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What’s wrong with the chickens?

BirdWorld

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Recently my chickens have been running low on eggs, and the eggs they do lay have very pale yellow yolks, when every chicken keeper knows they should be dark yellow/bright orange. They’re acting normal otherwise, I heard one cough a few times but I’m sure that was nothing, she hasn’t done it since. So what could be wrong with them?
 

BirdWorld

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I should also add that they are all about 1-2 years old and have never had any health problems, one was attacked before and lost a lot of feathers, but she’s better now.
 

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fashionfobie

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Chickens are wonderful thank you for coming here!
What breed of chicken is she ?

Feather loss can be molting some chickens drop lots of feathers at once. Pale yolk can from diet, stress or age. What are the shells like? What is her diet? If they are lumpy of uneven she may been finishing her laying days. If you can share a picture of the egg and give me a few more details I may beer inform.
 
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BirdWorld

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Chickens are wonderful thank you for coming here!
What breed of chicken is she ?

Feather loss can be molting some chickens drop lots of feathers at once. Pale yolk can from diet, stress or age. What are the shells like? What is her diet? If they are lumpy of uneven she may been finishing her laying days. If you can share a picture of the egg and give me a few more details I may beer inform.
Actually there are seven chickens so I can’t actually monitor which are laying pale eggs and which are laying less eggs. The breeds are: two spangled hamburgs, two Rhode Island reds (i think), and three Plymouth Rock chickens. The outsides of the eggs look normal. The one who lost feathers lost them because she was attacked by the roosters on the last farm she was on, before we took her in. They haven’t really had any changes in diet, I always feed them pellets, and then leftovers from whatever my family has eaten (as long as it’s safe, of course).
 

fashionfobie

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Actually there are seven chickens so I can’t actually monitor which are laying pale eggs and which are laying less eggs. The breeds are: two spangled hamburgs, two Rhode Island reds (i think), and three Plymouth Rock chickens. The outsides of the eggs look normal. The one who lost feathers lost them because she was attacked by the roosters on the last farm she was on, before we took her in. They haven’t really had any changes in diet, I always feed them pellets, and then leftovers from whatever my family has eaten (as long as it’s safe, of course).
Spangled hamburgs are super cute! I would always provide a quality chicken grit along with pellets. Some forgo offering when they feed layer pellets, but I find it best to always provide quality chicken grit. Chickens have an amazing talent at knowing what they need. They will not overeat. I normally keep it in a pan on the ground, I have one chickens who has a disability, but this idea is cool too (image provided). You can also offer chick starter to adult hens when they are molting or when they are regenerating new feathers. It is a bit richer than their standard diet but can give an extra boost. Offer it in addition to their normal pellet, and I would use a separate feeder so it is easier to monitor intake. Some people offer it year round, but I only offer during molts.

OIP (6).jpg

Since it is difficult to know which bird or exactly how it is presenting I will provide a few links here. Consider how your bird may fit. Pay special attention to their posture. New Castle for example is very contagious and deadly, it is an unlike possibility, though I will provide for your info.

If the shell is a good thickness and shaped normally that is a good sign. Egg yolk peritonitis can be ruled out.
Egg yolk peritonitis in Chickens

Possible illnesses connected to Pale yolks:

Dietary it can be from a lack of greens in their diet.
It can also be from recent or over use of dewormers.

I hope this helps.
 

BirdWorld

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Spangled hamburgs are super cute! I would always provide a quality chicken grit along with pellets. Some forgo offering when they feed layer pellets, but I find it best to always provide quality chicken grit. Chickens have an amazing talent at knowing what they need. They will not overeat. I normally keep it in a pan on the ground, I have one chickens who has a disability, but this idea is cool too (image provided). You can also offer chick starter to adult hens when they are molting or when they are regenerating new feathers. It is a bit richer than their standard diet but can give an extra boost. Offer it in addition to their normal pellet, and I would use a separate feeder so it is easier to monitor intake. Some people offer it year round, but I only offer during molts.

