Is my chicken sick? She is not acting normal.

NewChickenmama06

Songster
Apr 5, 2019
252
593
207
Western Ma
Hi I have a 2 year old Black Star chicken that all of a sudden started acting off this evening. The only way I can't describe it is she is almost like in slow motion. She started to fall asleep outside, which is unusual for her. It was, however at dawn, not sure if that makes a difference.
She is still eating, drinking, (she did have diarrhea) pooping and laying ok. Her eyes, nose, look normal. Her vent looks normal except for a very small and minor pink sore at the bottom of it, but it definitely doesn't look infected, more like an irritation. Her feathers look normal, no signs of mites. She is alert to things around her. She was able to fly up to her perch with no issues. I checked her before we locked them in for the night and she seemed ok. If anyone could help me figure out why she is acting like this and how I can help her would be appreciated, she is one of my favorites 💓

Note: 2 weeks ago we had a chicken die, but it was almost 100° outside which is unusual for our area, so we figured the heat did her in. She was not displaying any unusual behavior prior to her death. All the other chicken's seem fine.
 

azygous

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Unfortunately these symptoms could be from just about anything. Egg binding, intestinal infection, reproductive infection, coccidiosis, toxin poisoning, etc. If I listed all the possibilities it would be Christmas before we finished discussing them.

Tell us more about your chickens and how they are managed. Free ranging? What do they eat including things they scratch up or pluck from bushes. Treats and feed, etc. Laying history - egg quality issues?

How about habitat? Substrate in run, any machinery sitting in their range area?
 

NewChickenmama06

Songster
Apr 5, 2019
252
593
207
Western Ma
Unfortunately these symptoms could be from just about anything. Egg binding, intestinal infection, reproductive infection, coccidiosis, toxin poisoning, etc. If I listed all the possibilities it would be Christmas before we finished discussing them.

Tell us more about your chickens and how they are managed. Free ranging? What do they eat including things they scratch up or pluck from bushes. Treats and feed, etc. Laying history - egg quality issues?

How about habitat? Substrate in run, any machinery sitting in their range area?
My chicken's are mostly confined in an electric netting. It has alot of room for them to roam in. It only has grass and weeds inside and we do not put anything down chemical wise. The coop is a 10x16 shed, it has many places to perch and space for each chicken. Every once in a while they do free range, and yesterday was one of those days.
They eat Blue Seal multi flock organic feed. We give them seeds, meal worms, corn, and sometimes bread for snacks. When they do free range they love to go into our compost area to forge around. No machinery or anything else they would get hurt on is in the yard or in the run.
 

NewChickenmama06

Songster
Apr 5, 2019
252
593
207
Western Ma
Unfortunately these symptoms could be from just about anything. Egg binding, intestinal infection, reproductive infection, coccidiosis, toxin poisoning, etc. If I listed all the possibilities it would be Christmas before we finished discussing them.

Tell us more about your chickens and how they are managed. Free ranging? What do they eat including things they scratch up or pluck from bushes. Treats and feed, etc. Laying history - egg quality issues?

How about habitat? Substrate in run, any machinery sitting in their range area?
Oh egg laying, all of the eggs are great quality except we do get these wrinkles in one type of egg, the color indicates it is one of my Australorp's. The black stars eggs are darker brown, and blue eggs from the Amercanus of course.
 

azygous

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Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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The compost area may be a source of bacteria that could be making this one hen sick. Go out and check to see how deep the chickens have been digging and if there's a rotten smell when you stir the bottom of the pile. This is where any botulism toxin will reside. Sometimes insects will live in the anaerobic layer and become contaminated with Clostridium bacteria, and if a chicken eats some of these insects, they can become sick.

On this one bit of information, I feel it would be wise to start the hen on an oral antibiotic such as amoxicillin which is often sold as Fish mox at feed stores and pet shops. 250mg per day for ten days.
 

NewChickenmama06

Songster
Apr 5, 2019
252
593
207
Western Ma
The compost area may be a source of bacteria that could be making this one hen sick. Go out and check to see how deep the chickens have been digging and if there's a rotten smell when you stir the bottom of the pile. This is where any botulism toxin will reside. Sometimes insects will live in the anaerobic layer and become contaminated with Clostridium bacteria, and if a chicken eats some of these insects, they can become sick.

On this one bit of information, I feel it would be wise to start the hen on an oral antibiotic such as amoxicillin which is often sold as Fish mox at feed stores and pet shops. 250mg per day for ten days. thank I

just wanted to update you on my hen. She still has diarrhea (but it looks like it's getting more solid)and is sleepy. She is eating and drinking like normal and is acting ok aside from being sleepy. I did notice she has two sores on her vent (I am including pictures). I cleaned the area and the sores. I also put antimicrobial spray on them.
I will look into getting Fish mox for her. Praying she gets better soon.
 

NewChickenmama06

Songster
Apr 5, 2019
252
593
207
Western Ma

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azygous

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Colorado Rockies
That sore on the vent isn't related to the hen's behavior, I don't believe. A very easy way to treat it is to spray Vetericyn wound treatment on it twice a day. One squirt and you're done.

Fish mox can be found online also.
 

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