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Hmmm....Hen not "acting right"

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Whispering_Raven, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Whispering_Raven

    Whispering_Raven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2011
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    One of my hens (Dolly) has been acting weird. She's been kind of reclusive, not staying with the flock as much and I noticed today that her tail doesn't seem as "perky" as the others. She doesn't seem sick to me, with the exception of a light colored comb. She's fine when she's around me, but also has not started laying yet.

    I am new to raising chickens. This is my first flock. I have half of what I started with from a predator attack several weeks ago, but three of the four hens I do have left have been laying for a few weeks. I don't believe Dolly is laying. I have several nests in the coop that I "made" with some tall grass and hay clippings and the other girls feathered them and use them, but Dolly seems a bit "lost" to me. All my hens are the same age. Youngins'....

    My question is this: Is this normal behavior for a hen that is getting ready to start laying? Or should I be on the lookout for something else? Any guidance is greatly appreciated.

    Many Blessings!
     
  2. geekgurl

    geekgurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    It's good that you're attentive enough to know when one of your hens is not acting "right." Just watch her for the time being. If she's not exhibiting any of the respiratory illness symptoms, such as sneezing, nasal discharge, eye discharge, then I think she's ok to keep with the rest of the flock. Is she eating and drinking? Have you checked her poo? Does it look normal? Here's a poo chart http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0

    I
    don't know if it's normal for a pullet that almost ready to lay to act reclusive. I do have one that will start laying soon. She's started to do the egg squat and practices her egg song all day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
  3. Whispering_Raven

    Whispering_Raven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2011
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    Thank you for your reply! No strange chest sounds. Just as sweet as ever. Not aggressive with the other hens, but not as social. No one seems to be "picking on her". No sneezing or nasal drainage. It's very hot here in Tennessee but she is actually in a very cool shady spot in the coop. I have a hen house on top of a homemade trailer that sits several inches off the ground and there's just cool dirt under it. That's where she spends most of the day right now. She's eating just fine. I brought her a little treat of diced apples and squash this morning after all the other went out to play just to make sure she was eating, and yep! She enjoyed her little treat. She has come out for water (which I add ice cubes to 2-3 a day right now) and then goes back to her little place under the hen house. So, I dunno! I will keep checking on her....Could she possibly be depressed because the other girls are proud of their eggs and she has none of her own to show off yet???? DO chickens get depressed??
    [​IMG]
     
  4. geekgurl

    geekgurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could she be sitting on eggs under there? I don't think chickens get depressed, but I could be wrong.
     
  5. wren

    wren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check her for parasites!
     
  6. Whispering_Raven

    Whispering_Raven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2011
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    Nope...No eggs under there...I spent a lot of time with her today. She's far more affectionate than ever. She's always a sweetheart, but she just wanted to be in my arms today. She actually fell asleep in my lap. I brought her to where the others were and she wouldn't go near them and it was like they turned their backs on her. [​IMG]

    I took her back to the coop and put her on some eggs and she sat right on them. The rest of the hens saw me bring in fresh water and came running and Sunshine was disturbed to see another hen on her eggs. (woops...my fault)

    I did check her for mites....I don't see any. I'll put some pictures of her in this post.

    Tonight, when I went to tuck them in, she wouldn't eat with the flock, so I set her in one of the empty nesting areas and put a bowl of food up in there with her. Usually all the hens and roos sleep on top of the roost but tonight, Dolly is just staying in the nesting area alone. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  7. geekgurl

    geekgurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
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  8. luvinrunnin

    luvinrunnin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awww, she's so sweet! I wold give her some Sav-a-chik in her water, and some chopped boiled eggs. Just sounds weird to me. My little Serama cockerel was acting just a little off yesterday morning, and when I went out that pm he had died during the day. His comb did lay over just a bit, and he was just not quite as active as I'd known him to be. I have no idea what happened. I had intended to put some vitamins in their water that afternoon. Hope she gets back to normal soon!
     
  9. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anderson, Texas
    Quote:Maybe, some plain yogurt & Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother in their water.
     
  10. LIL-HEN-lover

    LIL-HEN-lover New Egg

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Hi. please please give this a try. i had the same problem with my rhode island red and ive just joined up especially to answer this post. Get a fish oil capsule {cod liver ect, u may have some already}. Burst it in a little drop of lukewarm water and using one of those kiddie medicine syringes, gently open her beak and suirt it down. Just 5 mls. or if she is still drinking normally, add it to her water.

    Our girl was wasting away, not eating, drinking, sitting alone with her tail bent down and looking all puffy. she was very sleepy and lethargic and collapsed a few times. We scoured the net and being new to hen keeping we looked at the worst and thought she should be put out of her misery as after a week she was still no better and just totally wasting away. She was going to be put down the next day but the morning we woke and got an email from the holders we bought her saying to give her some fish oil as it sounded as if she digested something she shouldnt have like {in our case} ivy.

    We didnt think it would work but gave it try as i had cod liver oil capsules here anyway. well, within a few hours she was eating, drinking and being her usual mischeivious self. It took over a week to put the weight back on and she is back to normal now.

    we did find ivy growing out of our fence and removed it but im sure she will find something else.lol

    hope this helps. worth a try anyway.
     

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