One chicken acting very strangely

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by welsummerchicks, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    One chicken this morning seemed very sluggish and quiet. When I first saw her she was lying on her side. She got up, but with difficulty, and seemed to have little interest in following the group out side. The chickens have been going outside each day, under supervision. Most stick close to their cage. A few have nibbled some grass and weeds(we use no pesticides on the grass and weeds, no fertilizer). Other than her holding her beak open, I see nothing else other than a depressed, quiet attitude.

    It was very hot yesterday, but most of the chickens stayed in the shade and seemed completely unbothered by the heat. They ate and drank well. Today it is suddenly quite cool. Their cage is in a shady garage, but I can open the garage door to let in sun or to shade it however much is needed on a given day.

    The chickens are about 3 months old now, of a very good size, and appear very healthy other than this one. They were vaccinated for Mareks at the hatchery. I believe they are moulting as some feathers have dropped in the pen and some have downy feathers, which I think are new feathers. Their feathers are otherwise glossy and healthy looking.

    They get medicated Layena Flock Starter. No other chicken seems to have the same symptoms as this one. I have 50. None of them have shown any sign of any problem. All perky, lively and very interested in their food and water. We had a nice 'chicken enrichment' yesterday with all gathering around to peck at a thread hanging off my blouse, LOL.

    They get Layena, all they want, fresh water, and fresh alfalfa cut from our pasture, also not treated with pesticide or fertilizer. Occasionally I give them other treats, such as lettuce and ground sunflower seeds (no shells). I have seen them pick up bugs and flies, too. Their waterer is rinsed and cleaned every day. They are bedded on McCrumb - kiln dried white pine shavings that are crumbled for more absorbency.

    Since the other chickens were bumping into her (accidentally, they actually appeared for all the world to be inquisitive, even concerned about her), I left her in the cage by herself. She did not seem to care that she was alone. I thought it might give her a chance to rest, but I just have an uncomfortable feeling that this is very not good.

    She stands with her neck pulled in short, and her tail down. She doesn't seem to notice the other chickens moving about. Many of them are sticking close to the cage (they usually do that) and actually appear to be clucking to her. No signs of a dirty bottom or of different droppings.

    I can take her to the vet later today if she does not appear to be any better. I sure would like to know what is bothering her.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
  2. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    No one?
  3. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    Mostly just a bump, but how about poly-vi-sol no iron? that seems to be astandard remedy.

  4. DelawareSilkie

    DelawareSilkie Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 8, 2010
    Hello I am new here and don't really know much about chickens but it could be a mild form of depression. Or if she is laying could she possibly be egg bound? If it's the depression, I'd suggest give some electrolytes into her water and put her into the sun, maybe feed her some potatoes to get that necessary starch and irons. But beyond that I'm basically useless save me wishing you luck with your chickens.

    Also I'd hate to do this, and if I'm violating any rules tell me to delete this post, but I desperately need help with my pullets. I don't know what's wrong with them. Again, I'm sory if I seem like I'm butting into your topic, but here's the link:

    Again I hope your chicken is up and running in no time. [​IMG]
  5. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Yes it looks depressed, depressed as a symptom of something else, yes as a symptom, but of what? It seems as if it is trying to breathe, it opens its beak in what looks like kind of a yawn, it does that a couple times and is quiet. And they are 3 months old and not laying eggs so are not egg bound.

    I read here about gapeworm, but the chicken doesn't actually seem upset or frantic, just occasionally seems to open its beak as if it is having some sort of difficulty. And her other symptoms, lying down when I came into check on them this AM, and looking like she could not get up or did not feel like getting up.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
  6. MrsChickendad

    MrsChickendad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2008
    Lennon, Michigan
    Might be coccidiosis. Corid works well for that, put it in the water. How are her poops? They will normally have a runny, gooey poop about once a day (cecal poo), but if she seems to be really loose or bloody, I would suspect cocci. You can mix up the Corid in her water and start her with a dropper of that water on her beak to make sure she gets some of it, sooner the better. Isolate her, in any case.

    Good Luck!

    Just reread your post regarding it being very hot yesterday. She may have had heat stroke. What color is her comb? If she is having breathing/circulation problems her comb may turn blue. Just a few thoughts, I am no vet!
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
  7. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Her comb is a normal healthhy red color.

    My feed is medicated to prevent coccidiosis, so I think that is unlikely. She also doesn't have bloody or liquid droppings.

    In fact, I went to get her to take her to the vet, and I can't pick her out of the group of other (45) identical hens. So she doesn't appear to act that way all the time.

    I'm going to get leg bands for them so I can find one if it's showing intermittent symptoms.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
  8. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    chicken is in a cage by herself with food and water, is standing, and appears to be getting no worse, but also not getting any better. Can't anyone give any other suggestions? Chicken vet cannot see her today.

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