Help- My hen is acting a bit out of character, not sure if injury, stress, cold, or something else.


Mar 16, 2018
Hello there. I decided to join this place to have some tips ETC. I'm a bit of a newbie but have raised my current flock of three for a whole year now. (2 I got since chicks from a local granary thing and another I got from a neighboring farm who needed to rehome an extra hen)

The one who seems a bit off is the one I got from the neighboring farm. She's been healthy for months and I've had her since last summer. She laid her first eggs during the late fall and has barely started laying again. She lays every 2 or so days on average.

She appears to possibly be a Green-legged Partridge or a mix since she looks a lot like one down to her green legs. I'm pretty sure none of my flock is vaccinated since they come from small farms around the area. For the most part they are healthy and I haven't had any trouble with them.

I've nicknamed her Jade for her green legs. She tended to be the alpha hen who bullied my other hen (a friendly Rhode island red mix who is bigger than her)

However yesterday I noticed that she was just huddled in one corner and puffed up. She is still spunky enough to make herself hard to catch but she seems a bit less 'spunky' than usual. She's not bullying the other hen or making a ruckus as she usually does.

It's been a bit cold over here. Generally here it tends to be really hot and sunny but when it rains it gets a bit cooler. It was colder during the winter though and she did fine so i'm not sure.

I also have a rooster who I call Heihei, another Rhode island red mix (since he has white splotches on his chest) he's barely started crowing and is getting a bit amorous. I had to separate him from the two hens recently since he would bite them when he tried to mount them. I'm keeping a injury from him a possibility here as well.

The symptoms she has is.

  • ~Green poop, it's not yellow or orange but greenish and only sometimes is watery or foamy. She also makes solids at times with hints of white (She ate cucumber the day before so it may be that. I've looked and no worms seem to be present so far.
  • ~ Huddles up in a corner sometimes...but walks around and even digs around, she also preens and cleans herself. She can stretch out her neck at times as well. I believe I caught her dust bathing today.
  • ~Waddle seems a bit more pale than usual, but it's been getting it's color back slowly.
  • ~Missing a few feathers along her wings and belly. Might be molting or stress not sure.
  • She eats and drinks without issue. No signs of weight loss or lethargy.
  • So far has not laid eggs in 2 days, she's still young though and the days aren't super long yet. She started laying again about two weeks ago.
  • She does not have runny eyes or nose.
  • She has no trouble breathing.
  • Her eyes are not half closed. Pupils are not dilated and are still a vivid orange.

I'm worried it may be some sort of gut bug, parasites, or egg peritonitis. (However for the latter she does eat and drink water on her own like normal so it does not seem like she's in pain. She does not seem swollen or to be losing weight either.)

Anyone has any idea what she might have?
Edit: Not sure if her partially bare and featherless belly might be a sign that she might just be vitamin or protein deficient. (It does not look like molting since it's just her belly and sides of her wings) I'm getting the whole flock some vitamins to add onto their water and have changed their feed to an organic layer one two days ago.

Has anyone dealed with something similar or like this? I'd really like to help her recover as fast as possible since she still eats and drinks on her own but is less active than usual.

I also plan to spray the entire flock and their coop with a garlic water mixture just in case if it might be mites. But I doubt it's mites since only Jade has these symptoms.
I would feel of her crop first thing in the morning before she eats anything to check for a full or puffy crop. Look her over especially under vent and wings, and neck or evidence of lice or mites. On Monday, take some fresh droppings in to your regular vet, and ask them to do a fecal float for coccidiosis and worms. Today, offer 2-3 ml of Poultry Cell or NutriDrench orally and daily for a few days. Offer some egg for extra protein.

Missing feathers on belly and chest sometimes is a sign of being broody. Does she spend a lot of time in her nest box?

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