Please help....need some advice on hen!


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 9, 2010
Mansfield, Ohio
Hello! I am new to owning chickens & new to posting on this forum although I've been reading here for a couple of months learning many things! Here is my question...I have a Salmon Faverolle pullet (hatched April 5th) that was bought from a hatchery & vaccinated for Mareks. She was one of 12 that I bought that week. I following week I purchased 15 EEs which were also vaccinated for Mareks. Everything has been problems at all...until 2 nights ago. My daughter & I went out to close everyone in the coop & this pullet is laying kind of one her side/back flopping around. I picked her up & she felt a bit limp so I brought her in the house. She then stood up, started eating & drinking quite a bit. I decided to put her in a rubbermaid tote at night & keep her inside so I could keep an eye on her.

She's been relatively quiet at night although once in awhile she will stand up, run around in a circle flapping her one wing & rolling her head around. The wing she's moving appears to be drooping more than the other one & quite often she preens that wing only...not the normal one. The wing doesn't appear broken or anything. During the day when the chickens are out in the run I will put her out there also to walk around. She walks ok (no limping or anything) but just isn't very active & that wing always droops down. When she's been in the run I haven't seen any of that weird circling behavior like when she's in the house. Through it all, she's been eating, drinking, & pooping like normal. I've been trying to look on the forum to see if anyone else has encountered this, but didn't find much on this issue. I did read a couple of symptoms of Mareks & was wondering if it sounded like it could be that. ALL of the chicks were vaccinated.

A few other things I might mention...they are on an organic feed, starter grit, have fresh water daily, very clean coop & run & get fresh fruits, vegetables about every day. I am supposed to be picking up 7 Black Cooper Marans pullets-day old chicks (which will also be vaccinated for Mareks) on Monday & I'm wondering if it will be ok to do so. I guess I'm afraid if she does have Mareks what danger will the chicks be in? Hopefully I'm just worrying too much. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!


12 Years
Jan 17, 2010
Wittmann, AZ
Well it sounds like they are just dirt bathing to me. It's a normal thing that they do to help keep themselves cool. I will try to post video of mine dirtbathing, it's rather hilarious after a while! I think she'll be fine though. If someone feels I'm wrong please jump in!


11 Years
Jun 24, 2008
BC Canada
Hmm, well dirt bathing is definitely a strange looking behaviour if you have never seen it. Also herding/guarding behaviour can look a little strange where puff their feathers and drop one wing down and strut in arcs or circles. But that is with older chickens seems to me. And you say she was born april 5th (thus is only about 2 months old)? And the wing always droops down? Do you think that one wing is injured? What is happening with her head exactly? "rolling it around" how often?
I'm not sure and I'm not familiar with Mareks. At least you say she is eating/drinking/pooping fine. How does her crop feel? Maybe someone else will have ideas.

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