Help - one pullet suddenly lethargic?


In the Brooder
Dec 17, 2020
Southern California
I've been looking through this forum for a while, but decided to make an account today as one of my chickens is acting weird.
For context, I noticed this around 8 AM, and now it's the afternoon. It's in the mid-50s to mid-60s fahrenheit, with humidity around 50%. Also, this is my first flock, started in July.
Sorry if this is a bit all over the place - I'm trying to include everything I can.

1) She's a ~22 week old Dominique pullet. Has not started laying yet, but her comb and wattles are bright red and my other same-aged Dominique has started squatting, so I believe she's close to laying, too. She's the fluffiest of my birds, and I don't think her weight has changed.

2) She's usually rather loud, feisty, and curious, but this morning, she was none of those things. She was a bit puffed up, her head tucked in a tad. She barely moved around with the other chickens like she usually does - mostly standing in one spot, and occasionally almost falling asleep as she stands. Quieter than usual. Easy to pick up, though she still started kicking and flapping when she wants to be put down.
When she returned to the coop this morning, she just stood on the floor for a while. She poked her head in one of the nesting boxes, and I put her in it to see if she wanted to be in there. She hung out in it for less than a minute and then hopped out. Soon after, she jumped up to the roost and just stood there. I had to go indoors for class at that point.
I checked on her again a few hours later during my lunch time - she's improving somewhat. She's back to her occasional spunky yelling, she's taking a bit more interest in rooting around in the dirt and grass, and she's still upright and walking. Spent most of her free-ranging time sunbathing or standing around, and when I put the chickens back in their enclosure, she drank water and opted for the run instead of going back to standing on the roost. Still, she seems disoriented and slow, and often still closes her eyes while standing. Still no interest in her feed, too. I offered her a grape, which she usually goes crazy for, but she only ate half at a normal pace.
Her eyes seem bright and clear, and her comb and wattles are bright red. Her nostrils are fine, too. Her crop isn't hard or squishy, just firm. No signs of bumblefoot or any foot/leg issues. Her vent seems normal, pink and unblocked. Feathers are smooth and clean.

3) Symptoms have been exhibited since this morning.

4) No other chickens are exhibiting the same symptoms.

5) No bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

6) Not completely sure about the cause, but I strongly suspect coccidiosis based on what I've been reading.

7) I didn't see her eating her feed today - she seemed disinterested when I offered her some. She was still pecking at the grass in the yard, and I saw her drinking water at noon. She ate a bit of grape, but not with as much vigor as usual.

8) I only saw her poop once this morning - it was small and runny. At noon, I saw some green, sort of watery poop in the coop, though I'm not sure if it's her poop.

9) No treatment administered just yet.

10) I ordered some Corid 20% and plan to put a 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of water. It'll arrive tomorrow. Is this the right direction? Any advice on what else I should be doing?

11) Will share pictures if it would help.

12) Her bedding is composed of pine shavings. She currently gets 3-4 hours of free-range time a day (still figuring out a few things before moving up to more free-ranging).
What is her regular feed, brand/model/protein and calcium percentages?

Wondering if she has an egg coming down the pike....a soft one.
Not unusual for a first egg and it can make them act really weird.

When I have a bird that is acting 'off'
I isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or I 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. Check for external parasites or any other abnormalities.

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.

Oh, and..... Welcome to BYC! @sealchickens
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
She's on Nutrena Organic Nature Smart Layer crumble, which is 16% protein and ~4% calcium.

I was wondering about potential egg complications, though I didn't think she'd be laying so soon - a few of my other chickens have shown more signs. I'll check her for external parasites and abdomen issues ASAP, and will keep checking her poop, her crop, and the nesting boxes.

I'll partially separate if this continues, perhaps tomorrow - I have a mesh screen that I previously used to keep my little Easter Eggers safe from the others while they integrated. Will try the tray, too. I think I might also still give Corid for a few days, depending on how her condition goes, and disinfect the waterers and feeders again to be on the safe side.

Thank you so much for the welcome and advice!!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom