Possibly Sick Chicken

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


In the Brooder
Jul 12, 2016
We have a flock of 5 hens and 1 rooster. All are about 16 weeks old. On Friday, after work, one of the hens was hiding in the corner of the yard. She was lethargic, standing still, had her tail feathers pointed down, and wasn't interested in kale (her favorite treat). We brought her inside to keep an eye on her. Through the night she had some yellowish clear discharge from her vent. Not sure if it was egg related or her droppings. We gave her 2 warm baths and abdomen massages incase she was egg bound. She really wasn't interested in food or water but she did have a little of each. She seemed to act the same for the rest of Friday night.

Early Saturday morning she still seemed the same (lethargic, tail down, etc.) then a couple hours later she had a rather large, normal looking bowel movement and seemed to be better. Then a few hours later she went back to acting lethargic, then had another bowel movement and seemed better. She was fine the rest of the day. She was kept inside Saturday night as a precaution. She was still fine on Sunday morning so she was returned her to her flock and coop.

Yesterday, after work, she started acting lethargic again. It looks like she had a bowel movement with some of the clearish yellow stuff again but there were "normal" droppings in there, too. Shortly after that she started acting normal again (still a little slow though). She was eating and drinking normally.

We noticed her vent pulsating when she was acting lethargic. I'm not sure if it was pulsating when she was acting normal. It's also been quite hot here. 94F during the day 80F at night. None of the other hens or the rooster seem to have any of these symptoms. We also noticed when she was acting odd her comb was changing colors from pale to red quite quickly.

Any ideas what this could be?
Hopefully, she is just getting adjusted to laying eggs since she just started. They can act kind of funny. Some hens can have reproductive disorders even this early. Coccidiosis would be another possible problem since she was having runny yellow droppings, not eating, and acting lethargic. Corid is the best treatment for that. If she is acting normally between eggs, then more than likely it is related to egg laying.
Thanks for the response! Hopefully she is just trying to start laying...

The droppings were more clear than yellow. They honestly looked like egg whites. Some of them had normal poop mixed in with them, though. Could she be trying to lay eggs at 16 weeks? I started giving them Oyster Shells on Sunday in case she was trying and didn't have enough calcium to form proper shells. Is there any harm is giving Corid if she doesn't have Coccidiosis?

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