Nervous or ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Synath, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. Synath

    Synath Just Hatched

    Feb 5, 2017
    I have a RIR hen of about 2.5 years of age now. I bought her from a lady raising them and brought her and some others home. Once I had them in their isolation pen I noticed she had a huge bulge in her abdomen that hadn't been there before purchase. Long story short she had a double hernia and required surgery and retirement from men. I have had her in my house in a large dog crate for nearly a year now and can say she has recovered and even lays eggs with no problem. During this time I have incubated and hatched out 5 other chickens that are in a tall brooder next to hers. Now I know she is jealous cause she had all the attention all the time but doesn't now. The pullets are about to go in the yard pen in a couple of weeks. My problem is my RIR has taken to squatting and walking slowly forwards..then maybe a step right or left, then towards where she was going then she'll back up, having never made it to where she looked like she was heading (during this she will shift her head from side to side like she is intently watching something) and stand up fine and go on with something else. She will repeat this action often. This isn't a "find me a man" squat. Now she refuses to eat any type of scratch I get her. The vet got her started on meal worms when she had surgery and omg is she addicted to them so she gets those as treats. She is in love with show bird crumbles as that is what I gave her to recover from her surgery and has become her normal food though I still mix scratch in with it. I've wondered if she has become an "invalid" again cause she wants more attention. I mean I used to show her chicken videos on you tube so she wouldn't feel so lonely. Or if there is something really going on here. Now while her cage is by a window she hasn't been outside much at all. I'm sectioning off part of the new coop/pen so she can have her an area too. This is everything I can tell you about her keeping and situation. Besides being regularly cleaned and having no contact with the other chicks. Any help would be much appreciated!



    she's the rir in my avatar. I took her out to the pen first to give her a chance to give it a once over and have outside time. the pic is 2 days old at this point.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Flock Master

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Just keep her away from your other chickens so they do not harm or injure her. Give her the best care you can. I know that there are peeps that read your story and think to them selves what they would not write down. I am different and think along compassionate lines just like you. I have an almost 11 year old hen that about 1 and 1/2 years ago was attacked by a dog. Thought that she would die, but she made it. As a result, she is now blind. I keep her isolated from the other chickens and provide her feed and water separately. I think she finds food with her sense of smell??? So we think alike.... [​IMG]WISHING YOU BEST.. below is a pix if Delilah. second pix shows how she is separated for safety.
    I don't think she knows that she is caged. In the coop she stays on the ground while the rest of the flock roosts up high.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  3. Synath

    Synath Just Hatched

    Feb 5, 2017
    Yup she's a house baby right now. Turns out most of her behavior is just molting. I swear I've never seen such in a chicken acting like that. She's given me the feathers though. I feel badly for her cause I know that has to be irratating and I swear she is a vain bird that looks like a ragamuffin now.
    Your delilah is so pretty! I've very glad she made it. The dogs about here are really a concern for me. Ive been thinking of putting an electric fence about 2 foot out from their coop fencing to keep the dogs from bothering them.
    1 person likes this.
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    This may not be a simple behavior issue. It sounds as if she could have a neurological problem caused by nutritional deficiency.

    You can find out if this is what's going on by giving her vitamin E 400 and a quarter tablet of selenium 25 mg for a week or so and see if she starts acting normal again. It can't hurt.

    Chickens do get jealous, but they react to other chickens being held by pecking them while you are showing them attention. They don't usually go through the sort of behavior change you describe.

    You will need to be prepared for some conflict as you integrate your RIR with the younger pullets. She may be bossy and overbearing with them for a while until she establishes she's top hen.

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