on a perch.

    I'm wondering if this is simply Lizzy getting ready to lay, if she is too scared of the roosters to go outside, or if she could be sick or in pain. I'd love to hear your thoughts . . . I'm starting to get worried about my LIzzy ='( Thanks!
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    My birds all hide their head in a corner if being picked on. I think I would try removing that rooster and see if things change. And maybe sit out and have your coffee back there to maybe catch what's going on.
     
  3. jburd

    jburd Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2012
    Thanks seminolewind! She's always been full of moxie and never let the boys get the best of her in the past, I wonder what changed. I do watch them quiet a bit, especially in the evening and the roos can seriously pester the girls, but Lizzy has seemed to be the least pestered pullet because she tends to fight back. I was able to watch them for several hours on Thursday and Paul (the LB roo) was pestering her, but it didn't appear too severe. I was gone on Friday, and Saturday was when the behavior started.
    I plan on removing most or all of the roos in mid-October. Since the place where they will be re-homed has a "bachelor pad" full of adult roosters and I want to make sure that they are big enough to defend themselves.
    [​IMG]
    Here's Lizzy today and this is exactly what she is doing . . . just sitting! I actually placed her on this perch by the nesting boxes, but she was on the highest roost earlier in the day. She's been standing here, eating straw, walking back and forth, even occasionally looking like she would like to get down for nearly 5 hours! Poor girly =(

    Should I take her outside with the others and see what happens or just let her be?
     

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