Chicken is very underactive/sluggish

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bluenow, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. bluenow

    bluenow Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 15, 2013
    Hi,
    One of my three girls has been acting very sluggishly the last couple of days. I've seen her closing her eyes as she stands there during the day, she's way less active than usual, doesnt really care about treats I give them, isnt moving around much, and when she does she's moving slowly. she doesnt seem to have any physical injury that I can see.

    The other two chickens are fine, so im thinking if she didnt get injured, and it's not from something they're all sharing (i'm assuming if it was something from the water or food they would probably all have it) there has to be something specific to her. the only thing i can think of is this: last week I found her outside by herself while the others were in the nesting box, and she was eating a mouse, specifically, the head. I dont know if she could have picked something up from that?

    Any thoughts about what it could be or suggestions of things I can check would be appreciated. It started yesterday, so we'll see how she looks tomorrow, and maybe I'll take her in.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    quarantine her just to be safe and make sure she is eating drinking, and her poop looks normal, are there any odd respiratory sounds?
     
  3. bluenow

    bluenow Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 15, 2013
    Thanks for the advice. when i let them out this morning she seemed fine, tail was high, went right over and started eating. so I thought it was something that had passed, and just left them like normal. then I wasnt around them for a while, came back, and she was back to the same sluggish way. I dont hear any respiratory sounds, and I've also seen her drinking water. Her poop does seem a bit watery.

    although I did see her eating twice earlier today, when i was checking on them this afternoon and noticed she was acting weird again I went and threw some scratch out to see how she would react. They usually go nuts for it, and the other two did, but she didnt seem to care about it .

    Any further advice would be appreciated. Thanks
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Can you give us a little more information.
    How old is she?
    Has she been laying her eggs?
    What type of feed/treats do you give?
    If she is laying eggs, does she get supplemental calcium like oyster shell free choice?
    Can you post a photo of her?
    How does she stand? Like a penguin, fluffed up, hunched up, etc.?
    How does her abdomen feel, normal, hard, bloated, fluid filled?
    How does her crop feel, hard, soft, squishy, empty?
     
  5. bluenow

    bluenow Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 15, 2013
    Absolutely!

    She's around 21 months old.

    She has not been laying the past few days. she doesnt normally lay every day, but its not normal for her to go this long without laying.

    Their normal food is a mix of crumble and pellet organic feed. As treats I'll give them scratch, greens from the garden, apple cores, and if we have any veggies scraps I'll usually see if they're interested before I toss it in the compost bin.

    I do not give them oyster shell, but I am going to start because I think they need a little more calcium.

    She's kind of standing hunched over, i guess.

    So i just went outside to take a couple of pictures (below), and check her abs and crop. She was running around again like normal, and while i was there went and started eating. Earlier today I walked up to her and picked her up fairly easily (she's the most skittish out of the three), which was weird. I had a very hard time catching her just now. and I grabbed a couple of leaves of kale to see if she would be interested in it since she was acting normal, and she came running right over and started eating. So it's very strange to me that she's acting normal at certain points in the day, and not at other points.

    as far as the abs and crop, I wasnt really sure what i was looking/feeling for, but i compared her to the other two (had a fun time catching all three of them separately haha). The other two had crops that I could clearly feel, but I could not feel anything on her, so i guess it felt empty. All of their abs felt the same.

    In the picture below that is kind of from the side, she's standing tall, looks proud. And that's haw she normally looks. But when she's looking odd her tail is low and her head is not held high.

    i also wanted to mention that, as you can see in the pictures, her comb is kind of flopping to the side. I just looked at some old pictures because i didnt think that was normal, and in the pictures from the past it is standing tall. Maybe that's an indication of something?

    Let me know if there's any other info I can provide that will be helpful. Thank you!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    She's a pretty girl!

    This is a puzzle...

    Offering oyster shell free choice is a good idea, they will take a few pieces when they need it.

    Any chance it is heat related - she's perky when it cooler and declines as it gets warmer, or does it matter.
    Initially was thinking possible internal laying, but the going back and forth has me puzzled a bit. Do you free range, could she be laying her egg anywhere else (hiding her eggs). Was wandering if she is having some problems laying her egg, then when she finally does she bounces back to "normal".

    Not eating, do they others allow her to come to the feeder? Crop empty, what does the poo look like, has she been wormed?

    When she feels "sluggish" does she look similar to the hen pictured in this link:
    http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx

    I apologize for the thinking while typing, just trying to work out some possibilities.
     
  7. bluenow

    bluenow Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 15, 2013
    It's funny you should mention the heat cause I had the same thought yesterday. it does seem to correlate with the heat of the day, and it has been warmer the past couple of days, but nothing they havent been through before. and she always has access to shade and water. but when she is acting weird she usually is standing in the shade.

    They have a section of the backyard that they wander around in, but I think I would have seen an egg if she laid one out of the nesting box. I'll double-check though.

    I'm not sure what you're asking about the eating, because she does eat at the feeder with no problem. She's actually the top chick around here, and gets her first pick, and takes it.

    Yesterday her poop was a bit watery. I'll try and keep an eye on it today. I'll have to call where I got her and see if they de-worm their chicks. I cant remember.

    Just read through the link you sent, very interesting. she does kind of look like the chicken in the picture, but not sitting down as low. Maybe a month, two months, ago I had a week where I found a couple of eggs that were not fully formed (soft shell). but after those couple everything went back to normal, so I thought it was just something that came and passed for whatever reason. And i actually thought it was one of the other two that was laying them.

    Great questions, and thank for all the help. I'll do some more reading on Egg Peritonitis to see if that sounds like it. Hopefully not. In the mean time, any other thoughts are appreciated.

    Thanks again!!!
     
  8. bluenow

    bluenow Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 15, 2013
    Also, I just checked under the roost where they sleep, and her poop from overnight looks completely normal.
     
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Trying to determine if she was not eating since crop felt empty compared to the others. Sometimes if the hen is low in pecking order, the others will chase them from the feeder, but since she is top chick, then no problems there. She may not be eating as much because it is hot, I notice mine don't eat quite as much except early when it's cool and then again in the evening, we've been having hot humid weather, so they aren't nearly as active as usual.

    Watery poo could be from drinking a lot of water in hot weather.

    I would just keep an eye on her if you can and see if the pattern continues and maybe you can see if she get lethargic because of heat or when she is needing to lay her egg.


    Here's another "gem" a poop chart [​IMG]
    http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=17568.0
     
  10. bluenow

    bluenow Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 15, 2013
    thanks for the poop chart. I'm sure it will be helpful throughout the years. So today she is acting fine. I saw her this morning, then went out and came back in the afternoon and she's still acting normal. Still no egg though.

    This afternoon when I was out there she happened (or was maybe sending me a message) to poop right in front of me, so it was great to compare it to the pictures you sent. I was a little foamy, which I thought was weird. lookin through the pictures it looked like the Ceacal. but i guess it could be similar to the ones below that talk about worms and egg peritonitis, although it wasnt watery like the first picture (the one they say was from a 25 week old), and had more solids than the one just labeled "worms".

    as far as the eating, as far as i can tell she's eating just as much as usual. They usually run out to the feeder in the morning and eat, which she's been doing, and then go back around 5 and have dinner, which she is also doing. And when i was out there this afternoon she was chomping away at the feeder too.

    So like you said, unless anything I said in this post makes you think of something else, I'll just monitor it and see how it goes. if it continues for a while then I'll take her in and get her checked out.

    thank you so much for all the help!!! i really appreciated it. I'll post again if anything changes.
     

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