Sad Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Dju, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Dju

    Dju New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2010
    Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum but I do come here often for advice when my chickens are ill or injured or just.. whatever!

    This time, I couldn't find an answer for myself so easily, the symptoms don't match up to what would usually happen with an ill chicken, so I had to register.

    Truth be told, I didn't know whether to post this in "Chicken Behaviors" forum as for all I know this could be common amongst chickens.. Anyways.

    Youhzni, our second-most dominant chicken, would usually rule the roost and behave in quite an atrocious way towards one of our other chickens. She was also quite fat and ate a lot, a real gutz, always be the first chook escaping the enclosure and romping around the yard happily after doing so. Well this morning, I released them from the pen into their own little "yard", she escaped a few times, so I had to put her back in, but when I checked on them all a third time, I noticed that she wasn't one of the flock running up to me and circling my feet. After a bit of a search around their area, I found her under the swinging chair, not doing anything, just standing there! It was the most depressed sight I'd seen, her tail was down and she was staring wistfully into space. I picked her up and relocated her among the rest of the flock while they were in their digging session at the back of the yard and far be it for her to join them, she just slowly made her way to the corner of the yard and just stood there by herself, totally uninterested in anything. Even when the food was brought out, she didn't even look at it, just stood there sadly in the corner doing nothing.

    She's still drinking a little bit though, which I guess is good, and she still vehemently dislikes being held in someone's arms and will kick up a fuss when she's picked up, but when I put her back on the ground, it's like all is lost in the world and she goes back to mooching in the corner.

    We have a bit of a bush turkey problem around here (when I say problem, I mean one turkey persistently coming into our yard and harassing the chickens) and my first thought is that she had been terrified into shock or something, but all my other babies are fine so I don't know what's going on!

    Does anyone have any insight into this strange behavior?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'm certainly no expert, but... tail down makes me think of egg laying problem. Just been reading on here that fat chickens build up fat near the vent and become more prone to eggbound. Does not sound like she will like a sitz bath and isolation in a quiet place for rest, but this may be what she needs, to help her pass it. Also tells you for sure if/what she is laying.

    I suppose she could also have a load of worms or an injury that she is hiding. Or something else, of course.

    Good luck.
     
  3. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    maybe she is molting?
     
  4. Dju

    Dju New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2010
    Thanks for the response, ddawn. Youhzni laid an egg this morning (at least we assume she did, we have five chickens and we found five eggs in the nesting box), and it also looks like she's got a bit of the runs too. [​IMG] We don't worm our chickens (irresponsible, I know), so it could possibly be worms, but I don't understand how it could have promoted a complete personality change within an hour. Seriously, they were all fine and chirpy when I let them out, then an hour later, she's a regular Miss Sooky!

    Howlinggood, would molting really cause a chicken to get depressed? [​IMG] Never heard of that one before. If it matters, she's only quite young, we got her in April and she fully matured only a month ago. She seems perfectly fluffy to me, but I dunno.
     
  5. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    i would keep a watch on her.. sounds like she isn't feeling well.. tail down is usually a sign that things just aren't right
     
  6. Dju

    Dju New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2010
    Her behavior is so darn bizarre.. we carried down a plate of scraps to their 'yard' and she made her way over a bit faster than her mopey walking pace. We threw the food over at her feet, hoping that her walking over meant she was a little interested in the food and would eat it and hopefully not starve today, but the rest of the chickens practically trampled her to get the food, and she was just standing there, looking at the food on the ground in a weird "I'm too depressed to eat right now" kind of way. Didn't even fight to get a scrap like she normally does! Just watched as everyone pinched the food right from in front of her feet (and retreated back to her corner once they were done). I'm not sure what to do with her right now, hopefully she'll be better in the morning and this will blow over fast, she looks so sad just standing there in her corner!

    We might have to get some wormers for them all tomorrow when we go out, I don't know if worms could promote such a swift personality change, but I may as well give it a shot.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Glad to hear she laid! I'd probably guess worms, too, at this point.

    Remember that chickens are good at concealing from the others that they feel badly.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Dju

    Dju New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2010
    She laid another egg today but she's also getting more sad..! I felt around her crop and there's nothing in there.. Separated her from the other chickens and gave her favorite food, honey on bread, and she had about a finger worth of bread, but she needed me to pick it apart for her and she didn't even attempt to eat the whole slice like she usually scoffs it down. Returned her to the pen and she stood at the same place for about 3 minutes before she slowly lowered herself to the ground and sat there. I don't know what to do, she looks so miserable!! We're going out to get the wormers in the afternoon when mum comes back; it's a bit hard to find bird wormers in pet stores because not a lot of people bother worming their birds [​IMG]
     
  9. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    Alpine
    Do you have a rooster? Friends that sell at our farmer's market told us their most spoiled hen was molested by their rooster for a first time. This hen usually hangs out on the front porch and has avoided amorous attention of the rooster. But, he got at her one day...and she was mopy, comatose, and depressed for quite some time. A far flung suggestion, but that is the closest I have heard to your current situation. The hen was separated from the rooster as her owners felt so badly for her.

    Worms does make sense, intestinal upsets sure are depressing.

    Good luck, I do hope she perks up.

    We use food grade diatemaceaous(sp?) earth a few times weekly in our flock's treats to help with worming. It also has calcium which is good for them, and keeps the mites and lice bugs away. It must be food grade, not just the garden-variety.

    We hope happiness returns to your flock.
     
  10. Dju

    Dju New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2010
    We live in the city, so unfortunately, no roosters allowed here, although someone in our neighborhood has one, I know it, I can hear them lol [​IMG]

    I hope it's only worms, though I don't know why the others would be absolutely fine since they all eat the same stuff pretty much..

    I'll try find some diatemaceaous stuff for the future, maybe that will help?

    This is my poor baby:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I tried to get her to stand a bit in the second picture but she didn't really want to..
     

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