My Buff Orpington seems sick, I need advice!

Ms Buff Orpington

10 Years
Nov 8, 2009
We were on a 3 week vacation and had someone come in once a day to feed, collect eggs and clean the coop. Our 4 hens (2 Americanas, 1 Rhode Island Red and 1 Buff Orpington) were very healthy when we left but were used to a lot more attention as we ordinarily spend a lot of time outside with them.
When we returned last Monday, 8/22/11, one of the Americanas was dead in the coop, with no sign of an attack or illness.
Since then, the Buff Orpington (Buffy), who used to be a reliable layer hasn't laid a single egg and her personality is completely changed. She's listless, doesn't run to meet us when we come out, has very little appetite, seems smaller and her comb is not as bright a pink or standing up like it did. She makes little crying sounds which I haven't heard before.
Her eyes are clear, she's breathing normally, there are no lumps in her chest although her breast bone is quite prominent and she isn't egg bound.
Hope someone can help!
I'm sorry for your loss. When you returned and saw the dead bird, did you notice if there were plenty of feed and water for them? Was the coop cleaned, eggs collected? It almost sounds like they were left alone and didnt have anyone to provide them the feed to eat or water to drink, hence Buffy's prominent breast bone...but I'm only guessing and probably dead wrong. Something traumatic happened and your remaining birds are still in shock, very stressed obviously and will not lay until you get things back to normal with them and they will lay eggs in due time.
Its been so hot here , not sure what your weather has been like, were they allowed out of the coop for fresh air or did they have to stay in the coop the whole time? I am so sorry for your loss and I hope the other girls get better soon.
Maybe they are dehydrated . I had a guy looking after my goats while I was gone, he didn't bother to give them water. Mind you, it never rained the whole time we were gone. The goats would all be dead, but my neighbor was minding the chickens and noticed that he had not watered them after a week!
i mean, what part of you are looking after the goats does he not get? The guy has livestock, he ought to know better . Hens will stop laying after stress, and lack of water will do it fast. Give them a boost with water, electrolytes and treats like cooked egg. They should perk up.
Thank you for your responses.
I don't think it was very hot when we were gone and I think the woman who came by provided feed and water although she told me there were two days when she didn't come.
I know that the eggs were collected.
The girls are outside all day because we have an automatic door that opens in the morning and closes at sunset. They always prefer to be out except to sleep.

Buffy does seem stressed for sure. I will try and get her Electrolytes tomorrow and hope that will help. I will let you know what happens.
Thanks for asking. Her feathers are not ruffled but her droppings are watery.
I'm going to try and get the Durvet today when the feed stores open.
Her personality is so different. We used to laugh at how she always had to be the first to run up and always tried to get the most treats. I just went out back and the other two ran up to greet me but she just stood there.
I bought the Durvet Electrolytes & Vitamins and put it in a bowl next to their plain water bowl. I give her as much as I can with an eyedropper once a day. How long should I be giving them Durvet? I'm assuming it's OK for the other two chickens who are fine.
She seems a little better, no real appetite but eating a little more and she still doesn't come to greet us like she used to.
If I tried to accurately describe her I would say she seems depressed. Is this possible?

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