Help please, penguin stance but still laying!


7 Years
May 21, 2012
We have a two year old Americana, she has the penguin stance, she is still laying most days (her normal rate), she is very lethargic but she will come running for food. She has some signs of diarrhea (her vent is clean but she has some poop down on the feather below her vent). She hates being handled and when we managed to grab her tonight her keel felt a little prominent, but since we rarely handle her it is hard to tell if this is normal for her or not. She has been like this for about a week with no great improvements but no big decline either. We started feeding her scrambled eggs with some olive oil to give her a boost. Any ideas?
I really don't know about this one. Does her crop feel solid? She could be having trouble digesting her food. Does she get grit? The other thing is she could be internally laying, even if she is laying every few days because some could be going in her chest. Can you post a picture or video of her penguin stance?
I will try to get a pic on here later today. I am not sure it is full penguin stance, but her tail is tucked up and her neck feathers are all puffed up. But if I go out there with a treat she "magically" comes to life and assumes normal posture and runs over.
I felt around her crop and it didn't seem particularly hard. We don't provide them with grit just assume they get what they need from scratching around the run and they get to range on our property most days so I assume she finds what she needs. I have been limiting the free range time the last few days to keep her resting as much as possible. We have 3 other adult hens and 8 two month old chicks as well and none of them seem sick.
I don't get the feeling she is very sick, but I do go out there first thing in the morning to check on her and a little part of me worries that she won't be alive. This morning she woke me up with the other hens squaking up a storm and strutting around the run. Now she is all hunched up again. She is a mystery! Maybe she just wants the sympathy eggs and yogurt!
Could she be egg-bound? When you say her tail is "tucked up," I'm not sure what you're meaning - Does she appear to be straining or pumping her tail?

Is she beginning a molt?
She laid yesterday afternoon. She doesn't seem to be straining, just uncomfortable. No tail pumping or anything else that would indicate she is trying to pass an egg.
She molted this past fall and isn't showing signs that she is starting to do so again.
I don't have access to our camera right now but will soon and will post a picture. Here is the best description I can give of the tail...
When she is standing instead of being up and fanned out a bit (normal chicken stance), the tail feathers are gathered together and follow the line of her back. Not too tucked, not touching the ground.
When she is laying down, her tail feathers lay down just above the ground behind her, not picked up at all.
Sounds like worms. I once saw a hen that did the penguin stance for several minutes, and I was very worried. She was laying normally, but a few days later I saw 2 large roundworms in her poop! She apparently had a worm load, which felt like the urge to poop and was straining to poop? After worming the flock I never saw her or anyone do that stance again.
Any suggestions on what to worm them with and spots to get it? We would love to worm the whole flock, but live in the sticks and don't have a vet for quite a ways. Can you buy poultry wormers online?
I've used ivermectin 1% cattle dewormer injectable. You mix 1cc per quart of water or 4cc per gallon of water and offer this as the only water source (changing it everyday) for 2-3 days. Meat withdrawal is listed as 30days - as for the eggs I don't throw them out since ivermectin is used on humans. But if you are worried about it then throw them out.

EDIT: you can get it at a vet, online, maybe at a farm store like rural king. Just make sure you don't get pour on.

And if your syringe is marked ml its the same as cc. (ml=cc)
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