Head hen is sick and hens seem sad and gentle with her

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by leenie, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. leenie

    leenie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Springfield, VA
    My head hen is sick. I gave her TLC this morning and will keep an eye on her. May be internal laying issues as she is coming out of molt. Her comb is dark and purple on the ends and her bottom seems heavy, red and was covered with poop. She got a bath, healthy food, electrolytes and tlc.

    Question is her hen friends seem to be staying close by her and are gently preening her at times. It's almost dusk and Pearl (Head hen) should be back at the roost by now as she is always first up. No one is heading back at this time. They are all staying close by very quietly.

    I'm hoping she rebounds but I don't have a good feeling about this.

    Do chickens have compassion up until the point of death. Evrything I have read on here up to now says no so I'm not sure what I am witnessing.
     
  2. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    I'm sorry your girl isn't doing well.
    I have also noticed many times when my hens have been kind to a sick sister. I think it has a great deal to do with how the birds are managed.
    I always have small flocks, and I almost never introduce any adult birds into the established mix. Any pecking-order fighting is done and over when they are chicks. I also keep birds until they die naturally, so many of them have known each other a very long time. I think this allows individuals to develop a deeper relationship with each other than is possible in a more crowded, competitive environment where birds aren't allowed to live past the age of two.
    Having said that, you never know when a chicken is going to be nasty to another for no apparent reason. They're kinda like people that way...[​IMG]
     
  3. BigSkyChickens

    BigSkyChickens Free Bird

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    Pleasant Hill, CA
    I'm sorry your hen is sick. That's good that she's not getting picked on for being sick.

    I had a barred rock with internal laying a few months ago, and her sisters pretty much ignored her during her last couple of days (she also carried a lot of junk in the trunk).

    Last year, I had a another barred rock with a bum leg, but I had to separate her, because the mean girls of the flock were starting to chase her.

    Good luck taking care of your hen.
     
  4. mama dixie

    mama dixie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2011
    oh man I am crying over here. I had a white Cochin roo his name was whitie. he was very sick he got coci and his comb turned very dark purple and I took him to the chicken vet. they were very worried and not at all ok with his comb being that color. be very carefull this is not a good sign. I would suggest separating your girl to protect the flock. I seperated whitie and the hens went crazy kept looking for him and making this horrid sad noise. when we were told he was not going to make it I had to beg to bring him home they wanted to keep him until he passed and send him in for testing due to the color of the comb. when I got him home I took him out to the coop I thought they already have been exposed I sat him on the ground and let the girls out. now I am not kidding the ladies got around and the lead hens three of them came up and gently pecked at his comb and waddles he made a few sad sounds and then they went in to the coop and I took whitie in the house he died the next dawn. he had coxi was very anemic and had a bad infection.

    when they gave him the antibiotics his once beautiful red comb went from dark purple to white they said this was due to the animia. I will pray for your girl and you. our roo was special I have looked long and hard to find one even close to him he was so gentle with the hens and protected them and he always sat on my lap and wanted to be fawned over, he so hated our dog though he always wanted to get him...


    I am praying for you hang in there.,
     
  5. leenie

    leenie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Springfield, VA
    Thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement and support and most especially the prayers.

    Pearl can still make it up to the roost and she is holding her own. Same today as yesterday. I will continue to keep a close eye on her.

    TLC is all I can offer her.
     
  6. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Prayers to your girl and you.
    I've never noticed chickens having compassion but once I had a sick Cornish and my Doberman stayed with her all morning.
     
  7. mama dixie

    mama dixie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2011
    how is your girl doing? it is so hard when they get sick...
     
  8. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    you are lucky they arnt fighting her because least shes weak they will see that as a easy target myne tryed to fight my ill head hen so i seperated her and when she went back when she was better she beat all of them up and took her crown back
     

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