Pullet is acting unusually tired, keeps closing one eye. Sick?

jwbjerk

Chirping
7 Years
Dec 17, 2013
14
9
79
View attachment 1885070

I've been keeping backyard chickens for 5 or 6 years. So I've seen a few things, but am not yet an expert.

Today I noticed my barred rock pullet was acting oddly, she kept slowing laying down, like she couldn't stay awake, while her friends of her generation were still being active and lively. She's not falling into a deep sleep, but keeps sagging down for a rest.

The weird behavior was the left eye kept closing while the right remained open. That's kind of a hard thing to notice, since they hardly ever point both eyes at you at once, but I found her doing it several times when she was sagging down.

I took her aside to look here over, and didn't really see anything. No mites to speak of. No injuries. Maybe feels a little thin, but I have all different breeds, so it is hard to have a baseline. I gave her some snacks, and she ate- some though not as greedily as chickens usually do.

I know this isn't much to go on, but I'm hoping this rings some bells for somebody, and I'd welcome advice on what to investigate more closely.

EDIT: It's hot here, but their whole run in shaded, and they have a couple sources of water, and the other birds don't seem much bothered by the heat.
 
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RhodeIslandRed5

Songster
May 28, 2019
1,025
1,321
241
East Texas
I have a pullet doing the exact same way! She'll close one or both eyes and look like she's nodding off to sleep! She does it mostly when I hold her or pet her, but have seen her doing it just standing there. Otherwise, she eats, drinks, flies up on me. So strange.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
could be heat exhaustion too so might add some electrolytes to the water when it's really hot or ice cubes, have you checked her for mites and external parisites? has the flock been de-wormed lately?

@Eggcessive
 

jwbjerk

Chirping
7 Years
Dec 17, 2013
14
9
79
I can't rule out the heat, she was occasionally panting--though yesterday was far from the worst this summer has offered.

I went through the feathers, nothing visible. I've had mites in the past, so I know what to look for at the base of the features.

I've never de-wormed them, but I move the coop and run 1-2 times a week, so they have decreased exposure to their own waste.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
I can't rule out the heat, she was occasionally panting--though yesterday was far from the worst this summer has offered.

I went through the feathers, nothing visible. I've had mites in the past, so I know what to look for at the base of the features.

I've never de-wormed them, but I move the coop and run 1-2 times a week, so they have decreased exposure to their own waste.
Chickens can get worms from bugs too, they tolerate some worm load but not a lot and will start to go downhill if they get to many. I would start with some electrolytes such as save a chick , when i do that though I put it in a seperate container so they have both regular and elecrtolyte available for them to choose and of course adding some ice cubes to their water or changing it for fresh more often when it's super hot, in adition you can put canned corn in like muffin tines and freeze it for a cooling treat too

@Eggcessive any other ideas?
 

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