Cuddly hen, respiratory illness & lower egg production


In the Brooder
6 Years
Jun 18, 2013
Hi all,

This site is great! I usually find the information that I need without having to post.

We are a new chicken family, our oldest hens are 7 months old. We now also have 1 hen and 1 rooster that are 4-5 months old as well as an "elderly" white hen and four youngsters that are 3-4 months old.

2 months ago the flock came down with an upper respiratory illness. It started with one hen sneezing and having bubbly eye, but within 24 hours 3 more had it and by the time I got the antibiotic I had an infected flock. We treated with antibiotics and all chickens are now well. (Thanks to all the info I found here on this site!) Egg production practically stopped when they came down with it, and then gradually picked up again, although we did not eat any of the eggs produced until they were off the meds for three weeks.

I expected that production would go back up to their previous performance, but it has not. Is this normal? Is their egg production permanently lowered or am I being impatient? The eggs are also smaller than before and we no longer get any double-yolks...

On the bright side - One of our youngest hens has been named "Cuddles" by my daughter. This little hen loves to stand at my feet until I pick her up. She really enjoys being picked up, carried around, petted, scratched, anything really! I just think she is super and the husband has been warned that Cuddles is to lead a long, long life!! I am guessing that she is unusual and we just got lucky to have a love muffin!! One question - when I go to put her back down she curls both feet into a fist-like position. Is something wrong, or is it because she is not yet done with her lovin?

Thanks all!
-AB in Alabammy
First I am really happy for you that your flock has recovered!!

It may be that the illness took a toll on them and they may need extra time to build up to where they were (laying) before. Not sure about the egg size, maybe someone else will know about that!!
As for Cuddles, I think when she curls her feet, it means she isnt done being loved!!! we have one here, Millie, who is the same! She loves attention, the more the merrier! The other girls like to be at our feet and with us, but NO TOUCH.
Thanks TTracy! I guess I am being impatient regarding the eggs. Cuddles is our only snuggle chicken... all the others like to be close, but they don't want to be touched or picked up at all.

I will give Cuddles some extra time today!

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