Strange little silkie. Eats others chicken poop, acting goofy, etc

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by theacw, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. theacw

    theacw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on my silkie. I am not sure if she is extra special or has underlying issues. Any input is greatly appreciated

    -This week, I saw her twice run over after another chicken pooped and gobbled it up like it was the most amazing thing she has ever ate. Gross. Would that ever mean anything other than a disgusting habit?

    -Also her eyes have been half closed all week, sort of trance like. She will be active and then whenever she stands still she sits there with her eyes half closed. If I pick her up she instantly closes them and just passes out. Is she finally just very comfortable with me or could something be wrong?


    She is definitely a little more special than my other chickens. Bottom of the pecking order (of only 3) and was where she came from before I got her. She also is extremely clumsy not being to jump up onto simple roosts and sometimes loses balance and falls off of them. Its hard to watch sometimes!! She often resorts to sleeping in the nesting box. Should I attempt to make it easier for her to get to? It is very basic and any other chicken can manage without a problem, except for her.

    She has also been very congested her whole time I have had her, 1 year, always having a hard time breathing. She sometimes has to take gasps for air she is so plugged up. Any way to clean her out? I would think she isnt sick if she has been like this for over a year.

    Again, I always knew she is a little off but has been acting even more strange this summer so I would LOVE any sort of thought from you guys. Thanks!!
     
  2. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some animals are born weak and sickly. They never amount to what is expected. This may be one of those.

    Chris
     
  3. Nutcase

    Nutcase Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is this the same bird as the one in this thread?
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...-chronically-plugged-up-nostrils-included-pic
    Is it something to do with what she is eating? Sometimes wet food can plug up their nostrils while they eat. Of course, eating poo never helps with that sort of thing! [​IMG]

    When you have a chicken like this, you should consider if it is worth keeping her. Does she lay at all? If not, she won't be earning her keep in any way (although of course this aspect depends on your chicken keeping budget). There are also many examples on this site of people who keep chickens with special needs as house pets so if you are willing to devote extra time and money to her then that could be an option.
    Either way it makes me really sad to read about her struggles. I'm pretty sure she at least has some mental problem. Is she perfectly normal on the outside? No deformities or anything?
    One more thing - if you haven't already, I think you should test her hearing in some way. If she is deaf, that would contribute to the loss of balance.

    Hope I helped [​IMG]
     
  4. Jeremy128

    Jeremy128 Out Of The Brooder

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    If a chicken is deaf, it will have balance problems?
     
  5. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    How fluffy is her head? Could the inability to get up be related to her not being able to see well enough to judge the jump? Our silkie is nowhere near show quality but even she is affected by her head puff. If I don't trim them round her eyes when she gets spooked and runs its done in all these little starts and stops as she has to keep stopping to turn her head see where she is going and start running again. When I trim she runs just like the others.

    So first thing I would do would be trim back the feathers to see if it improves her ability to see and get on the roost. They will grow back next moult and really its not that noticable they've been trimmed (see my silkie photos)
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
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  6. Nutcase

    Nutcase Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was just a thought I had. That's how it is with humans so why not chickens? It's worth a try.
     
  7. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Do deaf people have balance problems though? My father is pretty darn close to deaf (hearing aids don't really help even anymore) but he has never had balance problems. You're not confusing it with ear infections are you?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  8. theacw

    theacw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for your guys response. There are so many topics on here all the time so they often go unanswered.

    First off, what is the best way to test her hearing?

    Anyways, I felt so guilty after reading the post questioning her quality of life! Although, I think maybe it was my wording that made you guys question. She always has been plugged up but when she started squinting this week, that is when I started to get nervous! Besides her being a huge klutz, she seems to really thrive! She is not picked on besides my main girl showing her who's boss every now then (usually eating). She is the absolute sweetest thing and would be such a great momma as she is broody way too often. I dont even have a rooster, but she will sit on those eggs until I do something about it. She is a very vocal little girl, always making sure its known shes around. No deformities at all, she is quite little and I think she is often timid because she is so small compared to my head hen who is a SLW. I have 3 all together, the other is her daughter... a cochin/silkie mix who is pretty much on her level of the pecking order except my head hen doesnt peck her as often because she is much more brave than the silkie.

    I am now wondering if it is her feathers on her head making her seem crazy now. She just came out of a molt from being broody and she seems so much fluffier on top than I remember her ever being. It almost looks like she is balancing it when she moves around like shes always moving her head all awkwardly. Hard to explain, not where I am questioning neuro issues, but enough where I am wondering if there is something I can do for her. I trimmed her up a couple days ago but I am going to go ahead and really give her a do and see if that helps.

    One second I am nervous she is struggling even picking around at scratch and the next second she is catching moths just fine. Hmmm


    I went ahead last night and assumed since I didnt hear back for awhile, and soaked her nostrils with warm water and she is such a sweet little thing, she was so still that I went ahead a cleaned out a bunch of gunk out of one of her nostrils. I dont think I got it all, but I got a decent amount. I will give her a few days and see if it seems better. I did some research and I am wondering if she possibly has the chronic respiratory disease? I am only home for 7 more days so if that is it, I would have to start the antibiotics ASAP.
     
  9. theacw

    theacw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I forgot to add that she is a great layer, pretty much daily still at 2 years old unless she is broody. Which is too often for me since I have no roosters!
     
  10. Nutcase

    Nutcase Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It doesn't happen to everyone. I've done research on it before and loss of balance can be connected to both deafness and ear infections. But as with most things, it depends on the person/animal.
     

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