1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

What is normal? Is our chicken a loaner?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BarneyNCyndi, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. BarneyNCyndi

    BarneyNCyndi Chirping

    Aug 9, 2014
    Everett, wa
    We are first-year newbies. We have a flock of 6 ladies and we are becoming more concerned about one of our Rhode Island Red (1 of 2) and she has always been a little distant from the other group. We have 3 sets of 2's and the Reds are the oldest by 3 days.. She is about 20 weeks old. She looks the most mature with her comb and waddles.

    It has been cold here but warmer today. She wouldn't go into the coop tonight so, I put her in on the roost with the other girls. We have just opened our nesting boxes. No sign of any bald spots or plucking going on. We have seen Trouble (a Plymouth Barred rock) pick on her when we only had one roost in the coop. A quick redesign and there is more then enough room.

    We give a low dose of corid because our dog got sick with coccidiosis and the chicks were 4 weeks old with the squirts. Don't know who got who sick, so we have just been giving them a maintence dose is one of our 2 waters. Is this a sign that she will be our first layer? Is there something we should be looking for? When it was cold a few days ago in the 20's she still wouldn't huddle with the other girls, Is our Goldy just a loaner? Should we be checking to see if she is sick? If so, what are the signs and symptoms?

    Please please reply if you can help!

  2. krista74

    krista74 Songster

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi there

    Signs that laying may be not far off can include:-

    * An interest in the nest boxes, including a lot of in/out/in/out to investigate each nest, and fluffing around in the bedding 'pretending' like they're doing something (they are big, fat fakers, lol!)

    * Combs and wattles become bright red and plumped up

    * Faces change to a bright red colour

    * They may start squatting for you

    * They may become more vocal, often singing The Egg Song (again, big fat fakers!), and sometimes squawking or screeching which is not usual for that particular bird.

    * Becoming visibly anxious and 'antsy' in comparison to their usual selves.

    Your girl could just be a loner, there is always someone at the bottom of the pecking order. I had a Buff Orpington who was the lowest in our flock and she always slept at the opposite end of the roost to all the other girls.

    At 20 weeks though I wouldn't mind betting that your RIR girl is gearing up to lay soon though.

    If she was sick you would probably see other symptoms. Some that you can keep an eye out for include: Fluffed out feathers, hunched appearance, lethargy, abnormal poop, loss of appetite, lack of wanting to free-range, swollen squishy crop, bad breath (yes, seriously!), running eyes or nose, and respiratory distress.

    Generally, with my girls as long as are eating and active I'm less inclined to worry about them.

    Hope that helps give you a little direction. Good luck!

    - Krista
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. BarneyNCyndi

    BarneyNCyndi Chirping

    Aug 9, 2014
    Everett, wa
    Thank you for responding; I am a bit of a nervous nellie. Goldy is such a sweetie nothing like her sister hot lips. Hot lips got her name after being so boldy and pushy plus she had red lips when she was a peep.

    We have seen some feathers in the nesting boxes but believe they have just floated from roosts. We put our faux eggs in the boxes also along with fresh rosemary and oregano to keep things smellin fresh. We will be home all day tomorrow and they will be able to run free in the yard. I will check her out good no flashlight required. Just need to have a rain coat our rainy season has started.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by