Hen looks like an owl

Dr Mango

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 8, 2014
Litchfield, OH
I have now my second hen with this appearance. The one leg seems turned in. There is no neck showing and she looks like an owl. They seem to shake their head in a peculiar way fairly often. Eyes are clear and the stool is normal. The first one died after 2 days. Now a second one has the same thing. A third looks like it may have early signs also. These hens are 2.5 years old. Any ideas?
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Same thing happened to my bantam chick, she was healthy and then she barely left the coop and she passed away, I'm not sure how to fix it.

Good luck with your chicken :)

Here is what the hen looks like. She is able to eat OK , but has a hard time bending to get to the food. There is no nasal discharge. She does seem to have an odd head twitch. She doesn't feel feverish. Both hens were golden buffs. The second hen in the first picture seems to be starting to develop the same symptoms. Could it be hypocalcemia?
Do they get wry (twisted) neck also? That's what it looks like in the picture. Please post with photos and full details at "emergencies, diseases, injuries, cures," thread
I have no idea what is going on, and I can't tell the front from the back of the chicken from the pictures without the legs showing. What does the crop feel like--is it full and hard, or puffy? Does your feed look and smell okay, and what are you feeding? I would try some vitamins right away in the water, or give some PolyVisol without iron 3 drops by mouth daily. You could try giving her a Tums or half a calcium tablet by mouth or crushed into some yogurt or wet feed. I would look up crook neck in chickens, and see if any symptoms sound like what you are seeing.
They look very upright, like a penguin. Do you think they are laying internally?

They can adopt this stance to relieve pressure from abdominal swelling.

It can happen with older hens bred for egg production. I've had experience of it myself and I understand you can drain them.
My own hen survived with my intervention for about a year.

Sending love to you all and best wishes x
Shabana could be right about egg yolk peritonitis or internal laying, which are very common in high production egg layers. I did have a hen once with suspected EYP who looked like that and would bury her head under her wing until she died. You may want to feel of her breast bone to see if she has lost weight, and look at her lower abdomen for any swelling from fluid in the belly. Look at her stools for diarrhea and color. I would worm them also, if you haven't done that recently, with fenbendazole (SafeGuard Liquid Goat Wormer) or Valbazen 1/2 ml orally, and repeated in 10 days.
I am pretty sure that the hen has the internal egg laying issue. It was just odd that I had two hens get it back to back only two days apart. I think that was just one of the coincidences in life. I have lots of hens and this is the first time I have experienced this. Thanks for the help.

I also learned that the "hen looks like a penguin" is the correct description and not an owl. LOL
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I find it very odd that you have had three hens with the same issue and i would be suspicious of a possible e-coli infection,resulting in peritonitis/salpingitis/salpingoperitonitis.
Ten Chicks, So far it is just two. But it was within a couple days of each other. I have about 20 hens in this coop and the only ones affected are the heavy egg layers. What would be the contamination and what would I need to do to eradicate it.

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