Thought it was molt, now I'm questioning???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickie Baby, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. Chickie Baby

    Chickie Baby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2014
    Buff stopped laying over a month ago, she's less than 2 yrs old. She doesn't show obvious signs of molt, but thought that's what it was after asking here. She had been fighting one of my roosters and not allowing him to touch her or any of her sister hens. She was getting really fierce pulling out his hackle feathers so he's now close to naked necked, poor guy.

    I found her in the nesting box over this past weekend. She was there a very long time and then finally came out. She never layed. So now, she's not coming out of the coop at all. She seems a little off, but not really anything I can describe. She's not one that I can get my hands on easily, but I did get her on Monday and try to feel her abdomen. Not sure what I was feeling for... She's eating as long as I bring food to her in the coop and she has water in there. She is shaking her head quite a bit which is not unusual for her, she's always done it.

    If she were egg bound, wouldn't I see her look different as the days pass? I don't really see a visible change in her appearance. She's just acting like she doesn't want to come out of the coop for some reason. Could the roosters be causing her so much stress that she's secluding herself? She will NOT let them get near her, I've NEVER seen her submit to either of them.

    I'm in MS and it is still in the 90s here. She has plenty of air circulating in the coop, I'm not concerned about the heat really, I'm just not sure what to do for her? Any ideas?
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    If she were eggbound you would know by now. Probably more likely that it's at least one broken bone, I think, or the stress could have beaten her immune system down to the point where an incubating disease or parasite burden has overtaken her.

    Either your roosters are unfit to breed for whatever reason and she knows it, or she's a non-rooster-tolerant hen, they do exist. Not common to hear of a Buff Orp like that though, more commonly it's Isabrowns etc. From the fact that it's not unusual for her to shake her head, it may be a physical fault on her part, since they often come with mental aberrations, but on the other hand it's also abnormal for a male to fight a hen. Still, plenty of burring of gender roles and instincts among domestics; what's abnormal for wild ancestors can be normal for domestic descendants.

    If she has one or more broken bones the period of sitting will help them heal right, but it's possible there's an internal infection. I'd use raw freshly minced garlic but many would use alternative antibiotics like artificial ones. It's your choice but it's possible she needs something done. Due to having a fused skeleton chickens can easily hide many breaks and fractures without any obvious symptoms other than unusually reclusive behavior, being the number one sign you see in any breaks which don't outright obviously cripple them.

    Is she losing condition at all? What's her poops like? Also, can you get a pic of her?

    ETA: are you sure she's not broody? Many hens will become more violent leading up to brooding as they try to cement their social position one last time before vanishing for a while.

    Best wishes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  3. Chickie Baby

    Chickie Baby Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. Chickie Baby

    Chickie Baby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So here she is, looking like she guarding the fort! No egg from her today but gathered eggs out if the nest boxes of the other girls.
    [​IMG]
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    Again... Just stays in this area looking around.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a pic of her a couple weeks before, in the yard with the others.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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