Can't figure out what's going on with this chicken...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Merax, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. Merax

    Merax Out Of The Brooder

    Hoping the experts here can shed some light on what is happening with one of my ISA Browns. This has been going on for a couple of weeks, which I think rules out some serious illnesses:

    Appearance - pale comb not as upright as the other chickens, patchy feathers (seems to be molting), vent is clear, eyes and nostrils are clear. Not limping or showing any issues with feet. Legs and feet normal, no signs of mite infestation.

    Behavior - early morning is as eager as the other chickens to get out of the coop, displays normal behavior sometimes but at others will be the first to sit down and sleep often when the other hens are still in full "scratch and eat" mode. Eats well in the morning, shows a lack of enthusiasm for food at other times with the exception of sunflower seeds, which she will go after with as much enthusiasm as the other hens. Not laying as far as I know (difficult to tell with our current setup, but pretty sure she's off the lay). Suddenly showing no interest in returning to coop in the afternoon when the kitchen scraps are taken out - will make her own way but usually we go back and shoo her in or carry her.

    Treatment undertaken so far - Dusted for mites even though she has no signs of an infestation, wormed via tablet as well (just yesterday). Other chickens were dusted as well as bedding / roosts / dust bathing areas just in case. Just in case it's the molt I've been giving them extra protein and calcium as well.

    She's been slightly more active this weekend than last weekend, but I'd still rate her behavior as odd. Is it just the molt? She still has most of her feathers, but has a "patchy" appearance compared to the others who are in fantastic condition. I'm a first time chicken owner (coming up on the 1 year mark soon), so I don't know if this behavior is normal when they molt, if she's sick or if there is some other issue. I've done all I can to look up causes for what's happening, but the best I could find was molt / mites / worms - and I've done all I can to treat the "treatable" things here. Any idea you experts would have would be appreciated!
  2. Merax

    Merax Out Of The Brooder

    Update - the hen is a bit more active today but (just caught it) seems to have pooped out a lash egg or similar - she may be returning to lay soon?
  3. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2016
    I only have about a year of experience so far, but the unkempt look is a sign of illness - I doubt that she would be in molt now in the spring. Just because she's been off for a while doesn't mean it's not serious. She could possibly have peritonitis (have you ever found egg like substance under the roost? does she waddle a bit when she walks? Check her abdomen for swelling) or a host of other things. If you don't take her to a vet (which is fine, most people don't), there's only so much you can do. Try a nice warm epsom salt bath and extra vitamins maybe and hope for the best?
  4. Merax

    Merax Out Of The Brooder

    Hi Stephine, it's actually Autumn here (Australia) so it is the time they should be molting. My other girls are fine, only this one seems to be going through a hard molt at the moment. I have checked under the roosts, there is nothing else there besides the regular, normal poop. I checked the symptoms for peritonitis and she doesn't have most of them, and the symptoms she does have (lethargy / occasional lack of appetite) can all be signs of other things. She is walking normally, tail is up not down, aside from the cooked yolk that seemed to be in her poop yesterday seems to be pooping normally.

    She was better yesterday, not as sleepy and took a more active role with the rest of the flock. I also gave them a tin of tuna (protein) with their normal kitchen scraps in the afternoon and she vied for it as actively as the other birds. Her comb seems to be a bit less pale / standing up further as well.

    Hoping it is just a hard molt and that the cooked yolk (looked into it, it wasn't the same as lash eggs - seemed to be 100% yolk) she pooped was a sign she is coming back into laying...but time will tell. Will keep the thread updated.

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