by Helpplz

A lady who i sold a chicken to brought the chicken back saying she was sad because the rooster died....well when I placed her on the ground she perked right up. She started running in circles and chirping like a baby but she's already 5 months old. This worries me that she may have a brain defect.

I separated her from the other chickens the moment I saw her falling over. She would just get back up and start running in circles again. Once I put her in the quarantine area she start trying to eat but the food was just flying everywhere. It looked like she had dementia, as she did this she would walk in circles again.

She's drinking a lot of water (almost 1/4 of a gallon in 1 day!) She is having a hard time aiming for the water bowl and will peck near it until she finds it.

Now she's just acting extremely lethargic and not responding to noise that is around her. If I hold her, head just kind of falls back.

Very little to no poop.

Do you think this is malnutrition or a disease? Treatment? Big concern is she is still acting like a baby chick.

This is one of the most depressing things I ever seen....


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by: Sharon

So, you sold this young hen to someone whose rooster died, and the person brought the hen back to you in this condition, saying the hen was sad?

I would first suspect something contagious, so good you isolated her, but even having her on your place could be dangerous for other poultry.

From the behavior you describe I'm suspecting some serious neurological problem, possibly partial blindness & inability to process her environment. This is far beyond sadness, as I'm sure you've guessed. The cause could be disease, possibly a toxin. No telling what might have caused the rooster to die & how that relates to this hen.

With no idea why this is happening with her, we also have no idea what, if anything, can help her. An underweight chicken will have a very sharp feeling keel bone below the crop. There would be no way to know if her poor condition was due to her illness or how she was cared for.

Not surprising that there isn't much poop, if she can't figure out how to eat. The massive water consumption sounds like a possible toxin, maybe a poorly dispensed dewormer or other parasite treatment, or something in the environment.

If she doesn't show signs of improvement, then you will have to decide if trying to help her is just prolonging suffering.

Certainly her odd behavior could be due to some problem she was hatched with, but the dead rooster makes me think it's something else. It's possible the person who brought her back has some disease in her coop or possibly a neighbor that doesn't like chickens has done something....too many possibilities to count.

I've never had a chicken act like this, and doubt most other chicken keepers have seen this either.

Wish we could solve this mystery for you.

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