What to do about this little hen?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by afj6710, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of our BO pullet/hens (when do they really go from being a pullet to being a hen?) doesn't seem to be doing well. She is much smaller than her "sister" (not sure about relation) who was the same size as her a couple of months ago. I think she is losing weight but DH thinks she is just not gaining. Her feathers aren't as fluffy and pretty either. She is very nervous and skittish. The feathers on her head seem to always be raised. Several of the other hens pick on her and she stays away from the rest of the flock. When the others are out exploring the yard, I'll find her alone in the coop eating. Her tail doesn't point up anymore. I know I need to check her for mites, etc but I can't get near her. DH might be able to catch her though.

    A few months ago, her other "sister" just died mysteriously. None of my other birds are showing any signs of illness.

    What does this sound like? What would you recommend?

    I've suggested a couple of times that we should cull her. If she is sick, I don't want the others getting sick too though at this point they've all been exposed to her plenty. We really want a very hardy, low maintenance flock and don't want to breed "weak" birds. But, I feel badly culling her without knowing if its a simple fix.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Poor girl might just be at the bottom of the pecking order. The bigger, stronger hens may not be letting her eat. Another thing that makes them "go light" is worms. She may need a good worming, and if you have a place you can put her, why not fix it so she can get some rest, and feed her some goodies, and put some vitamins/electrolites in her drinking water as well.

    I'd give her some chopped hard boiled eggs, and some fresh fruits and veggies. Even some bread will put the weight on her.

    Catch her at night, when it's dark. Chickens really become docile at night, so you will be able to just go pick her up with no problems, as long as it's dark.

    Good luck, whatever you decide. You are right, culling is way easier, but sometimes it's fun to baby a chicken.....They become your special friend....

    Sharon
     
  3. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there a way to tell if she definitely has worms or do people just add a wormer just in case?
     
  4. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder if I brought her inside, or separated her from the others outside, to help her get better and gain some weight, wouldn't the same thing happen again if this is mainly being caused by the other chickens picking on her? [​IMG]
     
  5. 531 Farm girl

    531 Farm girl New Egg

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    How old is the flock? What is there coop & run set up? And there diet?
     
  6. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They were all born last spring, so less than a year old. Their coop is pretty big - 12x20 maybe - and they have a very large uncovered run. They hang out in the run for most of the day, then go out on "expeditions" most afternoons, exploring the property. We lock them back up in the coop at night. They eat mostly layer feed but I do give them kitchen scraps most days. They LOVE the treats. [​IMG] But, this little girl rarely gets any - she won't come near enough to me or the other hens to get them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  7. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have one girl the same way they just don't like her I have to feed her up on the roost in a seperate bowl. I'd bring her a seperate bowl I bet she's real hungry. Mine inhales the food she's hungry.
     
  8. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone have thoughts on why it seems like the feathers on her head are always raised? Like she is startled all the time? Do I have a chicken with an anxiety disorder? [​IMG]
     
  9. afj6710

    afj6710 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright, my plan of "attack" is to get her inside tonight - maybe I'll put her in my pack-n-play - and try to get some weight on her. I'm going to load her up with yogurt, garlic, ACV, and de and see if I can't get her a bit better. I think she is going to go nuts, though, being inside. But, one of the roos is running her ragged as well, so she needs a break.

    What do I do about when she needs to lay an egg? The only other time we've brought one in for healing, she was going absolutely nuts until we let her back out, and she promptly ran straight to the nest boxes and laid her egg. Must have been like trying to hold in a really big poop! [​IMG]

    Any thoughts?


    Or I could just keep talking to myself mostly in this thread. [​IMG]
     
  10. stormylady

    stormylady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    Illinois
    Quote:If your going to put her in a pack and play stick a little box in there with some hay that she can use as a nest box that ought to solve that problem. [​IMG]
     

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