White orp very pale - do i need to worry?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nyxish, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Nyxish

    Nyxish In the Brooder

    Nov 23, 2009
    i noticed that Camilla, my white orpington, is very very pale - face, comb and waddles. Is that something i should be worried about?
    She is still eating, laying and pooping, not limping or acting listless, tho she does now have less interest in dashing in to grab a treat like the other birds do. She doesn't seem to be frighteningly down on weight, tho i would like to see her eating more, and a more interest in eating and treats, etc.
    She is 7 months old.

    This might be me WAY overthinking and over-complicating the potential emotional lives of my very spoiled birds, but... some background:

    Camilla has always been very standoffish with people, not the docile, calm bird the breed descriptions discussed. The Monday before thanksgiving, we suffered a fox attack - lost 4 of my 9. Camilla was not seriously hurt physically (she had some shallow puncture wounds, scratches, and she lost all her feathers on her back from neck clean thru all of her tail feathers). She has grown back her feathers beautifully, tho they are still thinnish on her back so i don't think she feels as warm as she is used to feeling.

    The thing that has me most worried, is that Camilla's entire personality has changed. It's as if she has lost all her confidence - she is now the bottom of the pecking order, and just...she's so very very timid about going out into the (fully fenced) run, even. (They were free ranging when the attack happened, it wasn't in the coop) We also Camilla's hatchmate and best bird friend. She just seems so... sad. :(

    It's also winter in NY and we are in the middle of that very, very cold system that is covering most of the northern US.

    So i guess what i am asking is if being pale is normal for a bird who is putting a lot of energy into regrowing feathers and recovering from a physical trauma? especially in the cold?

    i brought her inside with me to house-hen for a night, to see if being warm would help...her color is better, but she is still pale.

  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member 7 Years

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Molting will definitely cause the pale comb and face and it can also cause them to be more timid. I see both of these in my flocks during a molt. They can also lose interest in treats and food.

    However I have heard this same symptom after an attack from a predator. Behavior changes. I don't know if the trauma sticks with them for a while or it caused so much stress to send them into hormonal molts and chemical changes in the body. Both are possible.

    You might want to supplement her diet with healthy supplements and if she really does appear cold, (feel her feet, if they are really cold, so is she), you might want to offer her a tiny bit of heat first thing in the morning to get her going. Infra-red heat. I do this with birds that appear off a bit. Helps them get their appetites started for the day. I will turn on a heat lamp for them for an hour so if they feel they need it, they stay under it for a while. Helps with circulation. Infra-red is a very healing light wavelength.

    Good luck with your baby!
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
    2 people like this.
  3. Do what twocrows said. Extra vitimans are great. When my chicken Josie went through a molt she acted very moody; deppressed; silent; less eager for treats ;and also kind of sad. When I researched this; I found out that little Josie was just storing up all her energy to help her grow pretty new feathers. I was beginning to get pretty worried about her until I found this out. Soo... this might be the case for your baby. Keep her feet warm with the heat two crows suggested.
    It was 2 months until Josue finally gained back all her feathers; and she still is a little not her normal self. Having a few little pin shafts here and there; she is almost the same spunky
    Little chicken she used to be. I reccomend oyster shells or sun flower seeds for extra calcium. For vitimans; I use Rooster Booster vitimans with electrolites for chickens. Good luck with your girl.:)
    1 person likes this.

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