Chicken acting strangely, not her usual self

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LestersFlat, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. LestersFlat

    LestersFlat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2011
    Schuyler Lake NY
    I think one of my hens has been attacked by something, although I cannot find any wounds. When I went out to the coop today, she was walking very slowly, and squatting just a bit as if she was trying to lay an egg or poop. I let her do that for a few minutes, nothing happened, so I picked her up to examine her. She is my sweetest hen, about 8MO, and has always allowed me to pick her up, but usually she wants to get down after a few seconds. Today she let me hold her and pet her for a good 15 minutes. When I put her down she went off into the tall grass and laid down, also not normal.

    I went into town for a few minutes and came back to find her still walking slowly, away from the other 6 hens and one rooster. I picked her up again, and held her for another long time, petting her and also trying to look for the problem. Her vent appears normal, but her one wing has the feathers out of whack, and her tail end has the feathers kind of messed up as well. There are no wounds that I can see.

    The chickens are free range during the day, so she could have been attacked by a cat or something, but I would think I could find a wound if that was the case. Do you think it may have something to do with the rooster mounting her and being rough? The only reason I think this is because my husband saw the young roo mount her about a week ago for the first time (his first and her first, as far as we know). The rooster is normally very sweet, but he's at the very bottom of the pecking order. He was added a few months after we got the 7 girls. He is about a month younger than they are, and still hasn't even crowed! Maybe he is trying to move his way up and assert himself?

    These are my first chickens, so any advice would be much appreciated. For the moment, I have my Sweetie in a rabbit hutch in the garage. She happily ate the grapes I gave her, so at least she is eating. Mostly she seems puzzled as to why she is there. Not sure how long I should keep her separated, or if that is even necessary?
     
  2. blueskylen

    blueskylen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    WV
    it could be that the roo mounted her roughly or was too rough with her. some hens may have weak backs or legs too. if you don't find any punctures from spurs, it could be that he has been too forceful. i would keep an eye on them to see if that is the case.
     
  3. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    How old is this chicken? She sounds like she is eggbound or has other issues going on and the roo is taking advatage of her not being able to run as fast as the others.
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Eggbound??? oil up a finger and check.
     
  5. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] You are BAD!...But true.
     
  6. LestersFlat

    LestersFlat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2011
    Schuyler Lake NY
    She is 8 months old (about). I did feel around her back end and did not feel an egg, but I didn't get as far as using my finger...hoping I didn't have to go there...but I will, as soon as the Hub gets home to help.

    Eggbound or not, is there any reason to keep her separated tonight?

    And if she is eggbound, I bathe her back end in warm water? Anything else?

    I was thinking it was an attack, or the roo rather than an egg, because her feathers are all out of position (and won't go back) on her one wing and on her back end...poor thing! But I still can't find any wounds, or even anything that is sensitive to the touch.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  7. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    Quote:Yeah, if there is an indication that she may be eggbound you will have to separate her for several reasons:

    Observe her eating and drinking, as well as pooping
    you will have to bathe her, dry her and observe for changes in bahavior
    you may have to force feed her if she decides to stop eating
    you want to make sure that she gets to eat all the good food and not her friends in the coop
    you should probably put her on antibiotics once you are sure she is eggbound to avoid infection. the egg inside her may have broken.

    There are several threads on the topic of being eggbound. That may give you a good start on diagnozing and treating it. I have had 2 hens be eggbound and ended up losing both [​IMG]

    Good luck!
     
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,686
    521
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    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] You are BAD!...But true.

    No point in beating around the bush! If she is eggbound, you may not want to waste time guessing, or waste time treating for the wrong thing.
     
  9. LestersFlat

    LestersFlat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2011
    Schuyler Lake NY
    I have to confess, I did not oil up my finger...didn't go there yet. Sweetie seemed comfortable in her little isolated space, so I didn't want to disturb her. I had initially planned to let her out of the crate and see if she wanted to walk the 500 feet back to the coop for the night. But she seemed happy where she was, so I thought waiting was a better idea. She is eating and drinking, and I thought one overnight in isolation would show if she was producing eggs or not. Will reconsider the options tomorrow morning.

    One maybe stupid question: She produced a large poo in her crate. Pretty normal looking. If she poos normal, could she still have an egg stuck in there?
     
  10. LestersFlat

    LestersFlat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2011
    Schuyler Lake NY
    The good news is that Sweetie is not eggbound. The not-so-bad news is that she is still not ready to come out of her crate.

    When I went to check on her this morning, there was an egg in there with the little girl, so I am assuming that she has no others hidden inside somewhere. I moved her crate off the table that it was on, and onto the floor. I took her out and held her for awhile, and then set her on the floor. She went immediately to the lawn tractor next to me and set herself up tucked into a comfy spot. I waited to see if she would move on, but she didn't, so I put her back in the crate and left the door open. I tried to coax her out, but she wasn't having it, so I left her in there with the crate door and the garage door open.

    I thought she might walk with me out to see the other girls, but she stayed in the crate, standing in the same spot. She's still there about an hour and a half later.

    I think I will just give her access to freedom for when she decides she's ready. She has plenty of food and water inside the crate, and I watched her eat and drink. I just worry that if it was a cat that went after her, that it might find her again and she will be trapped in the crate. I think there's a very small possibility that will happen, and I really want to see if she comes out on her own. I don't want to keep her separated from the rest for too long, or I might have a hard time reintroducing her.
     

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