Hen acting strange

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Babs Chickens, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. Babs Chickens

    Babs Chickens New Egg

    Nov 14, 2009
    Hello everyone....just found this place...what a gem!

    We have 10 hens, mixed breeds (2 Buffs, 5 RI Reds, 3 Doms and 1 Roo, Aracauna mix) of different ages. I let them out of their pen every afternoon a couple of hours before dark to graze. A week ago, the oldest Dom hen (and she looks old) didn't come back. We searched everywhere but did not find her. It isn't really cold here yet at night (NE Louisiana - 50's). A couple days later we found some Dom feathers in the backyard, which is uphill from the pen and they don't usually come this far up, preferring the area of grass around the pen. After looking intensely we figured she either gave up the ghost or something got her. And we generally don't have problems with things getting after them.

    Yesterday our son went down to the shop and something caught his eye and standing over in the corner was the old Dom hen! The doors are only sometimes closed to the shop so we don't know if she wandered in there or just happened to be in there yesterday. He picked her up and took her back to the pen (which is just behind the shop). I looked later to let them out to graze and the old hen is hunched down, neck isn't up, not walking fast, comb is bluish-pale. Tail is down and wants to crouch behind something. She ate well, but did not leave the pen with the others. Could not jump up to the roost so I made her a nest on the floor of the coop. This morning she was still on the ground. I gave her a syringe of colloidal silver/water and she appeared to enjoy it as if she was thirsty. She went over and began to eat heartily at the cauliflower head I had put out for them. Did not actually see her eating any of the scratch, although she was standing in front of the dish of pellets.

    I use organic ACV in their water, along with a powerful liquid probiotic, and their scraps and treats are all organic. But it has been a week or more since she was into any of this. I thought I would follow up with GSE later today, in their water also. Should I separate her from the others?

    Not sure what is going on. Anyone have any ideas? I would be most appreciative!
  2. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic


    Was she away for a long time? She may not have got the nutrients she needed whilst she was away from home.

    The colouration of the comb, is due to not enough oxygenated blood getting there- I find it on cold nights with my hens.

    Good luck I hope someone can also help you! [​IMG]
  3. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    I suspect dehydration.
  4. Babs Chickens

    Babs Chickens New Egg

    Nov 14, 2009
    She was gone about a week and a half! Even tho she is old she was very healthy like the rest. I agree with you....maybe just dehydration and a loss of nutrients for that time. I just don't think she has a disease or something. I have watched her today and have not separated her. She has drank quite a bit and has eaten well. I even added some brewer's yeast to their food. She sat in the sunshine most of the day and a time or two she actually looked a little perkier and I heard her almost clucking a little. She had gotten in the coop when I checked them at dark, even tho she couldn't jump up to the roost. I will keep it up and see how she is tomorrow.

    Thanks for the help and encouragement!
  5. hen-thusiast

    hen-thusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Good luck! It sounds like she's going in the right direction and that you are keeping a good eye on her. If she's anything like our doms, she's a fighter and she'll pull through. [​IMG]
  6. VA from WV

    VA from WV Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2009
    Eastern Pandhandle WV
    Always treat for dehydration first. Any underlying problem with an animal(or human) will be exacerbated by a prolonged period of not-feeling-good and not drinking enough as a result.

    After you deal with that, then you'll have more clues about what is really wrong with your girl.
  7. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic

    Plenty of water, and food available troughout the day- but take it away every 5 minutes for a few minutes, so she doesn't overfeed herself.
  8. Babs Chickens

    Babs Chickens New Egg

    Nov 14, 2009
    Just an update.....the hen is much better. Still a little hunched up, but standing straighter and stretching out like normal. Walking around more in their yard and seems to be interested in what is going on. I do not see her by the food much so I don't think she is overeating. Doesn't seem to be excessively thirsty anymore either judging by the fact that she isn't camped out by the water any longer. Also, her comb is almost back to the vibrant red as before. I threw in a handful of green stuff a minute ago when I let the others out to graze and she pecked heartily. Whew! We'll see. I think tomorrow I may give her another tiny bit of the organic oats/non-gmo brewers yeast/organic peanut butter/ organic flax seed treat. I don't even think she lays eggs any more so I don't think it will hurt. Just to be on the safe side I am keeping the liquid probiotics in the drinking water. It is the Inner Garden that I take - the best I have ever found. Multiple species with multiple strains in each specie. Thanks again!! You guys have been great!

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