Hello. I'm new here and have some questions.


7 Years
May 20, 2012
Hello. I have some questions about my favorite hen that hopefully somebody can help me with. She's a 1 year old Golden Comet, my sweet Sarah. She was healthy and laying well up until she and the rest of the flock were moved into a newly built coop last November. About the same time she, and most of the rest, did a partial molt. Laying mostly stopped, but they all started again after their feathers grew back and we added morning light to the coop . Except Sarah. She appeared perfectly healthy for the rest of the winter, and in the spring started going to the nest boxes, sitting for awhile, then would come out and cackle and frantically eat like she had just laid an egg. But no egg. She did this almost daily for weeks, then stopped trying. Then she started acting lethargic, not staying with the flock, droopy tail, sleeping a lot, not eating much. This lasted several weeks, then she just snapped back and is a lot more active, eats, stays awake, mostly stays with the flock, and doesn't seem to feel too bad. But she avoids having to jump or fly, she has for months now. I've checked her legs, feet, wings, they're fine. Her abdomen seems slightly swollen, but not bad. About a month ago she started peeping/chirping. It's weird, as she walks along she does this. But she stops if I pick her up, and talks to me in her normal way. And now she has diarrhea, I suspect possibly from worms, although I've never seen any in her poo. I wormed her with 1/2 cc valbazen 3 days ago. So after all that, basically I'm wondering: why no eggs for 6 months? If it's just been from having worms for so long, can her insides be so damaged she may never lay again? Any chance she started laying internally? Would she have survived this long if so? Same for a tumor, would she have gotten better from her worst, and still be doing fairly good for so long now? And what's with the peeping/chirping noises? I'm not really that concerned if I never get an egg from her again, I love her dearly and she has a happy home here for the rest of her life. Oh, if it matters/helps with needed info, she's completely free range, goes in coop at night. Thank you for whoever takes the time to read all this and respond!
Sarah sounds like a sweet hen. I have no idea about that peeping- chirping thing. I have had a hen who was an internal layer though. She survived with the condition for well over a year. She even laid an egg occasionally. Her belly did get very swollen over time. I read that Internal layers don't necessarily develop an infection and the egg material that goes into the abdominal cavity is partially reabsorbed. Maybe your Sarah had an infection that her immune system overcame. I have also read about people giving their hen antibiotic injections when showing symptoms of infection - also know as egg yolk peritonitis (EYP)

Our hen eventually did succumb to an infection, but before that even with her swollen belly she enjoyed waddling around, sand bathing and eating her dandelion green treats.
Hello and welcome to BYC! Good luck with Sarah.
Welcome to BYC! I'm sure you'll get some help here with suggestions for your hen - it's tough when you're not sure if there is something wrong and what to do. Posting into the "Injury/Illness" section too is a good idea. Good luck!

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