Lethargic Buff Orph, with floppy comb

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kaworunagisa, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. kaworunagisa

    kaworunagisa New Egg

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Hello all...well I'll get straight to it. I've got a 9 month old buff orphington who is lethargic and more aggressive than usual. She has refused to come out of her nest box under her own power, and will only eat if she is picked up and sat down next to the food and water dispensers. She eat some and drank a larger than normal amount of water this afternoon.

    Unfortunately, she is being attacked by some of the other more dominant chickens whenever she goes outside the nest box. Today I put food and water outside and forced all of the chickens outside so she could eat and drink by herself with only one of the other chickens for company. They got along fine.

    Her comb is collapsed on top of her head, rather than standing straight up as with healthy birds. She also has cracking, dry skin with some scabs on it, although I belive this is because of the extremely cold temperatures we've been having this year (as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit at night). The floppy comb is unusual though. Also, the comb is pink, rather than the bright red of the others.

    The feces appears normal. No diarrhea.

    How worried should I be? At first I thought she was broody, but there are no eggs under her and she hasn't left the nest box in 3 days. None of the other hens appear to be like this. They are all Buff Orphs and Black Austrolorpes. All are 9 months old from the same batch.
     
  2. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    She sounds broody. She doesn't need eggs to go broody, but they will certainly make her happier in the long run. [​IMG] Being that she appears a bit lethargic and getting a floppy comb, she may be starving out a bit. I would suggest trying to break her broodiness. Keep getting her off the nest to ensure she gets well nourished and drinks enough. You'll have to be persistent (more persistent than her). Some folks lock them up in a cage to break them and this does work well if they don't have somewhere cozy to snuggle up that seems like a nest. Keep us posted if any new symptoms arise.
     
  3. kaworunagisa

    kaworunagisa New Egg

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Thank you for the prompt reply! [​IMG]

    A part of me suspected that, but none of my birds, even when broody ever have been this...uhh...persistent. It had me worried. I'll definitely update with status if it improves or gets better.

    Being as she has only eaten a tiny amount over the last few days, is there any way to encourage her to eat?
     
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Keep moving her outside her nesting area. It seems every time I move my broodies, they take time to eat/drink/poop before returning to the nest. If you do it several times a day, it should help to improve her strength. Also, keep in mind that broodies are more prone to bug infestation (so check her over and dust if necessary) because they aren't taking time to dust themselves.
     
  5. kaworunagisa

    kaworunagisa New Egg

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Thank you for the info. She's behaving a bit more normally now. She also took a dust bath today too, so that's not such a problem. How long does it take to make them stop being so broody?
     
  6. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Well, some never really get over being broodyish. I have walking broodies year round sometimes. The key is to keep them moving, eating and such. Especially for those stubborn girls. I'm glad to hear she's doing better and enjoying a dust bath. That is encouraging.
     

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