Not sure what's happening here...


In the Brooder
Oct 2, 2018
I have 5 Buff Orppingtons. One has been very lethargic, never really getting up out of her laying box unless I physically move her. Her feathers are fluffed up like she's freezing, her comb is much paler than the others and she smells like she's rotting. I was able to get her out in the pen today and she was weirdly scratching her feet around while she was pretty wobbly. I have no idea what might be wrong. The other wierd thing is that the egg production of the others has seriously dropped off even though they have none of the same symptoms. I have attached a couple of pictures.


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Idk, but my chickens has symptoms a little like that, but not fluffed up all the time, and no smell, he died today
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How long has this been going on?
Does she seem to have any serious issues?
Feel the crop- is it full or hot?
Do they have access to anything that might be toxic?
It's got to be a couple of weeks now but the weird wobbly scratching is very recent. There's nothing new that they've been exposed to that im aware of that might be toxic. I will try and determine where the rot smell is coming from.
Can you tell if the rot smell is coming from her front or back? Please take a good look at her vent. Is it clean and clear? You also need to determine right away if her crop is functioning properly. It should empty overnight.
I will check all of this tonight. Thank you.
Just a wild guess. Could she be broody? The first pic reminds me of the way my hens look when they get the itch to hatch'em some babies. I have 6 hens brooding chicks right now and I've seen three of them scratch around almost violently when they are disturbed or something comes too close to their pens. They also get real pale in the comb and wattles. Also is she making a soft tuk tuk tuk sound as she scratches around and beats a bee line back to the nest the minute you turn your back? If she does, they congratulations, you got yourself a broody hen! Par for the course concerning buff O's.

The second picture looks like she has been sitting in something nasty. Boody and soiling the nest? Broody poop smells horrendously. First time I encountered it I wondered how a sweet little mother to be could produce such vile smelling poop!

I would check there and make sure she doesn't have fly blow going on also. You may have to bathe her to get to the bottom of it.

Hope it isn't something serious. Hens can go off their laying schedule during hot spells in the weather and or molting. Something to consider also. Mine have all but stopped laying and the coop floor looks like a feather pillow fight has been going on.

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