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Buff Orpington Runs Weird, Skittish, Late to Lay Eggs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SpecialChicken, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. SpecialChicken

    SpecialChicken Hatching

    Sep 15, 2014
    We have nine free-range chickens (two are Buff Orpingtons). They are approximately 5 1/2 months old and eight of them have been laying eggs for the last month.

    Everyone seems normal except for "Ester". She is a buff orpington that has the following quirks:

    -Constantly moving and turning head as if she can't see things too well

    -Runs with a stagger like she isn't sure when her feet will touch the ground again after she
    lifts them

    -Very skittish until she's caught and being held

    -No eggs, underdeveloped comb

    When she was a chick she often slept alone in the corner of the box we built for them. When we moved her to the coop her head tilted all the way over to one side and she acted dazed and we thought she was badly hurt. Her head was fine but she still has quirks and gets lost and can't find her way back to the coop at night some times.

    Is there anything I can do to help her? I just want to know more so that I can help her now while she's young if I can.

    Thank you!

  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Poor thing. Sounds like she's at the bottom of the pecking order because of her issues. I'm wondering if she might be blind in one eye? She could have had an accident, where she received a blow the head or maybe some damage to her neck....Maybe she's a bit off because of that?

    Separating her isn't good because then every time she goes back with the flock she will be a newbie....Maybe you could just baby her a bit with some nutritious treats, or just make sure she gets some extra food......

    I hope she will be ok,

  3. SpecialChicken

    SpecialChicken Hatching

    Sep 15, 2014
    Thanks chicmom! I did notice yesterday that she got pecked by another hen when she went to eat some of the feed we still leave out for them. She seems to spend half her time around the other chickens and the rest of it by herself.

    The funny thing is, I raised the chickens in my office in a big box we built for them and I never witnessed any trauma, but it is possible she was hurt in the few days after she hatched before we got her.

    Of course I'm wishing there were something simple I could do to cure her but maybe the best I can do is try to herd her towards the other chickens when she's alone. Maybe that way she'll be more of a part of the group.

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