Something is wrong with Ginny the chicken.
She's been listless, lately - sitting around the coop, rather than up and pecking and busy. She has a limp that has worsened in the last three days. She seems to hop rather than walk, and her wing on that side is also acting a little funny.
Her comb and wattle look nice and bright; she's drinking and eating; but she hasn't laid an egg in a long time. And two days ago, her bum looked like this:
Suspecting that she might be egg-bound, I soaked her bum in warm water for a time, then massaged her vent (yes, this means what you think it means - Ginny and I are now very, very close) with olive oil, and palpated her abdomen. I couldn't feel any hard egg in there, needing to come out, but I did all this nonetheless. At least now she has a clean, shiny bum.
She is not managing the climb up to the hen house each night or down each morning; I have to lift her in and out, and I put her in the nesting box to sleep as she cannot seem to roost. The nesting box is clean in the morning - no poop - which is concerning, but I have witnessed her pooping as soon as I put her down near the food and water each morning.
No egg has been produced.
I have inspected her foot and wing thoroughly but see no cuts, abrasions, broken bones, or weird skin issues.
I wrote to the UCANR chicken expert who visited our house last summer, and he also thinks it might be that she's egg-bound. Today I will do the warm water soak and olive oil thing again, in the hopes that Ginny will perk up and lay an egg. I imagine she is in pain, which troubles me terribly. I thought I'd throw it out to you guys, since I know some of you are chicken-keepers. Any ideas?