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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 45393
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I keep a few chickens as pets. One of them is behaving out

Customer Question

Hello, I keep a few chickens as pets. One of them is behaving out of character. She's about 3 1/2 years old and has become very sleepy. She was laying everyday but has completely stopped apart from one teeny tiny yolkless egg a week ago. her comb is still very red but not standing as tall. She's less interested in food and no longer flying up to perch in various places. Can't see any visible signs of mites etc. Wonder if she's internal laying?
Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name?
Customer: Glimmer
Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Glimmer?
Customer: Not that I can think of
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

Dr. Michael Salkin is typing. Please note that experts aren't allowed to prescribe prescription drugs in this venue.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner and I'm sorry to hear of this with Glimmer. Regrettably, her behavior can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues in chickens. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of such a presentation, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. Necropsy of a newly dead or a sacrificed severely ill bird then refrigerated (not frozen) can be an important diagnostic particularly in large flocks. I understand that you don't have such a flock, however, and so necropsy isn't appropriate.

It's gotten to the point that caretakers have next to no resources outside of soliciting the help of an avian vet ( It's best to bring her inside as shown here:

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.