View attachment 347802

Since it is difficult to know which bird or exactly how it is presenting I will provide a few links here. Consider how your bird may fit. Pay special attention to their posture. New Castle for example is very contagious and deadly, it is an unlike possibility, though I will provide for your info.

If the shell is a good thickness and shaped normally that is a good sign. Egg yolk peritonitis can be ruled out.
Egg yolk peritonitis in Chickens

Possible illnesses connected to Pale yolks:

Dietary it can be from a lack of greens in their diet.
It can also be from recent or over use of dewormers.

I hope this helps.
So I have done some other research too, could it be because of lack of protein? And they seem to be acting normal, but here it is getting very hot and I can’t see how change in temperature would affect eggs but...? The three sicknesses you linked are pretty much ruled out, although it isn’t exactly easy to tell if a chicken is depressed. However they are acting normal, possibly a bit more hungry than usual but it’s hard to tell. I can try giving more greens to see if this smooths out. Also, just out of curiosity, if they had one of the sicknesses above, would it still be safe for humans to eat the eggs? Sorry if that’s a stupid question.
 

fashionfobie

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Temperature can definitely cause pale yolk. It is winter where I live so I didn't even think of that. Chickens are very sensitive to extreme heat, causing stress, which can lead to discolouration.

Ensure she has plenty of shade and try offering an open water dish. Keep their normal water too. My girls dunk their wattles into cool water when they are hot. It can get 40+C here sometimes. Another idea is you can have a tub of dirt that you can place in a garage or somewhere cool. During the hot point move the tub to their enclosure and they can rest on the the chilled dirt. Maybe a small kids pool, or something. Move the dirt back to the chiller area at night and repeat. My last heat assisting solution is feeding cold fruits during the hot point. Refrigerated or frozen watermelon for example.

Pale yolk should be ok to eat, but do what you are comfortable with :)

I hope these ideas help.
 

BirdWorld

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Temperature can definitely cause pale yolk. It is winter where I live so I didn't even think of that. Chickens are very sensitive to extreme heat, causing stress, which can lead to discolouration.

Ensure she has plenty of shade and try offering an open water dish. Keep their normal water too. My girls dunk their wattles into cool water when they are hot. It can get 40+C here sometimes. Another idea is you can have a tub of dirt that you can place in a garage or somewhere cool. During the hot point move the tub to their enclosure and they can rest on the the chilled dirt. Maybe a small kids pool, or something. Move the dirt back to the chiller area at night and repeat. My last heat assisting solution is feeding cold fruits during the hot point. Refrigerated or frozen watermelon for example.

Pale yolk should be ok to eat, but do what you are comfortable with :)

I hope these ideas help.
Thanks, that helps a lot. Although my chickens do sunbathe often and I can’t see why they’d do that if they were hot. It is quite a funny sight though, to see them lying in the grass with their wings spread out, they’re just kind of chilling and it’s adorable :roflmao:
 

fashionfobie

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Thanks, that helps a lot. Although my chickens do sunbathe often and I can’t see why they’d do that if they were hot. It is quite a funny sight though, to see them lying in the grass with their wings spread out, they’re just kind of chilling and it’s adorable :roflmao:
That is body language of a hot chicken. They open their wings and try to press as much of themselves as possible toward the ground.

What kind of flooring to you use? Dirt, gravel, deep litter, something else?
 

fashionfobie

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Plymouth Rocks are cold hardy. They can handle amazingly chilly temps. At the same time they really struggle with heat. They are so beautiful! I had a rooster Plymouth for a short while but he joined a breeding program. Handsome boy.
 

