Depressed chicken?

tamtbell

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 10, 2013
31
19
89
North Pole Alaska
Hi there, Okay this is my first post about my own chickens! (HOW EXCITING!)

So we have now in our flock: 1 10 month old hen; 2 almost 4 month old hens; 4 2 month old hens.
Our 10 month old hen was previously laying at another home about 3 weeks ago but now at our house she has yet to lay an egg. And now she seems horribly depressed. She doesn't scratch in the dirt anymore, she doesn't forage, she doesn't do any of the things she used to. Instead she sits usually in some corner of the yard with her feathers all plumped up, closes her eyes and looks like she's attempting to shut out the horrible world she's in.
I feel so badly for her so I keep trying to think of things I can do for her but nothing really seems to do anything. As it stands, our babies now somewhat hang out with Kara (10 month old) and the two teenagers (Tess & Ellie) almost not at all. And now it seems as if Kara is even more annoyed with this turn of events. Kara has most definitely told them all who is queen of the coop because the two teenagers avoid her like the plague most of the time and yet Kara seems overwhelmingly unhappy. Thoughts? suggestions?
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,586
23,003
906
southern Michigan
Welcome! She's more likely very ill rather than emotionally disturbed. Young as she is, that's still most likely. At night, with a flashlight, look for mites or lice on everyone as they are roosting. Treat with permethrin if any are found.
By the way, female chickens are pullets until they are one year old, then they are hens. Semantics...
These birds will take time to adjust and become one flock, just be patient.
Is this oldest pullet laying any eggs? Was she before?
What are you feeding?
Mary
 

tamtbell

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 10, 2013
31
19
89
North Pole Alaska
Welcome! She's more likely very ill rather than emotionally disturbed. Young as she is, that's still most likely. At night, with a flashlight, look for mites or lice on everyone as they are roosting. Treat with permethrin if any are found.
By the way, female chickens are pullets until they are one year old, then they are hens. Semantics...
These birds will take time to adjust and become one flock, just be patient.
Is this oldest pullet laying any eggs? Was she before?
What are you feeding?
Mary
Yes she was laying before at my friends house. The first couple of days she was with us she seemed a bit "uncomfortable" surrounded by ones so much younger than her and she was very happy to spend time with us humans. Then just as of lately she's turned very sad and just stays in the corner either looking outside the fence or napping. Unfortunately we don't have "night" here yet. We won't have that until around September. And gotcha. I was thinking that there was another name for youngsters but couldn't remember what it was.
 

tamtbell

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 10, 2013
31
19
89
North Pole Alaska
Oh feeding 18% protein with extra treats like meal worms; ground up egg shell with oats (my friend fed her ladies that so I just copied her idea)
 

tamtbell

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 10, 2013
31
19
89
North Pole Alaska
Depression is a sign that there is something wrong with her. Have you tried using poultrydvm's chicken symptom checker tool? It might help you so you can at least rule out the possibilities.
Hhmm, so I went through some of the potential issues but none seem to apply. Other than sleepy/listlessness. But then she hasn't really been exposed to any of the things on the list. And if it was mites/worms or something along those lines wouldn't the others show symptoms too? She is the only newby by the way. The others all have been with us for at least a month or more. (the two teenagers have been with us since April, the babies since early June)
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
72,742
76,962
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Unfortunately we don't have "night" here yet.
Where in this world are you located?
Climate is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, then it's always there!
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This is what I do if a bird is acting off.
I'd isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two....so you 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.

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.


Easier for me to see when it's dark, so maybe take her inside to a windowless room.
Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?

Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.

Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.

Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
 

tamtbell

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 10, 2013
31
19
89
North Pole Alaska
Sorry updated my profile now. I live in North Pole Alaska. I just recently got a huge bag of DE that I plan to start using to treat everyone (even though only Kara the newbie is showing signs of any distress) My coop isn't big enough to put a separating cage in it inside but I could do it in the run. One of my husbands coworkers said its possible that Kara might be trying to mother the babies (2 month old pullets) and its taking a lot out of her but that seemed kind of odd. Even though I have watched her watch over them and make sure the teenagers (2 other pullets) peck after them (she has played the "Mothering Hen" in front of me with them)
I'll do the white paper towel check here in a few. Hubby let everyone out this morning and everyone else was excited to get out and play except for her. She decided to stay in the coop and sleep.
 

TwoCrows

Inuit Raven
Staff member
Premium member
8 Years
Mar 21, 2011
39,804
52,637
1,412
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Birds moved to new grounds often contract Coccidiosis. Generally birds become immune to their environment so any new comer is open to all kinds of bacterias, yeasts and Cocci, which is the most common issue.

As stated above, its not likely she's depressed, but rather not feeling well.

Sounds like Cocci to me. If she is off her feed and water, develops diarrhea with a lot of liquid white urates, chances are she's got Coccidiosis. Use Corid, you can get this a most feed stores or on line. 1 1/2 teaspoons Corid per gallon of water for the powder, 2 teaspoons Corid per gallon of water for the liquid. Change and make new daily. Use for 5 to 7 days. No added vitamins during this time.
 
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