I hope you aren't all groaning, because here I go again about a sick chicken!
Here's what I found out when I brought her in for a really good look:
first off, she was looking healthy! (never mind the eye in the pic). red comb, active, laying.
she was surprisingly heavy when I picked her up, but maybe that is because Goldie is a light weight and other than taking care of her this past month, I really don't handle my chickens that often.
Brought her in, put her on the towel to examine her and hells bells! there were so many reddish brown mites on her vent - never seen that!
Worse, her belly/vent area is swollen with fluid which might be why she was so heavy, and she has bite marks where the beasties have been feasting on her:
you can see her vent in the upper center, and see how her belly bulges out? the mite bite marks are the dots to the right. She has a patch just like that to the left.
Here are the bites after she was dry and fluffy:
she isn't standing, but can use both wings. When I pushed her foot up towards her body on her bum leg she flinches. Doesn't clutch your finger with toes on the bad leg. Lists to Has a bad bad mite infestation. Good appetite. Normal droppings. Fluid filled belly. No sign of an egg. I don't think she is egg bound.
What the heck is going on? She could have ascites, but that should mean she can't stand at all. She can't even stand up with one leg. Does she have three things at once (ascites, mites, plus something)? Or is the swollen belly related to not standing?
She is in the broody cage. I dusted her with flower dust.
I grabbed the other BO who is 2, and did not see any sign of mites, but she had a messy belly with mud plastered feathers so i gave her a bath.
Do you know how long it takes to blow dry buff orpingtons? way way too long.
Went back to the coop, grabbed a couple of chickens, no sign of mites. Dusted them anyway. Grabbed another chicken, this is one of the sick buff's flock mates that I got this fall, a group of 6. She had mites too! dusted her.
So, out of 25 chickens, 2 from the new group have mites, 3 from the old flock do not, and there are 20 more chickens to catch and examine and dust. I'm already wiped otu!
I'm going to wait til they roost and get them all examined and dusted. Not looking forward to it!
I am wondering if that group of 5 came with mites - I did a cursory check but clearly not enough and they have been here about 2 months.