Pullet huddled with tail down, picture included


In the Brooder
6 Years
May 4, 2013

Florence, huddles like this or lower to the ground. Tail drooping, looks uncomfortable. Did eat when food was offered.
This is one of our less friendly hens and she has definitely had the spunk taken out of her! She is walking slow and looking sad when she bothers to walk. This just began this evening. While everyone else foraged she just squatted or stood like this, only walking around if disturbed. Florence did go ahead and go into the coop for the night with everyone else.
She is a 21 week old pullet and has not laid an egg yet. She has been exhibiting the prelaying behaviors for a week or a little longer. In April we got her and 7 other chicks freshly hatched and have not had issues. 2 of her sisters have begun to lay in the past week with no troubles. They were good girls and got in the nest box to lay!

We have never had chickens until we got these. Maybe this is normal for a chicken who has not laid and is getting ready to?? The other 2 did not act like this. If anyone can give me ideas about why she looks so uncomfortable and what to do about it I'd appreciate it!! They are RIR/Delaware cross sex links.
Thank you!

This is Florence's normal healthy sister for comparison. Normally Florence looks like this.
is she egg bound? kinda sounds like it. does she flip her tail up and down? u can check u know. hehe think i would put a rubber glove on and put some oil or vasoline around her vent, have fun!
She might be trying to pass a her first soft egg. Some will recommend warm baths right away. IMO, try calcium supplementation first. Several methods include crushing up a calcium pill and giving with yogurt, 1cc of calcium gluconate subcutaneously, or force fed 1cc calcium drench supplement (like Walmart welnesse brand 1000iu) via a non-needled syringe. You can try simple massage, gently reaching from behind btwn her feet and pulling your fingers from breast to tail. Have you noticed ongoing vent contractions?
if it is warm enough u can just put her in some warm water so her back end is covered and hold her there for a while 5 min. or so, heat lamp , oil, keep her confined until it passes on its own. if u break it thats not good. hope it helps her
She has gone to bed for the night so I'll try calcium, warm baths, Vaseline, and massages tomorrow if she appears to still be uncomfortable. Should be warm enough here that being wet won't hurt her. It would be the crankiest chicken that needs a warm bath!!!
We'll have a chicken spa day even if she doesn't appreciate it!
Well thank goodness everyone seems normal this morning including Florence. We had 2 of these shelless (partially shelled?)
eggs in the bottom of the coop this morning. Guess we need more calcium. They are on layer feed with calcium added and have egg
shell to eat also. The 2 who are laying are laying great eggs with very hard shells so I'm not sure how I have 2 with more than enough
calcium and 2 with not enough when they all have the same diet. I guess free ranging means some of them are foraging more and eating
calcium rich food in the coop less. Thanks for the info! Hopefully this won't happen again! If it does I'll know what to do.

When chickens start laying somtimes they lay shelless eggs, so they might not need more calcium,
its just they are getting into the egg laying routine.

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