Sick or not?! Head scrunched but tail is up!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ladyblu16, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. ladyblu16

    ladyblu16 Just Hatched

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    Feb 20, 2017
    Hello fellow chicken lovers!

    I have never posted here before, but come to this site often and everyone seems awesome with feedback.

    So my issue is one of my RIR, she's about 19 weeks old and just noticed her standing with her head hunched in and not really moving! When I walked up to her she kind of perked up and walked away when I got near her. Then when back to head hunched. Her tail is up though! Last year we lost a chicken who we acted similar but her tail was down and she was mostly standing with her eyes closed (head also hunched in). Is my RIR sick? She was fine all day, free ranging with the others.

    Thank you for any input.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You're getting good at recognizing the signs that a chicken isn't feeling well. Her tail may not be down because whatever is making her feel unwell hasn't progressed yet. This is fortunate that you've caught it early.

    You need to give her a thorough exam. Start with her head and note how her eyes are - bright or cloudy, open or half mast. Look in her mouth and check her tongue. Look for swelling, blisters, and discharges from eyes and nares.

    Check under all her feathers for any wounds. Feel her abdomen for hardness and lumps. Check her vent for discharge and blisters and redness. Look for tiny bugs moving on the skin around the vent. (lice)

    Legs. Look at the scales. Are they smooth and flush or raised and lumpy? Feet. Check the bottoms and in between the talons for dark scabs and swelling. If you see anything like that, it could be a serious infection (bumble foot), and it could make a chicken feel sick.

    Report back if you find anything and we'll go from there.
     
  3. ladyblu16

    ladyblu16 Just Hatched

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    Feb 20, 2017
    Thank you!
    I checked her out. No signs of injuries and she looks completely normal. No lice near her vent.
    Could this have something to do with her starting to lay?
    After my post last night I went to go lock everyone up and I notice a soft shell egg on the ground around where she had been standing.
    I also notice one of my other girls (she's about a year now) acting in the same manner and I'm almost positive she hasn't laid in a while from the winter hiatus. In a panic with her my husband started antibiotics (I know not the best idea) but not the RIR.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It's certainly possible. Has she bounced back in her behavior from what she was exhibiting? If she's reverted to her normal behavior, then it was probably discomfort from that egg.
     
  5. ladyblu16

    ladyblu16 Just Hatched

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    Feb 20, 2017
    Yes she seemed normal yesterday! I hope that was her problem. I am keeping a close eye on them all now. Yesterday and today I am noticing a lot of pruning/itching. I will attempt a more thorough search but I did check their vents for lice. I didn't notice anything. Could this be a springtime thing? It's warmed up a lot where we live. Thank you again for your advice.
     

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