Lethargic Hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LozzieGP, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. LozzieGP

    LozzieGP Hatching

    Feb 27, 2016
    Oxford, England
    Hi All,

    Sorry in advance for the long post, but would be really appreciative of any advice!

    I'm new to keeping chickens and have had my 4 (ex-bat) girls about 8 weeks now. They've settled in really well and 3 of them are doing fine.
    Number 4 i'm a bit worried about.

    When we first had them she was always the quiet one and in a corner minding her own business etc, she seemed to perk up after a week or so free ranging in the garden, but then last week i notice she's just not doing a lot.

    She spends most of the day dozing off, is generally lethargic. She does eat & drink but is a little bullied by two of the others which puts her off a bit i think.
    She doesn't really go off and scratch around the garden like the other three.
    We bought her in overnight for two nights to keep an eye on her, which gave her the opportunity to eat as much as she wanted in peace and she did seem a little perkier in the morning.
    She didn't lay on either night, I don't think she's egg-bound (would she still eat if she was egg-bound?)
    Yesterday i put her in the garden in a run by herself for most of the day with her own food and water so she wouldn't be picked on and could eat as she liked. I Let her out with the others in the late afternoon&in the coop with the others last night,
    however this morning she didn't even come out of the coop.... I had a look in at her and she didn't have any injuries i could see so i left her alone.

    Any ideas what i should or could do? (before i take her to the vet)
    She's kinda my favourite and is the most tame, she's very happy sitting on my lap being stroked like a cat.

  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Here's a few of thoughts...

    Having more than one feeding station can reduce opportunities for bullying.
    Getting another hen would help her out as she can bond with it, and form their own sub-flock
    Removing and then returning her to the flock is likely to augment bullying
    Hens do not lay on a night-time - they usually lay from daybreak until around lunchtime (varies quite a bit, just general)

    It may well be that she is sick, and the other two hens recognise this and will naturally try and force her out of the flock through aggression. I guess you could either keep her separate for now and she how she does (i.e. try and determine if she is indeed sick). If she gets back to normal, then consider adding another chicken into the mix and start the integration process (after quarantine for the new chicken) with both of them.

    All the best
  3. Can you post a picture showing how she looks standing around?
  4. LozzieGP

    LozzieGP Hatching

    Feb 27, 2016
    Oxford, England
    I do have two feed stations, sometimes they just chase her off regardless.
    Two of the four peck at her a bit, and the third seems to be okay with her, so she does have a buddy.

    I will take a picture of her when I get home, (I'm at work now.) She's generally kind of hunched up with and a bit fluffy. ( not a great description i know.)

    My husband who is at home said she wouldn't even eat corn today (as a treat), so it's making me believe more that she is sick and perhaps a trip to the vet it is?
  5. Sounds like coccidia to me, that's why I asked for the picture. Maybe you should stop by a farm supply store today and buy some Corid.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Pics of her poop might help diagnosis too.
  7. LozzieGP

    LozzieGP Hatching

    Feb 27, 2016
    Oxford, England
    So I took her to the vet this morning as she seemed a bit worse and sadly the vet put has her down.
    I'm totally gutted actually. :(
    I will get the others checked over as a precaution as i don't want to lose any more. (even though the other 3 seem fine)

    Thanks for all your help and advice.

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