BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › PLEASE HELP- Broody hen can't walk- curled feet- won't drink
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PLEASE HELP- Broody hen can't walk- curled feet- won't drink

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)

Year old Buff Orpington, kneel bone is prominent.

2) What is the behavior, exactly.

Was broody now acts like her legs are paralyzed. Compensates with her wings. Barely eating. Not drinking water!
Broody- she was making growling noise when taken off gaurd. Wings out-puffed up. Sat in the nest box for two days. Went to go get her to try the cold water method to break the brood and she was sitting at the bottom of the ramp. I called her and she tried to hobble to me. I brought her in made a sling and investigated her legs- no noticeable sign of injury her reflexes seem fine- she wobbles and can't stand on them. She is talkative still and was happy to eat peanuts and cottage cheese and a yoke but won't take anything else. Especially resentful towards water which is a pain because I am worried about dehydration. Trying to alternate between offering electrolytes with vitamins in it incase she is deficient, and water (maybe she doesn't like the taste) but she won't drink either one.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?

Noticeable broody since Sunday, acting paralysed since yesterday.

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? Nope

5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. Nope

6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

My theory is she went broody didn't eat, got malnourished and lost function in her legs.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

Had access to layer pellets and water while broody, shelled peanuts as a treat. Since I brought her in I have offered her: cucumber and tomatoe -she didn't eat it. Was eager to eat cooked oats,peanuts, cottage cheese and egg yolk.

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
Rarely pooping- stinky when she does (broody)
One poop since last night.

9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

Suspended in a crate sling, with water and food. Trying to up her vitamin levels and give her some water. Washed her back side with cool water- no sign of being bound.

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

Would like to treat her at home. Struggling with getting her to eat and drink. Hoping to break the brood, get her nourished and hoping that will elevate the leg issues.

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. Will do

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
Synthetic fabric shirt with holes cut into it for her legs slung over a crate- will post picture.


Overall I am wondering if my diagnosis sounds right, or if I have a more sever problem on my hands. I would like to get her up and well as soon as possible so any help would be greatly appreciated. I hate seeing my chicks in pain or struggling to move. Also I called the person I got her from and they said she was vaccinated for mericks. No sign of mites, or worms. Thank you for reading.
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
post #4 of 9
Couldn't tell you, but that would be enough to have me worried too. Perhaps she was already getting sick but trying to brood made the condition take hold faster. Hopefully someone can help you, minimum start calling vets to find who treats chickens so you at least have a back up
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for replying. I am scared for her and I hate the idea that she is in so much pain. She is such a sweet bird. I have a vet that I took my welsummer to a year ago. I was afraid of taking that step because the next step might be euthanasia. She is the friendliest hen I have had and she is only a year old. I should schedule a vet visit...
Thank you, Paula
post #6 of 9
Good luck. I hope all goes well.
post #7 of 9

I have a hen that exhibited some similar symptoms. One day she was fine but acting strangely, making a strange noise I've never heard before. The next day, she was unable to walk. I couldn't get her to drink and she couldn't navigate her way to eat. Furthermore, her crop seemed to have stalled. I suspect Marek's disease, although she doesn't have the common symptom of split legs. 
She also had curled toes. I have been hand feeding her for the last few months and massaging her crop once in the morning and the evening. To help her digest the food, I"ve been feeding her crumbles mixed with water. This ensures she doesn't get dehydrated, and she's able to digest it with no trouble. 
She also has trouble aiming for food, so I hold a bowl right in front of her; otherwise she has a hard time getting food. Doing this for the last few months, she has improved; she can walk around (Feebly, but still an improvement).and her weight has gone back up. She can now also feed herself as long as I place her right in front of a food bowl with wet crumbles.

She now has an eye problem which I'm about to post about, but I thought these other measures about feeding might be useful info.

post #8 of 9

I would get some Poultry Cell vitamins or a similar vitamin that contains riboflavin (vitamin B2) in case of a riboflavin or other deficiency. Nutri-drench does not have B2, so avoid it. The Poultry Cell can be given orally 2-3 ml daily by mouth, so you don't have to medicate the water. Hopefully, it's not Mareks, but just dehydration or a deficiency. You may also want to tube feed her. There is a good thread by searching at the top of this page for "go team tube feeding."

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggcessive View Post

I would get some Poultry Cell vitamins or a similar vitamin that contains riboflavin (vitamin B2) in case of a riboflavin or other deficiency. Nutri-drench does not have B2, so avoid it. The Poultry Cell can be given orally 2-3 ml daily by mouth, so you don't have to medicate the water. Hopefully, it's not Mareks, but just dehydration or a deficiency. You may also want to tube feed her. There is a good thread by searching at the top of this page for "go team tube feeding."

I bought the poultry cell and I am going to give her some now. I will look into the tube feeding and see if I can't get some more food into her. Thank you!
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