I had a 2+ yr old buff orpington named Randy (or sometimes Randall) who was showing signs of illness recently. She was puffed up and just not looking right. I took her in a few times but she wanted outside. Yesterday she was still outside with the rest until I noticed her walking in circles to her left. My friend who is a vet came and looked at her and gave her antibiotics and some steroids to see if it would help. Well, after day 2 of the meds, her neck looked worse than ever and she stopped eating and drinking. Her face and eyes looked alarmed. It was very strange. She turned on me this morning and bit me really hard on my chest and then ran away like a pred was after her. When I went to check on her in the basement, she was out of her box squawking like a mad hen and running and flying into everything. Not good. She had bruises on her comb from where she banged her head. Her comb was good in color, crop felt ok, but her comb started to fall to one side and looked purplish on the very ends. She was my one hen with spurs and a bigger comb and wattles than the rest, hence her name. I decided to have her put down and I had her sent to Cornell University to see if they can figure out what went wrong. I can't stop crying over losing her. It is so very hard to let go but I know I did the right thing and ended her suffering as quickly as I dared. What an awful day, I know it's part of life and part of keeping animals but it really stinks!!!!!!!!!!!! She used to make this really funny noise that kinda sounded like a little jingle. Bahm buuuh dum bump. Randy, I hope you are in a better place. I am looking into the possibility of lead poisoning, just because many of her symptoms mimicked what I've read about it. If she comes back with any strange results, I am going to have my soil checked. The old man that lived here for a long time used to dispose of his garbage in the yard. It wouldn't be hard to believe he got rid of more toxic substances back there too, UGH! And I try very hard to be as natural as possible in my approach to gardening and keeping my hens. Imagine if I was wasting my time all this time with lead in my soil?