Hen's Comb is dark purple, trouble breathing?

jeffiebean

Hatching
8 Years
Mar 10, 2011
3
0
7
Hello,

One of my Barred Plymouth Rocks (Age 9 months) is clearly in distress today. When I went out to the coop first thing this morning, I noticed 1 hen was making some quiet croaking type noises, stretching out her neck and generally keeping her beak open/breathing funny. Then I noticed that her comb was much darker than all the other birds (I have 16, of 6 different breeds). The entire comb is a purple color, unlike frost bite.

She isn't interested in eating or drinking. I put out some treats for all the other birds and she didn't even come over to check it out.

Not knowing what her issue is, I immediately brought her into the house in a pet carrier and gave her food and water, but she still shows no sign of eating or drinking. No poop yet either.

Basically, it seems like she is having trouble breathing. I don't really see anything wrong other than the dark comb and behavior change, but don't know what to look for really.

I am in upstate NY, and there has been a lot of snow, rain, melting, weather change lately, so maybe she caught a cold? If so, what do I do?

All the other hens seem perfectly fine.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

thanks!
 
Last edited:

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,247
13,902
1,236
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Has she been laying? Purple comb means her heart is under duress. If she has egg peritonitis or is laying internally, that puts tremendous strain on all her organs. Could be many things, but there isn't much you can do other than keep her warm and away from any stress. My hens who die from internal laying often develop those purple combs, especially if their abdomens are full of fluid, pressing on their lungs and heart, etc.

This thread may be helpful to you. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=362422
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
116,725
137,404
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
I really don't have anything else to offer except to say hope you can figure it out and I will be thinking about you and your hen today and
welcome-byc.gif
 

tnchickenut

It's all about the Dels!
9 Years
10 Years
Jan 24, 2010
2,716
33
181
Englewood, TN
Are there no other sypmtoms? Swelling of the face (in ANY of the others too)? Staggered walk? Lack of appitite (as in for awhile)? "Yawning" out of any of them? Sneezing? Wheezing especially when asleep?

I would start on Tylan to cover most respitory issues and keep a eye on everyone closely for these things I mentioned. Most respitory issues will cause a purple comb (usually right when they are going to go) because the come is red from bloodflow to he tissue. A lack of oxygen OR a lack of blood will cause it to go purple.

There are MANY respitory issues and most are very highly contagious... as in even the walls and bedding and perches and dirt can carry it. Tylan usually TREATS most of these... does not cure. To learn more I highly recommend checking out this site and bookmarking it: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/6/Diseases_Of_Poultry

VERY helpful with pictures and all. Good luck... I'd watch everyone in the flock, though, for sure. You might choose to put them down if they do show signs... depending on what the issue looks to get narrowed down to....

Also, it's the wrong time of year, but for future lurkers... mites and fleas and ticks can make a comb go purple for the same reasons... lack of oxygen in the blood or lack of blood to the tissue.
 

jeffiebean

Hatching
8 Years
Mar 10, 2011
3
0
7
Sure enough...too late, she died.

Thanks for all the tips and links, and I will be watching the rest of them for sure!

All the birds have been laying for sometime now. I wasn't aware of internal laying.

Now that I think of it, the past 2 days there was 1 hen that was making a kind of squeaking sound. Must have been this hen. My wife and I are new to all this, so all your tips and links are very helpful as we try to figure out what happened!

thanks,
Jeff
 

tnchickenut

It's all about the Dels!
9 Years
10 Years
Jan 24, 2010
2,716
33
181
Englewood, TN
Sorry to hear it... time to disinfect everything. I PMed you in greater detail, but it's better to be safe than sorry and desinfect everything as best you can and watch the other birds like a hawk.

You are that much better of a chickener now, but it doesn't make the loss any easier to take, does it?
 

Nesi

Chirping
Jun 29, 2017
35
30
79
Red Bank ,TN
I know this is an old post....but...This has happened to my hen. Yesterday we had thunderstorms all day and it was a good 20 degrees colder. The hens all stayed in. Today, Bessie was laying around a bit more than the normal sun bathing so i went to check on her. She was gasping. Her comb is slightly purplish. Her crop felt full. When I went out to get her she pooed....looked like egg yolks, slightly whipped. I have been treating her for impacted crop because her crop felt hard like a golf ball lodged in her throat. No other ladies are showing symptoms. I thought she was going to give us an egg today too bc she kept going in and out of the house. I also had another same age as her lay for the first time today. After reading on here I am terrified it's a number of things from impacted gizzard to internally laying. She is 24 weeks old, wormed, no new birds, no others displaying symptoms. When I massaged her crop she seemed to make more effort in making noise. Her poo has been thickening up some as time goes by and I've noticed long blades of grass in it. Am I going the proper route on treatment?
 

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