Questions about hen


7 Years
May 20, 2012
I have several questions about my favorite hen Sarah, she's a 1 year old Golden Comet. She was a very good layer until this past November when she and the rest of the flock were moved into a newly built coop. The stress of change made most of them stop laying, then they all did mini molts. After their feathers grew back they all started laying again, except for Sarah. I figured she still needed a break since it was still winter and she had laid an egg literally everyday from the time she started laying, never took a day off. In the spring she started going to the nest boxes, would sit in it for awhile, come out and cackle and frantically eat like she had just laid an egg. But there were never any eggs. After several weeks she stopped going to the nest boxes. Then she started acting lethargic, didn't eat much, would sleep a lot, stay off by herself, and just didn't seem well. There were many days I didn't expect her to make it and thought I'd find her dead in the coop the next morning. After maybe 2 weeks of this she suddenly snapped back and seemed much better. She still moves somewhat slowly, and doesn't like to jump or fly on and off of things, but otherwise is eating, staying with flock, not sleeping during the day, much more talkative and perky. Her legs, feet, wings are fine, so I'm not sure why she avoids flying/jumping. She's stayed like this for a few weeks now, but now has watery diarrhea, shakes her head a lot, and makes an odd peeping/chirping noise almost constantly. She stops when I pick her up and talks to me in her normal way. Then as soon as I put her down it's chirp chirp with every step she takes. Very odd. I know the diarrhea could be from worms, she's never been wormed. So on Thursday I gave her 1/2cc valbazen. Does anyone have any ideas as to why she never started laying again? If she started laying internally, would she have survived these several months? Her abdomen is slightly swollen, I don't think really bad, it doesn't seem to feel a lot bigger than the other hens. And she is very thin, she only weighs 4.5 lbs. Again, if it's worms that would explain the thinness and swollen belly. I've never seen any in her poo though. If worms are why she isn't laying, is it possible her insides are so damaged she'll never lay again? Or is it more likely internal laying, or even cancer/tumor? If it was cancer I can't imagine she'd have gotten somewhat better. And the peeping, what's up with that? I'm not actually that concerned if she never lays any eggs again, I love my sweet Sarah dearly and she has a happy home here whether she lays again or not. I just wish I knew what was wrong, and don't really have the money to take her to a vet, and there's not any vets experienced with chickens around here anyway. So thoughts anyone?
Welcome to the forum RebeccaB

I'm so sorry to hear about your hen, she sounds like a treasure. I had a gold-sexlink that was an amazing chicken and I still miss her, there is something about those little birds.

It does sound like you need to talk to a vet, IMO because there are a lot of issues. I went to a 'chicken vet online' it was about $25.00 I think, and messaged with a great vet (online) who was in Ireland, I think. In the UK they take their chickens more seriously than they do here. And the vet was knowledgeable and nice....

I wish, though that I had found 'the chicken doctor' prior to that. Some BYC forum members swear by him, and some discredit him. The cost for a phone call is 25.00 and the money will apply to any medications that you would order from first state vet. On Monday's there is a radio show that you can pick up online as a streaming broadcast---(if you have good computer speed). I only heard it one time, then was never back at the computer during that time window to hear the show again...the chicken doctor is a guest on the show...and people can call in with chicken problems.

Here is a link to one of my pages where info on how to get there is.
I hope that your Sarah will be with you for a long time.
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