One chicken consistently keeps getting lost from the others

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Patterson Farmer, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Patterson Farmer

    Patterson Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    This is my first time raising chickens. They hatched on Aug.1st, so almost 2 months ago. They've been in their outdoor coop since week 4 which I know is early but the temps were good and they've been so happy. I waited a little over a week before letting them out of their run to free-range. I have 11 chickens (not sure yet how many are hens/roos). My husband and I both work from home so they free range from sunrise till sundown and we live on 74 acres so they have all the space in the world.

    Sometimes I hear a chicken squacking really loudly, enough for me to take notice and investigate, then I find that s/he has lost the rest of the group. I help them reunite then go about what I was doing. But this morning it occured to me that it's happened at least 5 times (that I'm aware of..prob happens more often) and that it's always been the same chicken. Is this a pecking-order thing or could it be that s/he has a health issue? I was sitting out on the deck watching closely and at one point the whole flock started to run in one direction and s/he followed and eventually caught up but pretty much trailed behind. What might be going on? I remember that a few days after having been letting them out of their coop this particular chicken one morning had a hard time finding the door to get out...it kept walking behind the door rather than in front of it and I had to crawl in there and spook it in the right direction. I just thought it was stupid at the time but now I'm putting all the pieces of this puzzle together and it's always this same damn bird! I haven't had any problems yet and I really don't want one of my birds to be sick or injured. Is it possible this particular chicken is just dumb as dirt?

    Thanks in advance for any insight.
     
  2. Cluckcluck1215

    Cluckcluck1215 Overrun With Chickens

    What do her eye(s) looks like?Shrunken inside the head, very small?Wave your hand in front of the eye, any movement or blinking?
     
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  3. andreanar

    andreanar Overrun With Chickens

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    I had one in my last flock (we named her Helen Keller lol), and I have one in this flock too. I think some are just not the sharpest tool in the shed. Ours could get lost just going around a tree.
     
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  4. Patterson Farmer

    Patterson Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Eyes look normal...but I haven't picked any of them up since they were little, I know it seems silly but I'm kind of afraid to now that they are bigger. I know, I know. I'll have to get over that. Will try tomorrow and do some more detective work. Thanks for the help!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Handle them at night with a dim headlight after dark off the roost...will get both you and the birds used to it.
     
  6. Feather Fanatic 2000

    Feather Fanatic 2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Other than appearing a little err... dull, does the bird otherwise act normally? 2 months old is still rather young for chickens, so this one could be a little slow on the uptake, or it could be a little dumb, or perhaps a mix of both. As long as the chicken doesn't appear to be in danger, or have any other strange behaviors, it should be fine.
     
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  7. Patterson Farmer

    Patterson Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    I noticed this morning that the pupils are large and irregular. I'm googling and everything I'm reading points to Marek's Disease but nowhere is it telling me what to do about it? Is my whole flock doomed? What do I do?? :(
     
  8. andreanar

    andreanar Overrun With Chickens

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    What I understand of Mareks is that there is no cure....just supportive care. Some may die and some may rebound and get better. But Mareks will always be in that flock. Go to the search box at the top of the page and search for Mareks, you will get a lot better info.
     
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  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It may be Mareks, but since they are so young it may just be a congenital eye problem.
     
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