Is My Chicken Sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by anbhean, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. anbhean

    anbhean Chirping

    Jun 3, 2010
    Hi! Sorry if this has been discussed elsewhere, I read thru several posts but wasn't able to find anything that completely applied...

    One of my hens, a 22 week old Barred Rock, and the first of my three to lay has suddenly stopped laying. Which in and off itself is not too concerning-- she's new to laying and has had two other one, or two day breaks. But after two weeks of laying normal, well shelled eggs-- this last Sunday she laid a soft shell egg, proceeded to eat most of it and then has not laid since. She is acting normal, comb looks good and red. She seems to be eating and drinking well but I noticed that she has a small amount of poo on her rear feathers. Her actual vent is clear and clean and when I handle her, she feels normal and acts normal. I'm not sure if she's sick, or just taking another break?

    Her food is all the same as always-- Layena layer pellets (which she has been on for the past three weeks), fresh every morning, daily scratch, fruit/veg and bread/cereal type snacks a few times a day (in small amounts-- we never give more than they can clean up in just a few minutes), plus dandelion greens and the occasional slug or grasshopper. Coop is cleaned thoroughly every 5-7 days and was just cleaned on Sunday. Water is fresh at least one time a day, usually twice a day. In fact the only thing we've done differently lately is we dusted the coop and runs with D. Earth two weeks ago for mites-- but did not dust the girls. I checked for mites and her ears, eyes and neck are clear as far as I can tell. I'm new to chickens though, so I suppose I coulda missed something.

    I'm trying to think of anything else... We have had a recent influx of mice in the shed their coop and inner run is housed in. We had an empty house next door that was rife with them and when the new owners moved in three days ago the mice came over in droves. We've been trapping them left and right and have not noticed ANY in the runs, or droppings for that matter. I know the girls haven't eaten any because the one time I saw them get near one they freaked out and ran away. But I have noticed, that since the mice have been being trapped (and gotten rid of several times daily when caught-- we never leave the bodies for more than a few hours and even then they are away from where the hens can get to) the shed smells... antiseptic? Last night I coulda sworn I smelled isopropyl alcohol. It was weird.

    The run is well vented, like I said cleaned often and checked multiple times daily. I've noticed nothing that could cause the smell. The hay is fresh, no moldy stuff, no undue moisture, although it has been ungodly humid here of late. I'm stumped.

    Any advice? Could she be egg bound and if so, how does one tell if a hen is egg bound?
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    New layers are like that....irregular at first. You might want to offer a dish of crushed oyster shells in the coop near the food. This will help them develop stronger egg shells.

    Sounds like you're doing a great job taking care of her!

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