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Chicken sitting a lot with tail up

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CroftonChicks, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. CroftonChicks

    CroftonChicks Hatching

    Jan 28, 2017
    Hi all,
    I have three chickens (and only 3 chickens) all going through something at the moment. I have a chicken that is sitting all day with her tail high in the air. She appears fine, strong and eating. She is not egg bound, she's not even laying - she has always stopped laying in the winter so I have not been concerned. She is sitting around all over the yard, not in the nest - anyone have any suggestions of what this could be? It's how the tail is going up and she appears to be pushing at times that worries me. She shows no other signs of internal laying, like lethargy, scrambled egg poop, tail down, ect. She almost seems more protective and strong than usual.

    I had a chicken with internal laying a week ago that was very sick but doing much better now. I used ionic silver, vitamins and milk thistle seed to help her, she's not out of the woods but better. This is her second round of this, last year same time we went through it. I am hopefully cautious although everyone says it's lethal. After last year, she went back to laying just fine, but she is the most fragile of the bunch.

    Third chicken is molting, no big deal, but they are really a rag tag bunch at the moment.

    My question is about the sitting chicken. Does anyone have any insight into causes of this? I've had the girls for 4 years and have never witnessed this before. With the other one ill, I am worried.

  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    As long as this hen is behaving normally and is not lethargic and she isn't moping around with her tail held low, I suggest you not worry.

    When a hen is trying to expel an egg, she stands up and assume a semi-squat in order to push the egg out. As long as the hen is simply sitting with her tail held high, that's a normal nest sitting posture, if not a relaxing posture.

    But do continue to observe her. Watch her gait while she walks. Is she steady or wobbly? Does she limp, favoring one leg or foot? A chicken that spends a lot of time sitting may have ;eg or foot issues. I would examine the foot pads for injuries and make sure the leg scales are normal and there are no scaly leg mites.
  3. CroftonChicks

    CroftonChicks Hatching

    Jan 28, 2017
    Thanks, I will keep watch. I keep wondering if this is how a broody chicken sits. She isn't in the nest though. But she is flat out, she looks like a deflated beach ball with her tail unnaturally really held high. It is very purposeful, whatever she is doing. Chickens are so interesting.
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK

    When I read your first post I thought it sounded like she is broody. Your second post about her being like a deflated beach ball makes it sound even more likely.
    What breed is she?
    Have you tried putting an egg down in front of her and see if she pulls it in underneath her?

    Where in the world are you and what is your weather like? (it really helps if people fill in that information on their profile page, so we can see at a glance, as it can make a significant difference depending on the season) If you are in summer and it's hot, it may be too hot in the nest box for her to stay there comfortably for any length of time which is why she is out in the yard, or it may be that one of the others is bullying her and she is just moving out of the way and plopping herself down elsewhere.

    Another possibility is an impacted crop. That makes them front heavy, so the tail can appear stuck up. I have one at the moment like that. She is ravenously hungry because she is effectively starving because food is stuck in her crop and not able to go into her intestines to be digested. If this is the problem, she will have an extremely enlarged/pendulous crop which may be hard or perhaps spongy if it is becoming sour and she may be extremely thin/emaciated over the rest of her body.

    Good luck figuring it out.



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