Please help! Drooping comb, sitting in the nest box all day, irritable hen.


8 Years
Aug 13, 2011
West Georgia
My 10 month old Wheaten Maran was acting strangely when we arrived home from vacation today. We had a house sitter who fed and watered them and tended to them daily. She is not a chicken owner.

I noticed that our Maran was trying to lay all day. When I approached her in her box, she leaned forward putting her vent high up, and gave me a gravely growl, for lack of a better word. When she hopped out of the box, she was all puffed up and angry. She pecked the other girls but went back to the box soon thereafter. She is usually bottom chicken. Her comb, which normally flops a little, is very retracted and floppy. It's not bright red like her normal color. The comb looks dehydrated.

I examined her. No mites anywhere and her vent looks normal.

Worried that she was egg bound, I brought her into the house for a warm bath. She ate grapes half-heartedly that were offered to her in the process, but she was scared. First day in the house. I then put some olive oil on the outside of her vent. We could not find a dropper to insert any. She defecated twice. Once firm, once watery. No blood.

I looked at all the eggs laid this week, but the house sitter did not date them. I cannot tell how long it has been since her last egg, I could not feel an egg anywhere near her vent, which was not prolapsed.

Any advice? This is our first chicken acting out of the ordinary in our 10 month chicken ownership. Please respond. Me and my little girls are worried.

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