problems with my flock of 3 chickens
all three birds are lethargic, stopped laying, have molted, spend all day on their roosts, don't come down at my arrival. One has the feathers from her head pulled out, but I don't notice the others attacking her. What should I do?
Benton County Oregon
The molting and the lack of eggs is normal for this time of year. I am more concerned with the lethargy. Are they eating and drinking normally? How old are the hens? Do the droppings look normal? They do appear to have a health problem, but I need more information. Any nasal or eye discharge? When you pick one up, does it feel lighter than normal? Are they normally free range. Please get back to me on this one as it could be serious.
Thank you for getting back to me! First I would tell you that this afternoon they all ran out of the coop when I appeared, running and flying in their normal fashion. This is the first time in 3-4 days they have responded in this way.
But 1. yes, they are free range inside a fenced orchard, but with a coop that closes at night with a solar-operated door.
2. I can see no discharge from nose or eyes and the droppings look normal. I tried to catch one but she kept dodging so I didn't force it.
3. The youngest, a Plymouth safire is in her first year. The next, a Novagen is in her 2nd year, and the third, Rhode Island red is of unknown age, but at least 3 years. The red is the one with her feathers pulled from her head and a patch of missing feathers on her shoulder.
Sounds like all is well again. I am very happy for you. Perhaps they had a bout of depression in response to the national miasma.