I have spent the last 2 days frantically trying to find information about what may be wrong with one of my chickens and although the outcome for her is the worst it can be, I wanted to write this post so anyone else who has witnessed similar actions, has some info.
My perfectly happy and (so I thought) healthy chicken 'fell over' onto her back 2 days ago. She started flapping her wings frantically for about 10-15 seconds. I was out in the garden and went over to her to try and help and after picking her up, she appeared perfectly fine...? A few hours later, it happened again and in the morning, I noticed the perch where she sleeps had been knocked down.....a short while later, I saw her having another episode. I searched the web for what may be the cause and I couldn't find anything that matched what was happening to her. I called our vet and took her in as the fits came more frequently. In-between the seizures she seemed fine, eating, drinking, walking around with no head tilt, no discharge, no problems with balance......?
The vet checked her over and suspected Coccidiosis but after taking a stool sample, this came back negative. Her temperature was running at 40 degrees with no other signs other than her seizures. An infection in the middle ear was a possibility but then Newcastle disease was mentioned.....a video was taken and sent to the authorities together with her body after Euthanasia.
It was so upsetting watching her go through this and not knowing what to do or what was the cause....I am now closely monitoring my other chickens in the hope that whatever it is has not been passed onto them.
This all happened so quickly and with very few signs. I am now waiting to hear back from the autopsy results......
I am quite a new 'chicken lady' and uneducated about the number of problems chickens can be susceptible to, I hope this is a rare incident that I don't ever witness again but wanted to share my story in case anyone else sees these symptoms.