Strange Behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Echolight4eva, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. Echolight4eva

    Echolight4eva Just Hatched

    11
    0
    12
    Apr 8, 2017
    Hi, all! I have four black sex-links, all hens, that I have had for around two years now. They have all gotten along pretty well and I haven't noticed any behavioral issues until recently. Today, I let the chickens out for some roaming when I noticed that one of my chickens was walking slowly with her tail-feathers down. This one usually isolates herself from the other chickens and always has, mostly when they're outside their coop. She will stay by herself mostly, digging around for worms by herself while the other three hang around together. Her behavior was very strange though. She was drinking a lot of water and I was sitting near the water, so she was staying really near me. She seemed somewhat disinterested in eating but I gave her some dried mealworms and she gobbled them up, albeit a bit slower than usual. She probably wasn't hungry, though, to be realistic.

    I also noticed that she pooped and it seemed to be mostly water. I went and got some deworming solution to put in their water as well as diatomaceous earth to sprinkle around their coop in order to reduce pests, in case that was the issue. I'm not sure what else to do, though! I can't tell whether she's sick or being bullied by the other chickens. I did notice, however, that one chicken (who is usually the ringleader of any activities the chickens do) randomly came up to my ill hen and bit her several times on the comb. I got the two away from each other, and while the pecking didn't leave any marks, I was still concerned about it.

    I just don't know what to do about my poor, sweet hen, whether she's being bullied or sick. Thanks for any help!

    (I wasn't sure whether to put this thread here or somewhere else; if an admin doesn't want me to post it here, I can move it. Just wasn't sure whether it was classified under behavior or sickness since it might be both or either. Thanks.)
     
  2. Leah567

    Leah567 Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    3,703
    1,590
    291
    Apr 3, 2017
    Texas
    My Coop
    It could be she's being bullied. Do you have cats around? maybe a cat or some other predator is getting in. Or if she's 2 years old she's probably just not as active because she is getting older. Sorry, hope this helps!
     
  3. Echolight4eva

    Echolight4eva Just Hatched

    11
    0
    12
    Apr 8, 2017
    You know, I have been seeing my neighbor's cat hanging around our front porch, but I've never seen her in the backyard where our chickens are. The weird thing about her activity is that her behavior isn't being mimicked by the others, who are the same age. I think she may just be being bullied, perhaps her keeping her tail-feathers down is a sign of submission? Thanks for the help!
     
  4. Leah567

    Leah567 Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    3,703
    1,590
    291
    Apr 3, 2017
    Texas
    My Coop
    I'm sure that's what it is. The others probably just won't let her near them.
     
  5. Echolight4eva

    Echolight4eva Just Hatched

    11
    0
    12
    Apr 8, 2017
    Okay, thank you for your help. Do you suggest isolating the bully or the bullied for a while to see if that might help? I'm afraid that the bully might just turn on her again once they're together again.
     
  6. Leah567

    Leah567 Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    3,703
    1,590
    291
    Apr 3, 2017
    Texas
    My Coop
    I would separate the bully for a week. Then when she comes back she'll be the new kid. Or you can buy anti peck spray and spray it on your chickens body. The chickens hate the taste of it.
     
  7. Echolight4eva

    Echolight4eva Just Hatched

    11
    0
    12
    Apr 8, 2017
    Okay, great. Thanks for your help!
     
  8. Leah567

    Leah567 Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    3,703
    1,590
    291
    Apr 3, 2017
    Texas
    My Coop
    [​IMG]Your welcome! Tell me how it works out!
     
  9. Echolight4eva

    Echolight4eva Just Hatched

    11
    0
    12
    Apr 8, 2017
    I will! Real quick, though: do you think the watery feces and lethargy have anything to do with the bullying? Sorry for all the questions ^^
     
  10. MillersFarm

    MillersFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    823
    1,167
    201
    Jun 3, 2016
    Lewiston NY
    she sounds like she had a heatstroke since she staying away from the others and her poop is runny, but if shes fine now then thats great,
    i'd just make sure she has plenty of water
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by