Laying Hen, somewhat depressed, white/yelllow diarrhea, messy vent....


11 Years
Apr 13, 2008
I have a rhode island red "Lucy Loo", about 3 years old, was otherwise healthy in a flock of 17 hens. On Thursday, we brought home our rooster (from same flock originally-but was staying with a family member during move-1 year ago). So, yesterday, I went out in the am to open/feed/water them and Lucy won't get off the perch, sat there hunched up, wouldn't move when I pet her....she is usually a jumpy chicken. I picked her up and put her on the ground, she did walk around and pick at some food (we use a bagged feed from Kent Feeds for layers), I thought, maybe she was in shock from the rooster (he did mount her often the day before). Anyway, later that day, she was on a different perch, but not hunched up, just standing there. She pooped out a runny whitish/yellowy diarrhea. She then jumped down and I noticed her vent or poop area is very messy. Today I went in to open/fee/water them and she was sitting very hunched up (not shaking or nothing, her eyes are still bright, comb/wattles are red). I took her to our garage and put her in a separate area with fresh straw/hay, separate water/food. She just sat there. Around 4pm today I let her out and she walked around the yard, pecking at the grass, drank lots of water, ate some earthworms my dtr dug up, pooped more whitish/yellow diarrhea and walked up to the chicken coop by her friends (I did not let her in). We had to leave about 4:45 and so I went to put her back in her separate pen. She actually fought me (more like herself), I only had a small cover on the pen, and when we got home, she had gotten out and was sitting next to it. But she had walked around because there was whitish poop, some was clear like, some had yellow streaks in it. We put her back in the pen and covered it more securely, she seemed to be resting comfortabley. Any ideas? Possible blocked egg? I am new to raising chickens. I was wondering if it has anything to do with the rooster? He has only been there since Thursday afternoon, could it be shock? The others seem to be fine. Any ideas? OH, also, for the last few weeks we have been getting eggs w/o shells, but I don't know what hen laid them, I did start mixing in oyster shell with their food. Any ideas? Thanks.


In the Brooder
12 Years
May 5, 2007
it does sound a little like my hen who was just egg bound - at least the messy vent and lethargy part, but our hen additionally had blood on her eggs and a swollen vent. She had the same symptoms for a couple of days, and then was in complete pain until we put her in a warm bath and she passed the egg. Since we still didn't know what the underlying problem was, we took her to the vet, which was our first trip to the vet since we started raising chickens. We are now giving her antibiotics and keeping her inside to monitor her closely for a day or two.

The white stuff is urates, which is basically chicken urine. The vet said it was probably caused by drinking a lot, but not eating a lot of food. I have also read on this sight that it can be caused by the urates trying to get around a blocked egg.

So if you can't take her to a vet, then keep a close eye on her in case she is egg bound. You may also want to keep her inside and in the dark a lot of the day to discourage egg laying.


10 Years
May 1, 2009
Are the symptoms of worms similar?

I've got a similar problem, with a chicken that's just coming onto to lay, but not very successfully. She has had some OK eggs, though a bit white speckled, and lots of very soft shell eggs. Her 2 siblings are laying perfectly fine, every morning.

Today she's gotten hunched up at the back and is standing about lethargically, in obvious discomfort. I will investigate the egg-bound thing as well as I can. If I find an egg inside her I'm meant to try to break it, right?

But how do I get her laying on track?

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