Odd Behavior something to worry about?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by balloonflower, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    274
    23
    74
    Jul 25, 2016
    Backstory to current situation. We had seven backyard hens. Last Thursday we woke to find that five had been attacked overnight--most likely a coon. I was concerned about only having two for company and warmth at night, so we did go same day to a farm and pick up three new young layers. So now, the two older and three smaller new girls. As expected, my sweet girls are rotten mean girls to the new pullets. So, during the day I have kept the new three in the winter run, and the older two in the yard, with access to the coop/nestboxes, but they can't peck or keep the new from eating. At night, I crate the older two just before dusk, allowing the new three to roost and putting the older two on the roosts after dark--otherwise they weren't allowing the new girls to roost.

    All has been going as fine as introducing new hens goes I guess until today. Earlier I went out to feed some sprouts and called my older pair as usual. Only one came. The other, was kind of puffed up, and not acting normally. She acted like she was going to poop, but nothing. When I picked her up and showed her the sprouts, she wasn't interested. Nor in water. Now, she's been on the roost in the coop for three hours. Is this something I should be concerned about?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,504
    7,709
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Sounds like a viable integration plan....except....no quarantine.
    So, could be the new birds brought in a disease with them.....
    ...or she was already carrying a disease asymptomatically and the stress of the integration set it off....
    .....and now your older bird is trying to fight it off.

    I'd check over her body all over for symptoms then isolate her in a crate and monitor her input and output.
     
  3. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    274
    23
    74
    Jul 25, 2016
    Thanks for the reply. We did consider quarantine, but weren't sure how to with only one coop, plus yard is only so big. I will continue to keep an eye on her.
     
  4. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    274
    23
    74
    Jul 25, 2016
    I have never used more than ACV or a garlic clove in their water. Is it worth getting a vitamin/electrolyte mix since they're all stressed out?
     
  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy balloonflower

    I am sorry to hear of your tragic loss [​IMG]

    Did you reinforce your coop and run? He will probably be back.

    While I definitely do not recommend it, I too had to waive quarantine when I was down to one very lonely hen and sometimes we can be lucky.

    I agree with aart. Besides the possibility of stress induced existing disease symptoms or disease carried by the newcomers, chickens do not like change and she could be reacting to that.

    Have you checked them all for lice and mites? The newcomers may have bought some in with them.

    Also, with the newbies, the pecking order will be going through a reshuffle; have you seen the hen being bullied at all?

    Vitamins may help and will not hurt but if she is unwell, probably not going to cure her.

    Puffed up and straining are signs of egg binding and this could have been bought on by stress. Do you know when she last laid?

    Also, stress and change can cause them to lay soft shelled eggs. Because the shells are soft and pliable, their muscles have nothing to grip and push and it is more difficult for them to lay.

    As aart has suggested, thoroughly examine her and hopefully you will be able to determine the issue.

    Best wishes to you and her.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,504
    7,709
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Agrees a dose of vitamins for one day wouldn't hurt any of them and might give them a boost......

    ...and I'd cut out both the garlic and ACV, both can cause problems if given long term.

    I'd give vitamin water for one day, then back to plain water.
     
  7. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    274
    23
    74
    Jul 25, 2016
    @Teila Thanks--we did secure the coop fully now, expecting that it would happen again. I've always known the possibility was there, but got lax on shutting up tight at night. Had been leaving the secure coop door open to the winter run because a cord kept if from closing, but we fixed the issue and will lock up from now on.

    I have been keeping an eye on new and old for lice/mites. I'm not sure about the egg binding possibility--have never encountered that or any other illness before. Laying has been spotty since the attack, but I was expecting that from the stress of integrating. I could be pretty certain that Spot (sick) laid the day before yesterday--I got three that day. Only one yesterday, unknown who, and one today that was from my other old hen.

    @aart thank you for mentioning that about the home remedies--I usually just give plain water and only use the garlic or acv occasionally. I did run to Murdoch's and get the vit/elec mix for short term only.
     
  8. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    274
    23
    74
    Jul 25, 2016
    I think I am definitely dealing with something respiratory. She's starting to rattle a bit. So, I'm trying to force a drink every so often. She pecked a bit at her food, but not much.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by