I have a 5 month old buff orpington probably weeks away from laying her first egg, and two days ago she suddenly turned lethargic and began isolating herself. She used to be the bravest and spunkiest of the bunch, so I knew when something was up. I isolated her from the rest of the hens this morning and am keeping her in my house under a heat lamp, food and water close by. She has began a quick panting, has droopy wings and seems weak on her feet although she is still quite heavy - she prefers to lay down. I don't detect any crop problems, but do notice she's a bit heavy in the back side and does not appreciate any poking or prodding down there. All in all she is quite disoriented and likes to face walls. I am only a second-time chicken owner, and am wondering if it could be an egg-related affliction - I've heard of eggs getting stuck. Should there be something I am feeling for? I have started her on antibiotics this afternoon and plan to continue a daily dosage as a preventative measure. I also began force feeding her some Kaytee formula since I haven't noticed her eating anything.
Shortly after feeding her the antibiotics, she dropped a small, watery brown poop that looked to have the antibiotics in it (yellow powdery liquid) - so it looks like she pooped it out as soon as I gave it to her. Otherwise, there is no caking of poop around her butt.
Just before this happened we did have a bit of rainy, cold weather, so I wondered if it could perhaps be a cold or something along those lines.
What can be done?? I just lost another buff hen to a mysterious ailment after she got her leg injured, and I am determined to figure out what's going on before the rest of my flock falls ill. Please reply!