BirdWorld

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That is body language of a hot chicken. They open their wings and try to press as much of themselves as possible toward the ground.
Wow that’s interesting, i never would’ve thought of it :facepalm: but why would they lie down in the sun? Kind of counterproductive don’t you think?
What kind of flooring to you use? Dirt, gravel, deep litter, something else?
Their run has dirt.
 

fashionfobie

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Wow that’s interesting, i never would’ve thought of it :facepalm: but why would they lie down in the sun? Kind of counterproductive don’t you think?

Their run has dirt.
Yeah they should move their littleness into the shade! Come on ladies! :rolleyes:

A dirt run is fantastic.

Ok so from what I understand without seeing the shading or overall set up, it seems like you are doing the right things. So I will just make a list of heat preventative options and you can try and implement as many as you can.

  1. Keep waterer full. -Fresh and clean.
  2. Add an additional open dish water source so they have the option to dip the wattles if they so choose. There is some evidence that chickens use wattles to regular body temperature in addition to their social uses.
  3. Provide more shading, maybe shade cloth over some areas or add some potted shrubs that they can relax under.
  4. Set up a chilled dirt bath that you can give them access to during the hottest point.
  5. Offer frozen or chilled fruits snakes. Watermelon is a good option since it also has a lot of water content.
  6. At the hottest point in the day put ice in their waterer and open water dish.
  7. Discourage overly exciting activities.
  8. Feed their standard diet very early in the day so they can rest midday.
 

BirdWorld

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Yeah they should move their littleness into the shade! Come on ladies! :rolleyes:

A dirt run is fantastic.

Ok so from what I understand without seeing the shading or overall set up, it seems like you are doing the right things. So I will just make a list of heat preventative options and you can try and implement as many as you can.

  1. Keep waterer full. -Fresh and clean.
  2. Add an additional open dish water source so they have the option to dip the wattles if they so choose. There is some evidence that chickens use wattles to regular body temperature in addition to their social uses.
  3. Provide more shading, maybe shade cloth over some areas or add some potted shrubs that they can relax under.
  4. Set up a chilled dirt bath that you can give them access to during the hottest point.
  5. Offer frozen or chilled fruits snakes. Watermelon is a good option since it also has a lot of water content.
  6. At the hottest point in the day put ice in their waterer and open water dish.
  7. Discourage overly exciting activities.
  8. Feed their standard diet very early in the day so they can rest midday.
The roof of the run has netting, I’ll take a picture of the setup when I get a chance, and because it is in the woods sort of, leaves pile on top of the run in some parts, that should be enough shade. And what counts as “overly exiting”? I suppose I should stop the kids from making them run around by throwing seeds for them to eat... somehow they find that exceedingly amusing. The kids, that is. Not the chickens. And I assume you meant ‘chilled fruits shakes’, not ‘chilled fruits snakes’? :)
 

BirdWorld

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Here is a picture of their run that I took from their morning feeding: 94A19DF9-314A-4F01-B177-37CD7B690A31.jpeg
And the inside:
AFD0ECAC-7193-4EC7-906F-C325AB64745A.jpeg
And here’s a bonus pic of the hens:
FDA5D1EE-361F-4812-9161-A03782D851F5.jpeg
And I forgot to add that only half of their run is dirt, the other half is wood chips :) Kiki and Koko are the hens in the front, in the back are Cinnamon and Ginger.
 
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fashionfobie

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Awe that is beautiful! They live under trees. My girls live under mango tree.

You Plymouth Rock shows some sign of heat stress. Notice how her crown is smaller and not as vivid. When they are really stressed their crown can even flop over. You set up is in a great spot. Hopefully some of the other tips will help her find comfort until the temp starts dropping.
:bliss:
 

fashionfobie

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It is so gloomy this morning. This is my enclosure.

IMG_20200731_063545.jpg

T-Rex (black) Luna (lunar dust grey) Starlight (scoliosis ancona).

I love my girls.
IMG_20200731_063514.jpg

I need to update some enrichment toys. Lol! Everything looks so dead. Though they love the log. They sit in a row on it midday.
MVIMG_20200731_064041.jpg
 
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