Weird behavior this morning

zoostahl

Chirping
9 Years
Mar 10, 2011
6
0
62
We have 3 laying hens, one of them is a white Americauna. She's been a great layer and is extremely cute.

This morning when I looked in the coop, I noticed she was doing something weird - ducking her head down and to the side repeatedly, like something was stuck in her ear, eye throat maybe? Don't know how else to describe it. Not shaking her head or scratching at it, just sort of turning it and ducking it down and to the side.

When I opened the door to the coop, she was up on the boxes and flew out like she always does, but she landed funny, and couldn't get up right away, sort of flapping around. When she finally did get up, she was favoring one leg and not going for the scratch, which is usually her first priority. Also, still doing this weird thing with her head. Acting like she didn't have proper balance.

I had to go to work but I told my husband to keep an eye on her. He said when he went out later, she seemed fine.

She seems fine now (it's evening).

Has anyone seen this before?
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
139,616
280,297
2,027
Out to pasture
Is it possible she has been injured - maybe head trauma from being pecked, or accidentally flew into something. It sounds like a problem with motor skills - rather than an illness, because she acts normal otherwise. I would think a minor stroke would cause this also - but, think it is more likely a recent injury.
 

zoostahl

Chirping
9 Years
Mar 10, 2011
6
0
62
drumstick, thanks for your reply. This hen died a few weeks later. Now another of our 3 is acting funny. Different symptoms except one thing in common is that both hens did this thing of closing her eyes, almost like they were dropping off to sleep while standing up in the yard. The 2nd one is doing this now. Her other symptoms are standing in one spot, shaking her head sometimes, her feathers are ruffled, and this afternoon her backside is humped up - hard to describe - she's holding her back end funny. No interest in eating.

I've seen on forums that people isolate sick chickens. This makes sense but it would be difficult for us to do so.

Help?
 

ChicKat

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
zoostahl,

Very sorry to hear that you lost one of your hens and that you are having a problem with another one.

I hope that you get the answer(s) you are looking for and that your sick hen is cured. I would suggest that in the event the other hen does not make it you have a necropsy done on the hen to find out for your own knowledge what the problem is, so you can protect your other chickens and future chickens that you may have.

good luck with your situation.
 

nickie

Songster
8 Years
Jun 25, 2011
1,118
30
143
north central KY
Dog crate, kennel, laundry room, but get her outa there. Take a little time to sit down observe her and then feel around and check her over. Anything feel funny, lumpy, twisted or weird? Is her poop watery, does she have mites? Examines and assessing if you can't find any physical issues what do you notice? First things first, pull her out.
 

nickie

Songster
8 Years
Jun 25, 2011
1,118
30
143
north central KY
Gapeworm symptoms (from storeys guide to raising chickens) red fork shaped worms that invade the windpipe causing gasping coughing and head shaking.

Mites and lice: dirty vent weight loss reduced production pale comb and wattles

What has me baffled is the hind end being held funny. Hope it helps, looking into diseases now.
 

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