Not exactly an emergency, but Angelia needs your help!


9 Years
Jun 13, 2010
I have a mixed flock, “the ladies” are 5 hens that are 36 weeks old, including Angelia a Black Australorp. I also have “the girls” 7 pullets that are 24 weeks old. The ladies have been laying since mid December, the girls have not started laying yet, but soon. I know Angelia laid a few eggs back in December, but she quit for the winter. (I usually get 1-4 eggs a day, never 5). The last egg she laid in Dec may have been a soft shelled egg. I’ve seen her in the nest boxes on several occasions recently, but I cannot confirm she is laying, but she recently squatted for me. Although the lack of production is concerning, her behavior is what really has me puzzled. She is not lethargic per se, but she just stands around. The other four ladies take every opportunity to peck at a wayward girl. They all poke around, scratch and actively devour any treat I throw their way. But Angelia just stands there, she picks a little but she doesn’t gobble it up, she doesn’t scratch. She doesn’t peck the girls, but no other hen pecks her. She is big and beautiful…smooth glossy feathers, bright red comb and wattles, clear eyes and nose/beak. She seems to have looser poo than the other ladies, but not diarrhea…. I’ve been monitoring her since she quit laying but I can’t figure it out.
So tonight when she squatted for me I scooped her up. She is still heavy. Although I can feel her breast bone a little, I can also feel a good amount of meat on her breast. Her crop seemed empty. When I gently messaged it, she spit up clear, mucus like fluid. As I felt higher up her neck it felt hard. Not sure what I was feeling, maybe just her neck bones? I can’t feel anything that would indicate that she is egg bound. And she isn’t acting distressed, just laid back. I picked up 2 other ladies and their crops seemed full and firm. Their necks didn’t seem as hard/boney.
They live in CT in a nice new yard shed with a 12 X 6 area for the coop, with DLM pine shavings and a 12 X 10 covered run. We free range for a little bit each evening, but mostly they walk from the run door to the shed door and play in the shed that’s not part of the coop. I don’t add heat, just heated water. They have 2 feeders full of flock raiser with free choice oyster shell and grit. I fed BOSS and/or scratch in the morning or evening. I also feed table scraps in the morning when I have them.
I’ve been watching Angelia for 2 months now and I can’t decide what if anything is wrong with her. Can y’all please be so kind as to give me some ideas? I hate to just let her be if there is something I could be doing for her. Thank you in advance for sharing your ideas, I appreciate your time. Let me know if I can answer any questions or provide any more information.

I wish I could help but did want to say I hope you can figure it out and maybe someone will come on and be of some help to ya.. I will say sometimes they are just a mystery. All the best.

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