Buttercup struggling to breath


In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 25, 2012
Hello from SLC, we have a mixed flock(light brahma, speckled Sussex, barred rock, wyandotte,Sicilian buttercup marans and andalusian) all hens. It got down to about 27' last night and while our henhouse is insulated it hasn't been heated so far this fall. This afternoon when I let the girls out to roam the buttercup is behaving oddly,she appears to be laboring for breath lifting her whole body with each breath and holding her beak open apparently trying to vocalize without much result, the rest seem to be energetic and healthy. No discharge from the nostrils or sneezing in any of them.
I mention the weather because I've read buttercups aren't very cold hardy and was wondering if anyone had any experience that suggested that these birds are poorly insulated enough that the stress of a week of cooling weather was enough to weaken her.
Just went out to pen the birds for the night and had to pick the buttercup up and put her in the henhouse she didn't even stir when I herded the others out from under their favorite butterfly bush I am pretty sure that's the first time I've even been able to touch her since she was a chick. I laid her in the henhouse and put the heat lamp on her, she has not been the best bird ( very spooky and 3 eggs since they began laying at the beginning of August ) but my wife likes her and I would like to save her but other than getting a syringe and force feeding her wet mash I don't know what I can do.
I am so sorry for your loss. :( I do not have any experience with buttercups or cold weather so I am not sure what happened but I hope someone is able to help you figure it out for the future. I'm sorry.
Sorry for your loss
I'm so sorry to hear about your Buttercup. I have two BCs and a non-insulated coop as well. It has been getting cold here in MT, 10 degrees here last night. It doesn't sound like a reaction to being too cold. It sounds like a respiratory thing. I'm not great at diagnosing, but I highly doubt, considering your other chickens are fine, that it was the cold.

I would suggest giving the rest some vitamins and electrolytes in their water, just in case. Also, does your coop have a strong ammonia smell when you open it in the morning? The coop might need more ventialtion. Chickens can handle cold, but they need alot more ventilation in their coop that you would think. Also, you might want to start using Diatomaceous Earth in the coop, it helps dry out the poop.

Best of luck,
Crazy Wife
The coop is well ventilated and well dusted with d.e. the house itself offers more shelter than the coop.Her comb had been looking lackluster for maybe a month, and she had molted all her neck feathers through August which seemed pretty odd they all hatched in February of this year. She and the Sussex seemed to have conflicts fairly regularly but she never seemed cowed by it . I don't know if any of this might've had something to do with it just observation.
Oh and no ammonia smell they have lots of litter I change it probably every ten weeks or so.

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