Chicken not acting herself

MohrChickens

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2021
9
7
14
Wisconsin
Hi all!

Super new to this Website and have found such useful information. Unfortunately my time has come and now I’m a worry wart. I need your help!

I noticed a week ago my 6 month old chicken hasn’t been acting her normal self. She stopped laying and she would usually lay religiously. She poops one or two tiny poops at night while everyone else poops quadruple the amount. She doesn’t eat like normal and she doesn’t dive into treats when I come by with
them. (Assuming not a lot of poops from not eating a lot) Now I noticed she’s losing quite a few feathers.

I thought she was egg bound at first but I checked and she wasn’t. I thought she maybe had mites/lice but she doesn’t. I thought she was having crop issues but it’s like she has the opposite of an impacted crop, it’s never full like it used to be. Could it be a parasite? They get to run around about 3/4 of an acre for most of the day so she’s not bored.

It is my first time having chickens so I am at a loss now. If I fry up and egg she will eat some of that but it’s definitely not enough.

3 weeks ago I have introduced a second batch of babies….they are now about 9 weeks old so is it possible she’s stressed from the new chicks? They are still in the look but don’t touch phase but she’s definitely more fixated on these new chickens than everyone else, she wants to peck them and chase them through the fence. I’ve put off combining the runs in hopes she gets back to normal but I haven’t seen improvement. I started to weigh her daily to see if she’s losing weight.

I am sorry about the long post but wanted to get all the information out there.
Any feed back, pointers, or best guesses what may be the issue would be greatly appreciated.

I attached a picture of Tweety, she looks healthy but I know she’s not acting herself!
 

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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,776
144,245
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SW Michigan
My Coop
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I noticed ??? ago my 6 month old chicken hasn’t been acting her normal self.
When did this start?
Is she low bird?
They are more likely to be bullies to new birds...
...and maybe she's getting chased away from feed.


This is what I do when I have a bird that is acting 'off'.....
I isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two....so I can closely monitor:
-their intake of food and water,
-crop function(checking at night and in morning before providing more feed),
-and their poops.
Feel their abdomen, from below vent to between legs, for squishy or hard swelling.
Check for external parasites or any other abnormalities.

Best to put crate right in coop or run so bird is still 'with' the flock.
I like to use a fold-able wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller mesh(1x2) on bottom of crate under tray.
Then you can put tray underneath crate to better observe droppings without it being stepped in. If smaller mesh is carefully installed, tray can still be used inside crate.
 

MohrChickens

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2021
9
7
14
Wisconsin
I would say she might be getting ready to molt, but she’s only 6 mo old, right? Shouldn’t be molting yet. Could she maybe have a partial blockage in her crop somewhere? Sorry, not much help for you :(.
I thought too young for molting too. Would I be able to feel that? Her crop used to fill so nicely and by morning all pooped out but now it’s never full
 

MohrChickens

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2021
9
7
14
Wisconsin
When did this start?
Is she low bird?
They are more likely to be bullies to new birds...
...and maybe she's getting chased away from feed.


This is what I do when I have a bird that is acting 'off'.....
I isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two....so I can closely monitor:
-their intake of food and water,
-crop function(checking at night and in morning before providing more feed),
-and their poops.
Feel their abdomen, from below vent to between legs, for squishy or hard swelling.
Check for external parasites or any other abnormalities.

Best to put crate right in coop or run so bird is still 'with' the flock.
I like to use a fold-able wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller mesh(1x2) on bottom of crate under tray.
Then you can put tray underneath crate to better observe droppings without it being stepped in. If smaller mesh is carefully installed, tray can still be used inside crate.
About a week ago. She’s second from the bottom. I only have 5 birds together and multiple feeders and waters. I thought maybe she was getting bullied too but I watch them quite often on my chicken camera and no one guards food/water from anyone. What does a hard or squishy abdomen usually mean?
If I separate her do you think it would cause more stress to her if that’s the issue? I keep a pretty good eye on her droppings since they all sleep in the same spot every night. But I definitely know she’s not eating/drinking enough-but she still does it. I do have two of those wire dog crates that I can use
 

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