listless chicken, previous egg-bound chicken?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by trombamarina, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. trombamarina

    trombamarina Chirping

    Dec 10, 2009
    We had a small flock of three chickens, one died a few weeks ago and now a second one is sick. They are three years old. We don't know if they have the same illness, and if it is communicable. We have a new flock of five chicks that we planned to introduce in a few weeks. Our chickens free range a lot, and generally seem like happy, healthy birds.

    Fatality #1 was a buff orphington. She was never a good layer, irregular and sometimes laying soft or shell-less eggs. She regularly went broody each spring. This spring she only showed a few signs of broodiness, and lay only an occasional egg, often soft shell. She spent a lot of time sitting on an overturned bucket in the run, and happily free-ranged with the others when I let them out. I did notice a definite waddle to her run when she would come. Then one afternoon I found her stretched on her side underneath our outdoor roost, dead. Her neck and feet were extended, her comb had a blue cast to it, and her eyes were half shut. No apparent injuries or abnormalities, and she had been happy and active up to that day. We assumed it was some sort of laying problem, and buried her.

    Now a second chicken is ill. I've been out of town, but my husband noticed a few days ago that she was listless and wouldn't/couldn't jump onto her roost. I don't think she has moved, eaten, or drank in three days, but her eyes are bright and she looks around. Her comb is red, and she doesn't seem to have any nasal discharge. She now has a head injury, but we think that might have been the other chicken pecking at her. She has been a good layer in previous years, but never started up again this spring.

    I'm trying to figure out what might be wrong with her, and if we need to worry about our one remaining older chicken and our new little chicks. We've never dealt with chicken illnesses before, and don't know how to proceed. The only symptoms I can think of are she's had a bare bum (no feathers) for a year or so, and the poos under the roost have seemed more black than usual for the last month or two.

    Thanks for any advice or clues,
  2. RhodeIslandRed5

    RhodeIslandRed5 Songster

    May 28, 2019
    East Texas
    If your chickens are that old, it could be a reproductive problem.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. Can you get some droppings checked for worms and coccidiosis? Soft or shell-less eggs, waddling sound like reproductive problems. Unfortunately chickens can suffer from reproductive disorders, especially when over 2. Crop problems are also common. The best thing I know to do when I lose a chicken is to get a necropsy by the state vet to look for a cause. If not, I do one at home, look at all of the abdominal organs, open the crop, the intestines, and take pictures to post here of the organs, especially the liver, any fluid that comes out when the abdomen is opened, and anything that looks abnormal. Sorry for your loss.
    RhodeIslandRed5 and Wyorp Rock like this.
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    I'm sorry for your loss a few weeks back.

    This second chicken, if she hasn't eaten, moved or drank in 3 days can you bring her in and see if you can get her to eat/drink? Examine her for bloat/swelling or fluid in the abdomen, look for lice/mites, see if her crop is still full or partially full after 3 days of not eating/drinking. She's not moved, but you are finding poop under the roost, so has she roosted for 3 days?

    If you can post some photos of your hen (whole body), bare bum and the poop that may be helpful.
    RhodeIslandRed5 likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: