Buff Orpington Acting Weird for Weeks, strange behavior

JPyers

Chirping
May 14, 2018
30
39
79
Vallejo, California
Hey everyone,

I have a 2 year old Buff Orpington hen, BokBokChoy, who has been acting very strange the past 3-4 weeks. I noticed one day, her tail was down and she wasn't moving much. I immediately brought her in as she was displaying signs of being egg bound. I made up a comfy crate for her in the house for 3 days, gave warm epsom salt bathes as much as I could, and of course food and water. She was eating, drinking, pooping all normal. I was worried there was still an egg up there, checked for that and couldn't feel one.

I could feel she was pretty upset being without her other ladies, so I put her back outside in the coop. She is still acting funny and tail down, maybe a little skinny, but eating and drinking normally...she's even keeping her place in the pecking order. She will puff up a bit and then calm back down.

Here's a video I posted of her just waddling around the coop this morning:

Any help would be appreciated as I am wracking my brain trying to figure out what's wrong with her. I have felt her whole body, nothing seems like it is swollen, but she is not her fun, crazy self she was before. Thanks in advance!

-Jordan
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
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Mar 5, 2019
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Hi, Jordan. Do you think your Bok Bok may be trying to go broody? That's the only thing that comes to my mind from watching your video, as she does not look particularly uncomfortable, in pain, or sick to me. That dropped tail is concerning, however, as it is often a sign of a retained egg, which you say she does not have. I never really noticed, when my BO's went broody, if their tails went down. Let's tag a couple of experts and see what they think in the morning, okay?
@aart
@Eggcessive
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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Sounds like you've checked everything I would check.
Her belly, from below vent to between legs, isn't swollen?
Is she molting?

Might help to know.....
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
1608036542694.png
 

JPyers

Chirping
May 14, 2018
30
39
79
Vallejo, California
Sounds like you've checked everything I would check.
Her belly, from below vent to between legs, isn't swollen?
Is she molting?

Might help to know.....
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
View attachment 2450214

This is great, just added! We are located North of Oakland in California. I would say this all started after she completely molted. If she was egg bound, wouldn't she be extremely sick by now?

I was curious if the cold weather had anything to do with it. It never has happened in the past though.

Thanks!
Jordan
 

JPyers

Chirping
May 14, 2018
30
39
79
Vallejo, California
Hi, Jordan. Do you think your Bok Bok may be trying to go broody? That's the only thing that comes to my mind from watching your video, as she does not look particularly uncomfortable, in pain, or sick to me. That dropped tail is concerning, however, as it is often a sign of a retained egg, which you say she does not have. I never really noticed, when my BO's went broody, if their tails went down. Let's tag a couple of experts and see what they think in the morning, okay?
@aart
@Eggcessive

@BigBlueHen53 Thanks so much for your response! She has never gone broody before, just the Cochin I have (and man, she is a mean broody hen! haha). As mentioned above, I would say this happened after she and the other hens molted, grew back feathers, and then the weird behavior started.

Thanks again,
Jordan
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Premium Feather Member
Mar 5, 2019
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SE Missouri, USA
Yeah, after this long, if she were eggbound, I would think she'd be very sick or dead, but when it comes to sick birds I'm very much still in the learning stages. I have a pretty good idea what questions to ask, but I have few, if any, answers. Let's see what @Wyorp Rock thinks.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,701
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
had that thought too and did a full sweep! Couldn't see anything weird...
Like this?

Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?

Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.


Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.

Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).

Good post about mite ID by Lady McCamley:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/my-chicken-has-mites-now-what.1273674/page-2#post-20483008

Also....
Her belly, from below vent to between legs, isn't swollen?
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
She may be having some difficulties coming back into lay after molt. It won't hurt to give her calcium for a couple of days along with a direct dose of poultry vitamins.

I would also make sure her crop is emptying overnight.

She looks uncomfortable to me.
 

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