1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Hen's Comb is dark purple, trouble breathing?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jeffiebean, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. jeffiebean

    jeffiebean New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Mar 10, 2011
    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: Mar 10, 2011
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    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
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    68,561
    4,405
    651
    Oct 3, 2009
    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 [​IMG]
     
  4. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

    2,716
    13
    181
    Jan 24, 2010
    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.
     
  5. jeffiebean

    jeffiebean New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Mar 10, 2011
    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
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I'm sorry you lost her. There are so many things that could make her comb go purple, so many things that stress the organs badly.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    68,561
    4,405
    651
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    so sorry to you both [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

    2,716
    13
    181
    Jan 24, 2010
    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?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by