Not moving much, eats and drinks little and stopped laying


6 Years
Sep 25, 2013
One of my 7 month old Barred Rocks won't move from a corner in the barn. She isn't laying anymore. She won't get up to eat or drink and when I make her she is walking funny. She has been this way for weeks!
Is it possible that she is egg bound? Feel her abdomen. Is it hard? This could indicate that she is egg bound, in which case you should give her a warm bath. While giving the bath, massage her abdomen. This should help her lay the egg. She could also be an internal egg layer, which would make her abdomen slightly enlarged, and perhaps cause her to walk like a pengiun. However, this is usually a problem in older birds.

What do you mean "she walks funny". Does she stagger, or hold one leg in front of the other? Do you know if she was vaccinated for Marek's Disease? Marek's Disease often starts out with a bird limping, then progresses to paralysis of the legs/wings. Birds can have Marek's Disease for months before succumbing.

Is she lethargic? Worms can cause a bird to be weak, so consider worming her with a broad spectrum dewormer like Safeguard or Valbazen. Check her for mites as well, as large concentrations of external parasites can cause weakness. Look at her legs. Are the scales raised? This might mean scaly leg mites, which can interfere with walking by raising the scales and causing the legs to become crusty. Treat by smothering the mites with petroleum jelly or dipping the legs in oil.

I'd try giving her some vitamins, just in case her trouble walking comes from a vitamin deficiency. Try giving her some electrolytes and probiotics to build her immune system up. Is she getting enough to eat/drink? You may have to consider tube feeding if she isn't eating.

Are the droppings normal? Is there any blood in the droppings, and is she having diarrhea? Blood might indicate Coccidiosis, which would also cause lethargy and sometimes lack of appetite. Green droppings would indicate that she isn't getting enough to eat, or has a problem with her liver, or has a disease called Lymphoid Leukosis (though this disease tends to affect older birds than her).
She is lethargic and very moody. She was broody, then just stopped laying. She walks with a waddle. I checked all the things the you said to and she just feels very thin to me. Her comb has started to look and feel dry too, but I don't see her drink very often. I haven't seen her poop either. I have been following her around and watching. I will try the warm bath and hope that works. Every morning I go out and make her get up and go eat and drink. Then I follow her around for a bit. I will let you know if the warm bath helps. Thanks for all the advice. As far as being vaccinated, I'm not sure.
I would do the warm baths as wyandottes7 suggests and check vent and lightly * feel* area for a solid bound egg- gently, just in case an egg is there you would NOT want to break it. I would also check her all over for signs of illness to rule things out (eyes, nose, legs, feathers, stool)
Now that said, she will love the pampering bath (mine do lol) but I don't think she would go this long bound. I had a bound hen pass in days not weeks. By no means am I an expert but She sounds broody. Does she have a nest of eggs in that corner or were they removed? She won't lay more during incubation time of being broody (21 days approx because her clock tells her to wait til chicks hatch. Even if the eggs are gone) 3 weeks is a long time to be laying internally.
Not playing or hanging out with others, walking funny (my broodys puff up and growl while shuffling around) and not eating or drinking a lot is common during brood.
I put a lil treat, bowl of water and food about 12 inches away from mine when they're all pissy and trying to hatch so they don't miss out.

If she's not hatching anything and you don't want her to, put her in a small cage with no nest available only a roost & w/treats & water for a few days and then let her back with the flock. If its already been 3 weeks like in your case, she should break a broody cycle easy.
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I tried the warm bath, she hated it. She isn't sitting on any eggs. I don't know what else to do for her. When I have her up her tail feathers are up, she doesn't drag her wings, she just walks with a waddle and hops around a bit. I will try the cage and see if that helps. I appreciate all the help.

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