typical molt, or is my hen sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by courtneyq, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. courtneyq

    courtneyq Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2008
    Athens, Georgia
    I have just one RIR hen right now, about 1 1/2 years old. I had two hens, but my barred rock died about a month ago. The BR was about 2 1/2 years old and had been declining for several months. She had a pale comb and would sometimes "nap" during the day and stopped laying and went through a big molt and had very very watery poo, but she still ate well and was feisty head hen until the very end. Both hens have had worms, and I wormed them periodically, watched closely, cleaned their coop out daily, and hadn't seen evidence of reinfestation.

    I was planning on getting a new hen this Friday to keep my RIR company, but now she is acting a little off, but I don't know if it's just her first molt or something more. She has been acting unusual for about a week. She has some normal poos, but she also has very watery ones. She hasn't laid in a week. I felt her abdomen, and it doesn't have any hard or firm spots, just soft. She sometimes sits in the nesting box (where she also roosts at night) during the day. She eats treats that I bring her (sunflower seeds, cheese, baby weeds), but I think her Layena intake might have decreased. She's made a different noise, almost like a warning growl.

    I wormed her with Eprinex pour-on on her neck this morning, to see if that would help. Didn't see lice. Her comb is quite red though a bit dark on the end (it has been that way for over a year, I suspect from cold last winter). It's been pretty cold here some nights (I'm in Georgia--it's been down in the mid twenties a few times, and she has no other hen to huddle with.)

    Is this normal, or should I be concerned? Is this a bad time to add a new hen, or is the problem that she's unhappy alone?

    Thanks for any insights!
     
  2. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    are her eyes clear? that is another way to see if they are healthy and if her breathing is okay.

    she could be getting broody, that is what mine have done and have had some molt too. They can stop laying all together if they are molting. when mine are broody they do the kind of "growl" thing.
     
  3. walbarbsa

    walbarbsa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 1, 2008
    Castroville, Texas
    The growling, I think, tells all -- she's getting broody -- some of hens, especially the silkies can keep up with a dog in the growling department! They don't eat or drink unless I hand feed them and keep water right in front of them!
     
  4. courtneyq

    courtneyq Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2008
    Athens, Georgia
    Thanks for the feedback! The growling does suggest broodiness, but she does get off the nest periodically, doesn't guard it, so I have my doubts. Her eyes are clear and her breathing seems fine. I will keep watching closely, and I will get a companion hen this Friday if her health seems okay. Maybe she's just very lonely. Poor chicken.
     

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