Is she sick or stressed

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jennymay, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. jennymay

    jennymay Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2009
    A few days ago we rescued 2 Americana chickens from a friend who moved. He said that the white one was always more mellow, but I see the chicken as wobbly and lethargic. She never comes outside of the coop, barely scratches and is losing quite a few feathers. My husband says he thinks it's stress from the move. I'm having a hard time finding out info about chickens. Suggestions?
     
  2. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you know how old they are? Has her diet changed? Has she been eating and drinking? Pooping? Laying? Did you quarrentine the new chickens before introducing them to your flock?

    Sorry about the 20 questions, but the more information you can provide, the better! She could be molting... I haven't personally experienced this yet, but they lose their feathers and aparently they get a little grumpy when it happens. Often on the forum people suggest increasing protein during a molt. I would suggest keeping an eye on her and the others if they are together. There are so many things that it could be, maybe it is just stress from the move. I hope she's OK!
     
  3. jennymay

    jennymay Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2009
    We don't have any other chickens. This is our first experiment with them, so have no idea what to expect. I believe they are about 5 months old. They were laying eggs before we got them but seem to have stopped (due to stress probably). They came from a very small enclosed pen (about 4x4 with no roof) and now have a much healthier environment. Their diet has only changed with the addition of hen scratch to the lay crumble they were getting in their old home, plus fresh veggies from my compost bin. They never received anything but lay crumble before. I've seen her drink water and I see her pecking around in her roost, but she pretty much stays up there. Their poop seems normal, though one of them is pooping a caramel colored poop, but still sticky (looks normal from the pictures I've seen). Don't know which hen is pooping caramels. (eugh). What is molting? Anything else?
     
  4. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Well, congratulations on your new little flock! I am pretty new to raising chickens myself, I got my birds in April and have spent lots of time to exploring the forums and reading up on things. The little search window up on the right is a great tool... enter keywords there and it will bring up all the posts about the subject. Molting is when a bird sheds old feathers and grows new ones. I think it usually happens in the fall after their first full year of laying, so it might be too early for her to be molting.

    As far as the poo goes, the caramel stuff might be cecal (sp?) poo... each bird will make one or two of these sticky ones a day and it is normal. (My girl's cecal poops look like chocolate pudding. I wish they smelled like chocolate pudding! [​IMG] )

    Since you have not gotten any eggs in a few days, she may be egg- bound. (have an egg inside her that needs to come out) Sometimes you can feel a lump in their abdomen if this is the case. Usually, egg-bound hens have a peculiar penguin like stance. Do they have oyster-shell available for calcium? Do they have a nest box? She may not know where to lay her egg in her new environment.

    If I were you, I would cut back on the treats and scratch until you know what is going on. For some extra nutrition, you can mix a couple of teaspoons of plain, active culture yogurt into their crumbles. If you have a farmer's supply or feed store nearby you can purchase "vitamins and electrolytes" to put in their water for a few days. Instead of the electrolytes, people also use Poly-vi-sol liquid children's vitamins WITHOUT iron... a few drops per chicken. Others swear by organic apple cider vinegar in the water as a health tonic. (I have a metal waterer and I have read that you're not supposed to put the ACV in metal... so I don't use it often) All of these things might help if it is something nutritional or an illness and they certainly won't hurt if not...

    Keep an eye out for other symptoms, like head shaking, sneezing, watery eyes as they might indicate some kind of respiritory problem. Parasites, both internal and external can cause birds to act lethargic. Creepy-crawlies like to live around the vent area especially and they lay their eggs at the base of the feathers.

    Hopefully, I have not unnecessarily worried you! Sure, there are many things that could be wrong, but it seems like you are a good and observent chicken-mama already. In all likelihood, she will be back to her old self in no time...
     
  5. jennymay

    jennymay Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 8, 2009
    Thanks AmyBella. Love the Chillin w my peeps. Haha. This gives me lots to go by. Thanks for the Search Bar info too. Onward. [​IMG]
     
  6. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How is she doing? Any inprovement?
     

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