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Mystery illness - please help!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have a chicken in my flock of 6 who is one of the eldest aged 4 yrs now. I don't think she lays eggs very often at all now. She has a re-occurring hip/leg injury that mended once the first time it happened and I successfully re-introduced her to the flock again - she was then bottom of pecking order after that. However about 2 weeks ago they really started bullying her and basically one week later when I was out she must have tried to escape and basically hurt herself again whatever she did (probably jumped I guess). Therefore I put her in my locked shed like before in a dog transport cage with a bed, food, grit and water with vitamins in it. That was going well in that she seemed to be mending herself by resting and being quiet away from the flock. On Sunday she actually looked very perky and maybe wrestless by getting out of her nest and she looked very bright eyed. I was in the process of buying her a new mini coop to live in and hadn't yet had time to actually set it up and put her in it but thought the more rest she had the better. She seemed to be eating and drinking up to that point. HOWEVER today when I went to check on her I found her perched on the edge of her water dish (with a very wet bottom because of that). She was acting VERY strangely but bobbing her head up and down. Kind of standing on the spot and extending her head up and then right down again, not shaking from side to side. She also opened her beak when her head was up a couple of the times during all of that which looked odd. She was making a low long cluck noise too- not the usual short clucks??

I feared that she'd done mad with boredom shut away alone?! So I immediatley transferred her to the new long narrow triangle shaped hen house with enclosed run which I put inside the main coop so she could at least see her 'friends'. However the odd behaviour continued. She was very slow to go inside to the nest area and needed encouragement as night was falling. I am at a loss? I haven't noticed any weird poos up to now from her. Does any one have any advice as I have no idea.

post #2 of 7
Are you sure that her previous lameness was due to an injury? The reason I ask is that there are several viral illnesses and other conditions that can cause lameness and neurological symptoms. Here are a few articles that might shed some light. Good luck!

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/poultry-diseases-2

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/table-two
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Maybe it is mareks. I checked on her this morning and she looked okay resting in the nestbox (although way after she should have come out) so I lifted her and put her in the run with the food and water but she just didn't move around and kept pecking at the floor even though she was right beside the food and drink. Does that mean she cannot see properly? She was acting like she couldn't get her bearings but she was not wobbling with loss of balance or anything like that. The lameness seems to have eased although there is a lot of flapping previously to get inside the nestbox etc. If she is blind I guess she will die a long slow death of lack or food and water? Would the kindess thing to do is cull her? Horrible thought eitherway........

post #4 of 7
You could try giving her some vitamins and electrolytes.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

electrolytes- do they come in powder form where I buy their pellets do you think? I do have vitamin liquid so can do that straight away but she doesn't seem to go to the water dish currently......?

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have heard that IF it is Mareks then st johns wort might be worth a try? I do have that in tablet form so would I crush it up in water for her along with the vits? x

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclou19 View Post

electrolytes- do they come in powder form where I buy their pellets do you think? I do have vitamin liquid so can do that straight away but she doesn't seem to go to the water dish currently......?


 


Tractor Supply carries Sav-A-Chick brand, powder. And probably some more. You could put some of the solution in a syringe without the needle, and give it directly in her beak. This is a great thread on providing supportive care to a sick bird.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1048620/how-to-provide-emergency-and-supportive-care-updated-12-21-2015
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