Brain-damaged chicken?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by my three chickens, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. my three chickens

    my three chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2008
    My favorite hen has changed personality overnight, it seems, and I'm worried it might something medical. It's been a week now and it almost seems like she has brain damage. Before she was a top dog, with an active personality and a voracious appetite. Now she stands in the corner, head withdrawn into her shoulders, staring into space. When food (corn cob, dandelion green, bird seed) is offered to her by hand, before she would go right at it; now she looks at as if confused. (I've described the difference in more detail in a posting under chicken behavior/egg-laying, subject: Why has my hen's personality changed overnight?)

    My paranoid mind has me worried that it might be from some feed in the feeder that got moldy (orange and blue growth). But then, if she ate it, likely the others did, and none of them is acting weird.

    Some basics:
    She is eating, though I've only seen her eat out of my hand (not to say she isn't eating from the feeder, I just haven't seen it--likewise drinking)
    She is 17 weeks, a Buff Orpington
    Flock is six hens , all the same age, none has laid an egg and they do free-range.

    Help, anyone? Would appreciate it.
     
  2. bluey

    bluey thootp veteran

    Apr 10, 2008
    Washington, PA
    If they are free ranged, you have to find out what they are getting into. Are there any chemicals laying around or other toxins that they could get into? Do they have access to a garage or other location where chemicals are kept?
     
  3. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2007
    Mays Landing NJ
    Maybe also she is eggbound with her first egg? Seems to be the right age for it. I know normally first timers lay a smallish egg in the beginning and gradually produce a larger egg as they go along, but I just wonder if maybe she made a large egg and it's stuck?
     
  4. my three chickens

    my three chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Definitely no chemicals anywhere--we're completely organic here and they don't go into the neighbors' yards. The only other thing I can think of is that she dug up something weird in the run. Before we lived here an artist had this house and as a result there are hundreds of little beads and baubles buried in the dirt around the house. The thing is, all the chickens have been digging around in that stuff for months, so it seems odd that this one chicken would suddenly be impacted by it.

    Does this sound familiar to anyone? Like poisoning or toxicity or some chicken wasting disease? (I'm reaching here, obviously...)
     
  5. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Golden Sunrise may be right ~ I am no vet, but one of my girls acted just that way for three days before her first egg. By "egg day" she was miserable, and just sat curled up in my lap until . . . she tottered off into the coop for two hours and laid the biggest, nubbliest egg I have ever seen.

    If you check the condition of her eyes and nostrils, her general coloring (pale comb/wattles?), feather condition, vent condition, and droppings (changed in any way?) and nothing else seems amiss, you may have a hen on the verge of lay. She may or may not be egg bound yet, but she should be watched.

    There are some really wonderful and highly experienced chicken people on this forum; hopefully you will get more feedback on this soon. Hang in there!

    Jen in TN
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  6. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mays Landing NJ
    Yes the "nublies"! I have had some new girls lay eggs with the most uncomfortable looking calcium deposits on their eggs. That CAN'T feel good, no matter how small the egg is. I hope she perks up soon!
     
  7. my three chickens

    my three chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2008
    The more I hear and read, the more I think you're right--I bet there's an egg in there. Checked her vent and it looks healthy. Felt )from the outside) for an egg inside her and couldn't discern anything, but then I'm new to this.

    My concern now is that she has been acting weird for nine days and uncomfortable for maybe five. Seems like if she is eggbound this is a long time to be so. I'm going to try a warm bath. And will report back.
     
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    This might be way off, but can she be broody and clueless?
     
  9. andy

    andy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2007
    grimsby,,,{England}
    Quote:bloody hell,,, sounds just like my wife, !!!
     
  10. chiknwhisperer

    chiknwhisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2008
    Lowell, IN
    Quote:bloody hell,,, sounds just like my wife, !!!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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