Hen eating poop, acting touchy & not looking pretty

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MamiPollo, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chirping

    Mar 6, 2011
    My Coop
    My columbia rock hen is about 9 months old. She started laying this summer and has been very predictable. She has missed a few days, including about 3 days recently but now has started back up laying an egg every morning the last two or three days.

    However, now she is behaving strangely. The most alarming issue is that she is eating poop. The other odd behavior she has is that she used to be my friendliest and tamest bird, but now she acts like she does not want me to touch her.

    I have been noticing that she looks thin compared to the others (2 australorps & 2 araucanas), but decided they had just passed her up in size as they are still growing and she has stopped. But, now I am not so sure. Her feathers look like they are yellowed and dull. She is starting to look unhealthy compared to the others.

    They free range most of the day in my yard and always have access to layena crumbles. I give them veggie scraps and a little bit of scratch. You may recall that the elderly gentleman next door was also feeding them and giving them some treats. I have not seen him in a few days, but they were over there eating one day this weekend.

    I also put down some straw that had been used as decorations at school, but they do not seem to be interested in it. I wondered if maybe I should not have used this straw.

    Does any of this sound like anything to anyone that I should be concerned about?

  2. math ace

    math ace Crowing

    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    Is she molting? Are you seeing feathers all over the pen?

    Eating poop - -- Do they have worms? I have seen birds eat the worms out of each other's poop [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    NOT FRIENDLY and not laying - - Is she sitting in the nest all the time ( maybe trying to go broody) ? ? How is she not friendly?

    Do you have a picture of her?
  3. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    I had chicks show this behaviour, and it seemed to be a B vitamin deficiency. At least, when I supplemented their diet the behaviour stopped.

    Some of the B vitamins are only produced toward the end of the digestive tract, so the bird eats poop to try to recover the vitamin. This is one reason why hens that forage around farm yards like picking through horse droppings. [​IMG]

    Hope this helps,
  4. Wow... that's interesting about the vit b deficiency.
  5. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chirping

    Mar 6, 2011
    My Coop
    I'll try to get a picture later today.

    She is laying again, but is unfriendly in that she is acting like the other chickens. Ah...she used to be so friendly toward me. She would always come over and be my friend, want me to pet her, like a puppy dog. She would stand there and talk to me, she would squat for pets before I even reached for her. She would stand there and let me pick her up and when I held her she would not struggle to get free. But now, she runs away from my hand. If I manage to pick her up, her wings go out immediately and she is clawing with her feet. Did she forget me? [​IMG]

    I became so attached to her, due to her friendly behaviors, that sometimes I would have bad dreams that something happened to her. She has been my favorite since I got her. Such a pretty bird! And such a friendly one, so confident, curious and cooperative. But now, not so much. And not so pretty either. She looks scrawny and yellow, and I can't figure it out. [​IMG]

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