chicken not looking well

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by vestal, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. vestal

    vestal Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    24
    Jun 28, 2013
    Hi I have a road island red hen which was broody when she come of the nest she seemed ill, Its been over a month and still not laying eggs
    Symptoms are feathers look all ruffled and may be losing some, dosnt move much and comb is not bright red, looks like it has lost wieght she has not layed an egg in a long time and she is not her usual self.
    I have 8 other chickens and they are all healthy looking, none have worms
    Please help
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    548
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    How old is the hen?

    Has the bird been sick for a month or just not laying for a month?

    Moulting is a stressful time for some birds more than others and stress raises the stakes for disease. Check for mites and lice by parting feathers as you look over the birds body.

    Look around the vent. Is it dirty? Does the bird have diarrhea?

    What do the droppings look like (color, consistency).

    Is the hen eating and drinking on her own?

    How do you know it isn't worms?
     
  3. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,290
    286
    208
    May 9, 2013
    MB,Canada
    How long has she been broody? Broody hens often do become malnourished as they do not look after themselves when broody. If a hen is not hatching eggs,it is not a good idea to leave them broody,steps should be taken to break them of broodiness. Place her in a cage with a wire bottom so that the air circulates on her breast and underneath her(broodiness is tied to elevated body temp,you want to cool her down. Place her somewhere where she sees light(when broody they love the dark,do the opposite)make sure she has food/water. Leave her for a couple of days,let her out,if she is done being broody she will resume normal chickens things,if she runs back to her nest,she is still broody,repeat process. The longer a hen is broody,the longer it will take to break her.

    Make sure she is eating correct feed for her age,give her some vitamins to replenish what she is missing in her diet or lack of. Make sure she is eating/drinking. She will not resume egg laying until she is feeling better.

    Check her over for any crop issues,as in impact and check her for any vent issues. How does her poop look?
     
  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    548
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Any nesting area should be dark. That's recommended in almost any beginner manual I've ever seen. I've never had to break a bird from being broody. They just came out of it when they were ready to. Keeping eggs picked up helps too. I have a feeling it isn't being broody. There could be some egg binding going on though. Too little information to really know at this point.
     
  5. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,290
    286
    208
    May 9, 2013
    MB,Canada
    No,some birds do require breaking of broodiness,and the recommended way is as i described above,you need to place them in a area where they are exposed to natural light,in a wire cage. They can/do become malnourished. Trust me,i know what i am talking about.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    548
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    No reason to get sensitive about it. I just find it very odd since more than 30 years of raising chickens that I've never had any hens starve themselves due to brood behavior. I once had a particular Australorp that concerned me, but as I spied on them periodically, I noticed her out eating from the trough and getting a drink, then returning to the nest. An improper nest location, or not enough nests could be a problem. A hen would become more territorial or uncomfortable due to lack of nests, too much light, or not enough privacy. A hen will not hold it's egg if it is healthy. It will expel it on the ground if it doesn't have access to a nesting area. Anyway, I hope the OP can provide us with more detail to remedy the problem.
     
  7. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,290
    286
    208
    May 9, 2013
    MB,Canada
    No, i am not sensitive about this issue,but i have seen too many hens die/become malnourished due to broody issues and unfortunately the owners were not aware that this could happen. I personally have a silkie that if i did not break her of broodiness she will starve/become malnourished as she will not leave nest. This is just one of those things that if you have chickens you should be aware that it can happen,and that they need to be monitored when broody so in the event of weight loss/starvation issues,you can step in and correct the problem.
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    58,991
    16,501
    801
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    I have a pen that I stick the broody ones in, it's just dirt, perches, food and water. Breaks them of it every time, but this hen sounds sick from something else, like EYP, egg binding, ascites, cancer, worms, bacteria or a combination of them. If sh were mine I would bring her inside and get her warm and hydrated.

    -Kathy
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    58,991
    16,501
    801
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop

    I've had a couple ducks almost starve to death and a couple chickens die, but they died because they were on hidden nests that were infested with mites and I found them too late. One of my turkey hens was trying to hatch her own eggs for about three weeks, but no toms here, so I put some peafowl eggs under her. By the time they hatched she had lost at least 7pounds, but she didn't die.

    One must try to figure out if they are being broody or sick and go from there. Truly broody hens behave one way, sick chickens another.

    -Kathy
     
  10. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    548
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Which was the point I was making. A broody hen will not starve itself to death simply because it is broody. A sick or neglected one will.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by