Hen not sitting while roosting at night

BattyChic

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
13
4
13
Hello everyone! I have a flock of 3 White leghorns that are around 3 years old. Originally I had 4 but I had to put one down two weeks ago. The hen I put down had gotten sick but I never knew the reason. She just appeared depressed for a few days, then started isolating herself, then diarrhea... I couldn't continue to watch her suffer. So within a week I was able to get her to the vet but needed to put her down. I was able to get a fecal sample from the remaining hens after that hen passed to check for parasites which came back negative. Now I'm looking at another hen, 3 weeks later, appearing to be slower than usual. So far regular looking poop. She was standing in the nesting box today for a long time..not sitting. And no egg. She wasn't eating a whole lot either. She seemed to drink plenty. Now tonight when I went to observe after the girls went to bed, I saw she wasn't sitting while roosting. Just standing there falling asleep. I feel so bad. I am going to get her to vet... I just wish I could figure out what's happening here. For additional info, these hens have a rather large coop and are mainly confined to a 10 x 10 enclosure with sand. I feed them those dried black solider flies as treats. And give them greens of some sort regularly.I do apply DE to the run and coop/roosts. ACV daily in their water. If anyone has had any experience like this? Or suggestions? Thank you!
 

hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
1,937
426
Southern Indiana
@Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock
Do you feed oyster shell?
In my opinion to ward off disease, chickens really benefit from getting out on the grass. Even an hour a day of supervised grass pecking is good for them and gives them exercise and bugs. 10 ft of sand sounds small to me but I can't see it so hard to really judge.
I would try some poultry nutri-drench in case she has some deficiency.
Are any of them panting? What are the temps like where you are?
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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She was standing in the nesting box today for a long time..not sitting. And no egg. She wasn't eating a whole lot either. She seemed to drink plenty. Now tonight when I went to observe after the girls went to bed, I saw she wasn't sitting while roosting. Just standing there falling asleep
3 White leghorns that are around 3 years old

Welcome To BYC

I would check to see that her crop is empty first thing in the morning and also feel her abdomen below the vent between the legs for any bloat or swelling/feeling of fullness.
She didn't lay an egg today - I'm going to assume she's a consistent layer? Since she's pooping, likely she's not egg bound, but it's worth feeling inside the vent about 1-2" for an egg.
It almost sounds like she may be having trouble with a soft shelled egg - but hard to know.

Keep us posted.

10 x 10 enclosure with sand
10 ft of sand sounds small to me
10X10 is 100 sq ft. if you are going with the 10sqft per bird "rule" - that would accomodate 10 birds:)
 

hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
1,937
426
Southern Indiana
Welcome To BYC

I would check to see that her crop is empty first thing in the morning and also feel her abdomen below the vent between the legs for any bloat or swelling/feeling of fullness.
She didn't lay an egg today - I'm going to assume she's a consistent layer? Since she's pooping, likely she's not egg bound, but it's worth feeling inside the vent about 1-2" for an egg.
It almost sounds like she may be having trouble with a soft shelled egg - but hard to know.

Keep us posted.



10X10 is 100 sq ft. if you are going with the 10sqft per bird "rule" - that would accomodate 10 birds:)
I missed where she said 3 chickens...and I envisioned all my chickens in that area.... Thanks for pointing that out! :D
 

BattyChic

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
13
4
13
Thank you all for your replies! I always feel like they can use more room! But nothing beats foraging.I do let them out for a little bit every day. It's something I've learned with the chicken keeping experience is that I'd rather just be able to free range them only but I can't right now. Next flock, many years down the road with a different house! Anyway, I do offer oyster shells, yes. I will check her crop! That is something I have not done. I went out this morning to check on her and she is very slow moving...closing her eyes while standing. Oh, I am in South Jersey. So temps here at the moment have been decent. A few hot days here snd there. It will be consistently hot and humid soon. I have a box fan i have in front of the run to give them a breeze on stagnant feeling days!
 

hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
1,937
426
Southern Indiana
I am at the moment troubleshooting the fact that my chickens have diarrhea. I switched feed but we are really hot too with temps at 92 some days. I'm providing rooster booster which has electrolytes and vitamins but not helping yet.

Was her crop empty when you checked?
 

vantain

Songster
Sep 2, 2018
692
1,279
178
Southern Minnesota
I had this happen recently to one of my hens. She got to the point of only passing bright green poop, and even that was not very much. She wouldn't eat and I never saw her drink water. She would stand in the nesting box for hours, but nothing came of it. The rest of the time she just stood in the corner of the run, not moving. I was starting to consider that I may have to put her down, but decided, to just let her go on her own. I did worm them, and did the corid treatment, just to be safe. Well, she recovered and is now mothering eight 6 week old chicks. I don't know what the issue was. That said, she hasn't laid an egg since it started, and that was about 4 weeks ago. Maybe just give her more time and see if it just clears up on its own? After this experience, I am not going to be so quick to put them down when they appear miserable for many days. Seems like they can still recover sometimes on their own.

By the way, my hens all stand and sleep on the roost quite a lot, especially when it's a particularly warm or hot night.
 

BattyChic

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
13
4
13
That's awesome she was able to recover on her own! I was hoping that would happen with my one hen that I did put down 2 weeks ago. But she was in bad shape. This current hen is displaying similar symptoms but not as severe (knock on wood). So I'm not sure if it's just a matter of time before she gets worse or if this is something totally different and that she will be fine on her own . Also good to know your hens sleep standing as well!! I always noticed mine to sit on the roost until recently...but maybe they did it more than I realized! I'm only 3 years into chicken keeping and this is my first and only flock so i don't have anything to compare it too. Lots of learning here!
 

Chicken Heel

Songster
Jun 8, 2019
552
1,615
161
I have had hens exhibit similar symptoms over the years and it has primarily been heavy egg producers which just get worn down over time. And there are not many more prolific egg layers than White Leghorns. I have found bantams and the heritage type birds that go broody to hold up longer to father time.
 

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