lethargic hen with pale comb


10 Years
Nov 10, 2009
We have a BR hen that is 1 1/2 yrs. old. For the last two weeks she has been slow and has a pink (not red) drooping comb. She appears to have lost weight but still eating. We have not noticed any unusual feces. Have not actually seen any from her though. She stills roams around (free range during the later part of the day) but she moves very slow. It is like she moves her legs very slow and deliberate. She did move faster when I let them out yesterday but then just walked around slow again. We have 33 chickens. 11 BR hens that are the oldest. The rest of the hens are from spring hatch. The BR hens are molting. Can the symptoms that she has be from the molt? Could it just be more stressfull on her than the others? We do periodically add ACV to their water, give them yougurt and they are around DE (next boxes under bedding and dusting area) for parasites and mites. None of the birds appear to have either parasites or mites. No runny nose or wheezing. They are all very healthy looking and acting. We also checked her crop and felt to see if she is eggbound but don't believe there is a problem with either. We have only had the chickens for coming on two years and have learned so much from everyone on the board but I could not find anything like this. Any comments or suggestions would be helpful.
Molting is really tough on birds. If all your birds are molting then I would change their food over to a grower formula to get some extra protein into them for the duration of the molt. She is not laying? Usually when they molt there is a serious decline in laying. Combs that are normally bright red tend to turn back to pink. (I have often wondered if comb color has a hormonal component because my broodies and moltees stop laying eggs and their combs turn back to pink from red.) She will likely be OK, but this would also be the time that she is most vulnerable to catching/manifesting symptoms of a disease. Molt is stressful business.

I hope she's OK. Good luck.

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