Lethargy and other strange behaviors


Mar 21, 2021
Seattle, WA
I noticed one of my hens has been hanging out in the coop and won’t even come out for treats (100% unusual). She’s panting and holding her tail down. It’s not hot. I took her out and she stood frozen for a while then just laid down. No interest in running around, scratching, foraging, etc. like she’d normally be doing. When she does walk it’s very slow. No running at all. Any ideas what could be going on? I’m new to this. She just started laying this week.

This is her standing up:

And plopped down:

Lethargic inside the run:
Diagnosis requires questions and answers and ruling things out to arrive at the most probable cause of symptoms.

Have you checked her crop? Is there a discharge from her vent? Have there been any changes to their environment lately? Anything added?
She’s acting normal this morning so far. Her crop feels empty. Vent looked normal last night. I did notice her poops are unusual. They’re liquid and yellow— like scrambled eggs before they’re cooked. I’m going to keep a close eye on her and hope it was just a weird thing that passed. Thanks everyone. ❤️
Can you get a video of the actions of the other hen? (upload to youtube and provide a link)

Photos of poop?

Often neck movements is adjusting the crop. What do you feed, do you provide grit?

You generally will not see worms in poop unless there's a heavy worm infestation. Can you gather some samples of poop and have that tested to see if worms are an issue?


They eat Purina layer crumbles + spend time foraging and we give some fruits/veggies and dried black soldier fly larvae for treats. They always have access to grit.

We don’t really have the funds for vet visits unfortunately. :(
With her tail held low and not eating, she is seriously ill. It could be egg bound, a reproductive infection, or something else. Can you insert a clean finger into her vent to feel for a stuck egg? When did she last lay? Do you have any antibiotics or any Corid at home. Coccidiosis could be a problem, or the yellow liquid poops could be a reproductive problem.
I’ve been checking on her and the others about every 30 minutes all morning. Outside of the weird poops, they’re all acting completely normal—eating, drinking, curious and energetic. She last laid 2 days ago which was her first egg ever. I’ll keep watching and will do the interventions mentioned if things take a turn for the worse again. I don’t have any antibiotics on hand but this is a good reminder to get some just in case. Thanks again everyone.

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