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Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 30378
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We have a 7 month old cochin, she hasn't started laying yet.

Customer Question

We have a 7 month old white cochin, she hasn't started laying yet. I found her in the coop hunkered down in a spot like she was hiding. I don't see anything weird on her or about her really other than she's lethargic and all puffed up. We brought her into the garage to warm up and gave her some water but she won't drink
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The veterinarian will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name?
Customer: FLuffy
JA: Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about FLuffy?
Customer: no
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  DrMichaelSalkin replied 11 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  DrMichaelSalkin replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Unfortunately, Fluffy's lethargy and fluffing 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. If you have a large flock your best course of action is to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or avian-oriented veterinarian (please see here: for help in arranging a necropsy.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of Fluffy's financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen. It frustrates me that I can't be more specific for you but such is the dilemma of poultry owners and vets alike.

Until an avian vet can take a look at Fluffy, please bring her inside as shown here:

Please respond with additional information. Are there are other symptoms that have arisen - a change in Fluffy's eyes, sneezing, nasal discharge, increased respiratory rate, regurgitation, vomiting, swollen coelom (abdomen), lameness, weakness/paralysis in a limb, wings, or neck, or squatting frequently as if to lay and walking like a penguin?

Expert:  DrMichaelSalkin replied 11 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?