Loosing my new Buff Orp~

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On Sunday (today is Tuesday) we went to a local "Trade Days" to purchase some adult chickens to eat our grasshoppers. We keep loosing our purchased babies to domestic predetors. We purchased 3 VERY nice looking Buff Orpingtons, 1 rooster 2 hens (knowing we liked this breed because the last batch of babies we had were Buff Orps). We also purchased 3 brown/white sexlink hens, the lady told us they lay almost every day & out of 14 hens she gets about 13 eggs a day.

So here is the problem, best we could tell all 3 Buffs were healthy & moving around in thier cage when we purchased them (btw $20 for the 3 buffs $18 for the 3 sexlinks). When we got home 1 of the Buff hens seemed to have trouble walking. She would limp to a corner & just sit. After a couple of hours she wasn't showing improvement, and we placed her in a separate cage (with food & water) to keep the rooster off of her.

Yesterday she wanted out of the cage but limped to a corner and laid down in hiding. We placed her back into the separate cage last night, where she was preening & eating. This morning I went to check on her & she was on her back with her neck curled all the way back, while she isn't dead yet she is well on her way (I'm afraid I don't have the strength to 'dispatch' her without causing more suffering).

So my questions are: 1) Can a chicken die in this way from some sort of leg or hip injury? 2) Is there anything I could have done to prevent loosing this chicken? 3) Should I be concerned that we have brought some sort of contagion to our other Poultry/Fowl? (13 semi-adult Ducks & 50+ 1 1/2 week old chicks).

Thanks in advance for your time, and any advice you can offer!

-- Devera Morgan (anatida@hotmail.com), July 03, 2001


You mentioned that you purchased at a "Trade Day". Could you tell us the geographic area?

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (jayblair678@yahoo.com), July 03, 2001.

Canton, Texas (Near Tyler)

-- Devera Morgan (anatida@hotmail.com), July 03, 2001.

Sometimes when a hen is trying to lay an egg that is too large for her pelvic bones, she will hang around the nest and get diarrhea. After a while, she will develop a limp from the pressure of the egg. She will refuse feed and water and will eventually become paralysed. It actually will kill her in a couple of days if you are not able to get the egg out of her. I am not sure how to do that, though. My mom always just went ahead and butchered the hens that showed signs of trying to lay eggs that were too large. However, I do think I remember a string on here about how to remove an over-large egg from a hen.

-- daffodyllady (daffodyllady@yahoo.com), July 03, 2001.

If in fact it was a stuck large egg, with an eyedropper, you can squirt olive oil into her eggduct, and with a finger, gently nudge the egg out. If it wont move, break it with the handle of a fork, and CAREFULLY remove the pieces of shell so she wont get cut. This is IF it was an egg problem.

-- micheleraepadgett (michelesmelodyfarm@yahoo.com), July 04, 2001.

Devera, You may not want to hear this. If so please just ignore it. You can order some terrific chicks from Murray or some of the other excelent hatcheries. You can look at their catalog and get exactly what you want, sex, color, etc. In six months or less, hey are grown, laying eggs and everything. They have their shots, you know there is no disease, problems, etc. This is really a better way to do things than to buy someone's else's problem, like you get when you buy grown chickens. Hope this is a good suggestion for you. Ed in Texas

-- eagle (eagle@alpha1.net), July 10, 2001.

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