Golden Sebright Hen fluffy


Apr 17, 2020
Good morning all,

I have a flock of 5 hens; 2 Copper Marans (8 months), 1 Americauna (about 4 yrs) and 2 Golden Sebrights (about 5 years). The one I am concerned about is my Cagney the Golden Sebright. She kind of marches to her own drum but still hangs out with the flock. At night, instead of sleeping in the coop on the roost with the other hens, she sleeps in the netting above the coop. We are now cold here and a few days ago it was rainy and cold. The other girls were kept in their coop (barn stall) with fresh grass hay and fresh food and water. Cagney was out in the rain by her choice. I was able to convince her to go in with the others. The next day, she had flown out, like she usually does and I did not see her all day. When I went to lock everyone up at dusk, Cagney was in the coop with the flock, fluffed up and not looking good. Put her on the roost under the heater, and my old gal Dot knocked her off. Cagney stayed on the floor, looking pretty pitiful. I grab the box, grabbed some grass hay, grabbed Cagney (which is extraordinarily rare) with no problem and brought her inside. Her comb was pale and she was clearly weak. Sat by the fireplace with her in a towel and warmed her. Did not want to stress her by forcing beak open to get water so kept her warm, had some chick starter water with probiotics etc made up and in her lil box. Kept her inside, wrapped and warm. Next morning, comb was a little more pink and she was more alert. Made oatmeal and some scrambled eggs, watermelon and she ate! Repeat for two days! She is now up and alert eating several meals of her own food plus extra stuff (grapes, oatmeal, a little cottage cheese) and doing well, comb fully pink back to normal. Given her normal behavior (hates to be handled, rarely can catch her) her current behavior is a bit off. She has not tried to fly out of the box, but definitely is up looking over the box when I call (Yes, my chickens come when called). I have checked her and see no mites (she was a little vocal while I did this). Flock was wormed during the summer. Eyes clear, chest clear, beak nice. I think she may have just got wet chilled, cold? It is cold and we had a rain during the night last but the clouds are clearing. I am going to let my other chickens out today (they free range). What do you think about what has happened and given her current status, do you think I should let her rejoin the flock?
I think that I would keep her in the coop or covered run during the day in a dog crate with her own food and water. That way you could still watch her and she would be dry and with her friends. It could be that she is being bullied and takes off surin gthe daytime to be on her own. Getting wet in winter can make them weak. But she might be starting to have an illness which you can watch for.
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She was eating this morning and much more alert. Put her outside with the rest of the girls with some scratch. She was right there with them eating. They headed out foraging and Cagney stayed on the fringes, but no foraging and now once again fluffed and her wings low. The other girls were in the sun this afternoon, preening and rolling in some shredded wood chips. Cagney was not and remained fluffed up with wings held low but still close to her body. All facial body parts look clear. No sneezing, no running eyes or beak, no wheezing that I can tell, just subdued. Brought her in, put her back in box, with food and water. She is eating a little of her food. Still standing...I just have no idea other than she really seems to be off her feed. I am leery about putting her in the coop overnight, I think the cold would make her worse or finish her off?
Drooping wings can be a sign of dehydration. Inwould make sure tha t she is drinking enough, and giving her some Poultry NutriDrench or Poultry Cell 1 ml for the next couple of days might benefit her. If she needs some extra warmth I would bring her in at night. How do her poops look? Do you think that coccidiosis might be a problem? Corid can treat that.
You probably already know the proper way to administer fluids. I didn’t but by reading backyard chickens I avoided what could’ve been a serious mistake. When you open the birds beak it just isn’t obvious where to safely put the fluids! If you’re experienced I hope this didn’t offend. I just thought maybe you were like me and had not given fluids before. I hope she gets better soon .
Yes, Fontaine, thank you. Though I am a newbie to chicken raising, I am aware not to "shoot" it down their throats. I put it at the tip of the beak once I have opened her beak and drop some at the tip of her tongue. And Eggcessive, her poops are white and with some brown solid matter, but yes a bit watery, so I will be at the feed store today picking up some Corid and treating all my hens. I have been trying to get some Chick Starter water enhancer in Cagney (probiotics, minerals, electrolytes.) She is so small and my hands are big, I just don't want to hurt her beak...I keep trying. And thank you all for your patient and helpful answers.
Good morning,

So, I think I now know what the problem has been. I believe she has an impacted crop which seems odd, because she is a free ranging bird, with a feeder in her coop with a mix of laying pellets and laying crumble.

When she first became ill, I noticed the right side of her breast was a little bigger than her left. Unfortunately, because I am a rookie chicken rancher, it took a day for me to realize what was going on. So I have withheld water and food. It has not emptied over night and felt like a golf ball again this morning after it softened last night with massage.

So far, I have tried veggie oil yesterday and massaged, massaged and massaged. Last night I gave her a small piece of a glycerin suppository and massaged her crop again gently, as did my son. She seems to really like that, as she relaxes and I can see her making swallowing movements with her throat and beak. She made it through the night (inside in the small dog crate.) She gets enhanced water regularly and her color (comb and face) show good color. I am not going to do any surgery on her nor take her to a vet. I am keeping her comfortable, warm, gentle massages and keeping her hydrated. Any other ideas.
You can chill a teaspoonful of coconut oil, and cut it into small chunks to for her to peck. Most chickens like that. Never take away water from a chicken. Massage her crop several times a day. Sometimes another problem going on can be a cause of crop impactions or slow to empty crops. Reproductive problems, such as internally laid lash egg material, egg yolk peritonitis, ascites, or cancer are some causes. The gizzard may not be emptying. Make sure their is granite poultry grit out for the chickens. Hopefully, once the crop starts to empty, you can feed some scrambled egg and mushy watery chicken feed, but no whole grains.
This is such useful information should I ever need it. How will I access this thread should that happen? I am not very computer savvy. I’ve actually taken some photos of informative threads in case I can’t get back to them. Pitiful I know LOL
This is such useful information should I ever need it. How will I access this thread should that happen? I am not very computer savvy. I’ve actually taken some photos of informative threads in case I can’t get back to them. Pitiful I know LOL
You can bookmark your response here and it should stay on your profile in the Bookmarks tab! Its the little ribbon-looking button on the top bar to the right of your time stamp, between the share button and the thread post number!

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