2 Year Old Buff Orpington Sick - I don't know what's wrong

jennkretz

Songster
Apr 24, 2017
65
32
101
Lake Orion, MI
In the last few weeks my 2 year old Buff Orpington hen has had a droopy, purplish comb. She's been eating well and getting around find, so I haven't worried about it.

But the last 3-4 days she's not going into the coop at night (she has to jump up) so we've been picking her up and putting her in. Well, last night my husband found an egg on the floor of the run, and this am when he went to let them out, she wouldn't hop down.

I am fairly new to keeping chickens - I don't want her hurt or suffering, but I don't know what to look for/do.

Any advise would be SUPER appreciated. Thank you in advance!
Jenn and Buff Orpington Lady
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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In the last few weeks my 2 year old Buff Orpington hen has had a droopy, purplish comb. She's been eating well and getting around find, so I haven't worried about it.

But the last 3-4 days she's not going into the coop at night (she has to jump up) so we've been picking her up and putting her in. Well, last night my husband found an egg on the floor of the run, and this am when he went to let them out, she wouldn't hop down.

I am fairly new to keeping chickens - I don't want her hurt or suffering, but I don't know what to look for/do.

Any advise would be SUPER appreciated. Thank you in advance!
Jenn and Buff Orpington Lady
Do you have any photos of her?
What does her poop look like?
Was the egg that was found in the run hers, was the egg normal or soft shelled?
Has she been laying regularly?
Notice if she's starting to molt?
Any lice/mites?
Crop empty in the morning before she eats/drinks?
I would feel her abdomen for any swelling, bloat or fluid. With the comb darkening/turning purple, drooping and her not wanting to jump up or down - she may be having some reproductive problems. Egg yolk peritonitis, cancer, Salpingitis and internal laying can be fairly common in laying hens. A comb that is turning purple can be from poor circulation, fluid in the abdomen (Ascites) and/or major organs not functioning properly. (can be a combination of things)

With mine, if it's clear to me that they have a reproductive problem -I do examine them often to make sure there's no lice/mites, I monitor the crop to make sure it empties (crop issues often accompany reproductive problems), sometimes I may worm them too -depends on the poop (or you can get a fecal float).
I will take one off the roost each morning if necessary and if she's mostly active/eating/drinking and bright within herself - I just enjoy her until she begins to drastically decline.

If there is fluid in the abdomen - draining is an option too and can make them more comfortable for a while. It's not a cure. You do risk introducing bacterial into the abdomen.
 

jennkretz

Songster
Apr 24, 2017
65
32
101
Lake Orion, MI
Do you have any photos of her?
What does her poop look like?
Was the egg that was found in the run hers, was the egg normal or soft shelled?
Has she been laying regularly?
Notice if she's starting to molt?
Any lice/mites?
Crop empty in the morning before she eats/drinks?
I would feel her abdomen for any swelling, bloat or fluid. With the comb darkening/turning purple, drooping and her not wanting to jump up or down - she may be having some reproductive problems. Egg yolk peritonitis, cancer, Salpingitis and internal laying can be fairly common in laying hens. A comb that is turning purple can be from poor circulation, fluid in the abdomen (Ascites) and/or major organs not functioning properly. (can be a combination of things)

With mine, if it's clear to me that they have a reproductive problem -I do examine them often to make sure there's no lice/mites, I monitor the crop to make sure it empties (crop issues often accompany reproductive problems), sometimes I may worm them too -depends on the poop (or you can get a fecal float).
I will take one off the roost each morning if necessary and if she's mostly active/eating/drinking and bright within herself - I just enjoy her until she begins to drastically decline.

If there is fluid in the abdomen - draining is an option too and can make them more comfortable for a while. It's not a cure. You do risk introducing bacterial into the abdomen.

Thank you so much! Would I be able to feel fluid? I'm a vet assistant and good with cats/dogs for the most part... But new to chickens.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
39,637
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1,342
Southern N.C. Mountains
Thank you so much! Would I be able to feel fluid? I'm a vet assistant and good with cats/dogs for the most part... But new to chickens.
You should be able to - feel her abdomen between the legs below the vent. Fluid feels tight. Something like EYP or a mass is hard - or that's what I have noticed. Depending on the color of her skin and the color of fluid, you may be able to see pockets of fluid if you turn her - I don't normally but mine on their back when they have reproductive problems since it seems to make it difficult for them to breath (some people do though). If she does have swelling of any sort, when picking her up, support that with your hand - I know that sounds odd, but I currently have one right now that has reproductive issues - she's gone into molt, so that has actually made things better (most hens stop ovulating during molt). Her abdomen is less swollen right now, but it still seems to stress her being picked up unless I support her bottom -and yes...she gets taken off the roost everyday :)
 

jennkretz

Songster
Apr 24, 2017
65
32
101
Lake Orion, MI
20190926_192939.jpg
20190926_192933.jpg
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
39,637
56,624
1,342
Southern N.C. Mountains

Theres a video of her breathing kind of weird after i stressed her out by touching her everywhere. But it won't let me upload :-/
For video, upload to youtube and provide a link. The BYC upload doesn't work.

Her stance in the photo below - she's not feeling too well. Does she lay hard shelled eggs?
I would also check her crop first thing in the morning before she eats/drinks to make sure it's empty.

upload_2019-9-26_22-18-22.png
 

jennkretz

Songster
Apr 24, 2017
65
32
101
Lake Orion, MI
UPDATE: Checked her vent internally, didn't feel anything odd, eyes and nose clear, getting around a bit better, didn't notice mites - but she is losing weight.

I noticed her yellow sister picking on her (puffing up, stepping towards her, pecking her comb) so I separated this one for a bit. I put her in a dog crate with food, water, and cat food (vet recommended it for the extra protein). She ate small/moderate amounts and drank small/moderate amounts. Defecated a little less that I was expecting. Kept her apart for two days then put her back.

The bully has been acting rooster-like and giving the others a hard time at times, and also has not been going inside to roost at night. The last few nights we've had to put her in manually, and close the door.

I know this is a lot of all over facts/observations/etc but if anyone has any more ideas/thoughts/suggestions on the little chicken - or how to combat chicken "bullying" that would be much appreciated!

Thank you in advance!
Jenn and Little Yellow
 

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