My chicken is acting strangely. Not eating and acting lethargic.

Jibbajaba

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
2
0
7
Hi,

I have a chicken who is not acting as she normally does, so I'm trying to troubleshoot the problem. Here are the specifics:

Hen, Rhode Island Red, around 3 years old. She has access to a constant supply of layer pellets and water, and twice a day we give her fresh vegetable (kitchen scraps, chard/kale/lettuce from the garden. etc.)

First, let me say that this all started two days ago. We moved her run (not her coop) so that it was on one side of her coop, not the other. This also means that her food and water were moved, and the ramp coming out of the house went in the opposite direction. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but that's when this all started. I should also add that we moved into a new house last year, and she handled that just fine.

She doesn't feel any lighter when I pick her up, the color of her face and comb are normal, her skin bounces back when I pinch it. She didn't lay eggs over the winter, then laid for about a week when it warmed up, and then stopped.

So what are the symptoms? She hasn't shown much interest in eating and, doesn't come down off of her roosting spot first thing in the morning like usual. Yesterday she was still up on her perch when my wife went out to feed her, but came down for the food. Today she didn't come down at all. I opened the side door to the coop, and was able to touch/pet her all I wanted (usually she doesn't care for this.) I waved a leaf of chard in her face (her favorite food) but she acted like she didn't even notice it. She also kept closing her eyes.

I then took her out of the coop and set her in our vegetable garden (which would normally be a big deal because she could go buck-wild on the chard and kale.) She literally stood in one spot like a statue. I was starting to wonder if she couldn't see, because of the way she was acting, I quickly bought my hand up near her face to test her vision, and she flinched, so I figured she could see. So I grabbed a watering can, put some water in it, and started pouring it out in front of her, and she started drinking the water. So I grabbed her waterer and put it in front of her, and she stood there sipping out of it for a while. After maybe 10 minutes, she headed over to nearby tree and just stood there. I left her alone for a little while, and when I came back she was just sitting down under the tree. I put her water down in front of her, and even brought out a separate little bowl of slightly sugary water (electrolytes) to see if she wanted it. I tried dipping her beak in it but she wouldn't let me. I got some water on the tip of my finger and rubbed it on her beak, but she just shook it off. Where she was sitting was about to get hit by the midday sun, so I picked her up and put her back on a perch in her house. She stood there for about 10 seconds, and then dropped down into a roosting position.

She is our only chicken, so I don't have other birds to compare the behavior to. She also started having yellow diarrhea/loose stools yesterday. No bleeding/broken bones/trauma. She pecked at some food that we gave her yesterday, but usually she eats it all (leafy greens and whatnot). Today she didn't touch anything.

Lastly, I am totally willing to take her to a vet, if needed. She's a pet to us, so we treat her like any other pet.

Thanks in advance,

Chris
 

Jibbajaba

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
2
0
7
A few more things. Her breathing doesn't appear to be labored, her eyes are totally clear and glossy, she is not drooping her head or anything while roosting, and she is alert and watching what I'm doing when I get near her or mess around in her coop. But she doesn't get up and doesn't fidget when I stroke her back.

Chris
 

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