Chicken status update

I understand that some of my readers have delicate sensibilities, so here is an update on the chicken.

Apart from potentially terminal baldness (in that it might have been terminal if I hadn’t brought her inside and warmed her up), she is doing well. And she is no longer in our bedroom.

Okay … chicken’s wellbeing / chicken in bedroom situation … I think I’ve covered all the bases. Getting back to Henrietta…

I'll know she's ready to go back outside when she lays an egg.
I’ll know she’s ready to go back outside when she lays an egg.

Author: Belladonna Took

Well into my second half-century and still trying to figure out what to be when I grow up. Born South African, naturalized American, perpetually at risk of losing my balance and landing ass-first in the Atlantic.

14 thoughts on “Chicken status update”

    1. I was actually going to ask your advice if she didn’t improve…:) I didn’t give any details – just mentioned briefly in the previous post that I had a sick hen (which most people wouldn’t care about) and that she was spending the night in our bedroom (I could almost hear the chorus of Eeeuuws).

      I’m not sure what the problem was, but am hoping it was a combination of cold (temperatures here plummeted about a week ago after quite a warm start to fall exacerbated by her bald state) and exhaustion (maybe caused by the cold, maybe by our too ardent roo?) I’ve been watching the others and they all seem fine, including the somewhat bald ones.

      She was just … staggery. Would walk a few paces and then sag down almost into a squat, then get up and walk a little further. And although she’s not brooding, she’s pulled all the feathers out of her chest. Eating and drinking normally and shitting like nobody’s business, and she seems able to stand properly now.

      I’m planning to buy jackets for all the balded chickens, but I’m wondering whether the pleasure I get out of my roo is worth it to them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, winters with a roo can be really tough on the girls… It might almost be worth separating him from them if they are in a hard moult if you have the space. Just a suggestion. She may be eggbound. Have you checked her vent? I know she is pooing, but any redness, baldness or heat around that area can be indicative of a problem. The staggering and plucking sounds like that could be the problem. I have one looking in a similar condition, one of my pullets and Nilla’s sister (he’s our cockerel). But she just came out of a brood, and brooding weakens them. I think she has gone straight into a moult. When you do decide to return her to the flock, make sure you acclimate her slowly to the temperature change, as they can go into shock from sudden changes and expire. You might want to look online for suggenstions on maybe adding electrolytes to her diet if she is pooing a lot. Especially if it is not the usual globs but is diarrhea. Sorry. A bit graphic. But hey… that’s why they invented sawdust! 🙂 Mother Hen


        1. Oh my word – thank you! I have SO MUCH to learn! Who knew chickens were so complicated? I just throw food at them, provide a place to scratch and a shelter, and collect the eggs.

          What on earth do I do if she’s egg-bound?

          She doesn’t have diarrhea, but I’ll turn her upside down and look at her rude bits. I suspect I’ll come away from that fully as informed as I am when I look under the bonnet of our car, but it’s worth a try.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hahaha! Bless… All their rude bits are really just a single vent, a horizontal slit just below their tail. Feel for the bulge of an egg possibly just under that, maybe some balding and feather loss. It may feel quite hot. Google how to treat her. Warm baths are suggested, possibly gentle manipulation with oil in the vent. DO NOT BREAK THE EGG. That will kill the poor girl. A warm soak is generally the recommendation. Just fill a bucket with bath temperature water and pop her in. Most hens love it. You can google “egg bound” for other methods… if nothing else, you will get a good understanding of the reproductive process of a hen. It is truly miraculous, actually. Check it out! And I hope your baby recovers… MH xx


          2. Thank you; I shall report back! And thanks for the warning … I did wonder if I should whack her against the counter and suspend her rear end over a hot frying pan. (Not really, but if you’d told me to do something like that I would not have been entirely surprised!)

            Liked by 1 person

      2. I think it’s time to introduce “Mister Roo” to the frying pan… Out of 12 hens, eleven of them have feather loss directly attributable to his amorous advances.


  1. I fear revenge from chicken-kind. When I was young, I was under the mistaken impression that poking hens with my fingers stimulated them to lay more eggs. Chickens would be completely justified having a grudge against me … 😛


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