Is My Hen Ok? She Has Been Acting So Weird This Year. Please Help.

DogAndCat36

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
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Northern Maine
My easter egger, Ivory, has been acting really weird. She has been gaining a lot of weight this year and has suddenly turned scared and frightful. She doesn't hang out with the flock and has also been laying weird, misshapen, discolored eggs. Recently I got 4 baby chicks and they are now old enough to go outside but I put them in a run during the day to keep them safe from predators. When I am outside I let the oldest chick out of the run and I let her graze with the older hens and rooster, they never attack her. But today Ivory charged at the chick and pecked her really hard on the beak and the stomach. I quickly picked up the chick but Ivory then started to chase me. When I put the chick in the run, Ivory tried to get in. Ivory has also been refusing to go into the coop at night because she is bullied and she is at the bottom of the pecking order. The chicks do not go into the coop at night, they sleep in my room. What is wrong with her? Is she ok?
(Please note that she was acting like this way before I got the chicks)
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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She has been gaining a lot of weight this year and has suddenly turned scared and frightful.
How do you know, are you weighing her or is her belly swollen?
Birds that are ill can be ostracized to a lower ranking as they may be trying to drum her out of the flock.
Low birds are the mostly likely to beat up any newcomers.
How old is Ivory?
How did you add the chicks?
 

DogAndCat36

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
2,073
5,665
426
Northern Maine
How do you know, are you weighing her or is her belly swollen?
Birds that are ill can be ostracized to a lower ranking as they may be trying to drum her out of the flock.
Low birds are the mostly likely to beat up any newcomers.
How old is Ivory?
How did you add the chicks?
I haven't been weighing her but I have noticed that she is heaver and she has way more meat on her underbelly area.
I am not sure if she is sick, her eyes are clear, her feathers are shiny, her pooh is ok. But her eggs and her feeding habits are bad.
I didn't know that chickens at the bottom attack newcomers, thank you for telling me that.
Ivory is one year old.
I am keeping the chicks in a run, it has wire mesh which allows the older chickens to see them. Occasionally the other hens and rooster will gather around and calmy cluck to the chicks and the chicks would run up to them, they never tried to stick their heads in and peck them, besides Ivory.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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I haven't been weighing her but I have noticed that she is heaver and she has way more meat on her underbelly area.
Are you sure it's 'meat'?
Is it solid or squishy like a water balloon?
Is it in front her her legs or behind them and closer to her vent?
Compare her belly to other birds.
 

DogAndCat36

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
2,073
5,665
426
Northern Maine
Are you sure it's 'meat'?
Is it solid or squishy like a water balloon?
Is it in front her her legs or behind them and closer to her vent?
Compare her belly to other birds.
It is meat, I am sure of it.
her underbelly, the whole bottom part of her is fatter than normal.
Yes, I did compare to the other chickens,
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,461
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SW Michigan
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I'm wondering if she has waterbelly(ascites).
Meat would be on the breast(blue circle).
Ascites would be in the abdomen(red circle).
1590614675125.png


Probably should check her crop function and poops.......
When I have a bird that is acting off I isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two....so I can closely monitor their intake of food and water, crop function(checking at night and in morning before providing more feed), and their poops. Feel their abdomen, from below vent to between legs, for squishy or hard swelling. Check for external parasites or any other abnormalities.

Best to put crate right in coop or run so bird is still 'with' the flock.
I like to use a fold-able wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller mesh(1x2) on bottom of crate under tray.
Then you can put tray underneath crate to better observe droppings without it being stepped in. If smaller mesh is carefully installed, tray can still be used inside crate.
 

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