Sick chickie


In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 14, 2013
Bloomington, IN
Our Sesame is definitely sick, I just can't tell her ailment. This is our first 'flock' (4) and we're total noobs.

Info on her:

Buff Orp
Purchased from Orschens
17-18 weeks
Not laying


Pale wattles and comb
Unsteady of her feet at times
Lethargic (easy to catch, unlike the other girls)
I've picked her up and her keel bone is prominent
Doesn't like to jump up to roosts
Sitting a lot

She doesn't seem to be eating well. I've done a fine job in scaring myself by doing some online reading of the horrors others have gone through. I'm just hoping you folks might be able to point me in the right direction as the avian vet isn't available til next Monday and we don't have the requisite scratch for an office visit anyway.

Any suggestions, sages of the coop and run?
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She could just be hot, hungry and / or coming into lay. Buff Orps are known for being easily bullied. You could separate her once or twice a day and give a nutritious snack. Just some feed moistened with a little yogurt or buttermilk would help. Give her what she will eat in 20 minutes or so, then toss the rest andput her back. If she is at the bottom of the pecking order, she may not be getting enough to eat. Buff Orps are known for being easily bullied.

It could be something much more serious, of course. This is just something to try.

If you haven't be sure to check them for lice / mites, and treat if necessary, with Sevin 5% garden dust or an alternate:
Thank you very much for the quick response. I greatly appreciate it.

I haven't done an up close and personal examination yet but will in a bit.

For bullying, that may be part of it. Starting out she was the biggest, now she seems to be falling behind in overall stature (she's on par with our Salmon Faverolle who was smallest at week 2-3).

The thing that's got my worrywart tingling is the inability to keep herself steady. She steps on her own toes some and falls back or to the side. Not with every step but she's acting less than spry about most things.

Am I over doing it? Or is it serious?

Also, would warm, moist scrambled egg be ok? No yoghurt or buttermilk on hand. I'm guessing those suggestions were for probiotic reasons?

A million thanks,

Mr. Tattoohead
Ya know, the other three are all hale and healthy. They're flapping through the air and dashing about when we let them free range. It's making more and more sense that it's likely bullying... This is why they pay you the big bucks, right? ;)
Fed scrambled egg, soft mash, and yogurt. She ate about 2/3rds of a tablespoon earnestly but couldn't interest her in more.

She pooped. About 1/2 tablespoon. Picture here:


She returned to the other ladies and sat down. When sitting she seems to rest on her 'knees' and curl her toes (don't know if that's normal, doesn't seem so). Picture here:


I'll keep an eye and feed the same tonight. I wish I knew what was wrong, that's all.

Thank you for your time. If it turns out to not be an emergency, my profound apologies.

Mr Tattoohead
Don't worry about whether it's an emergency. We don't know, either! I don't like that she is unsteady. I hope it doesn't turn out to be serious and something you can't fix.

You could check her crop first thing in the morning to see if it empties overnight as it should.
I did do that this morning as I thought it was impacted or sour but I couldn't find a 'squishy balloon' in her neck/chest area. In fact, she felt very thin in through there.

Did check around her vent, up close and personal, and did not see any mites/ticks/unholy abominations...

We are always present when we let them out to forage. Just kind of at a loss. Making up a fresh batch of gruel and watching her more...

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