I just went out 30 minutes ago to feed the ducks and pigs, and I noticed one of our 4-year old hens (easter egger chicken from tractor supply stock) was 'sitting' near the duck coop. I thought that was odd, so I approached her. This particular hen is named Psycho, because since the time she was a chick she has been an outright spaz, screeches when we get close, and flies like crazy, running when we try to grab her. Although she squawked, she struggled to stand. He entire left side or leg seemed unable to take her weight, so despite her screeches of protest, I picked her up and checked for an injury. There was no blood, but her fenzied pecking and flapping prevented me from checking for swelling or heat in the leg itself. Her feet were dirty, but there was no sign of an injury or infection.
I put her down to see how she stood, and although she put most her weight on her right side, her left leg shook constantly, and she staggered forward a bit. Her tail droops for balance and the feathers are splayed. I tried to move her inside so she could at least eat but she didn't want that, so she staggered outside, tripped, and fell down the stairs, wings flapping. It didn't faze her much, but she mostly lays down when she can't keep her balance any more, 'on her hocks' so to say, but her legs aren't splayed and she isn't falling over so much as losing balance or acting very 'stiff'.
Do chickens get arthritis?
She managed to stagger around a bit, using her tail feathers for balance, legs shaking. I can't be sure if she was injured from a rooster (she's an old, small hen, compared to the big roosters), or if she fell from something, or if it's something worse.
No other chickens are having any issues walking. She has no other symptoms of anything wrong, and has normal poops. She's a crazy old hen who hates to be handled, so anyone have any advice on what we can do for her?
Definitely not paralyzed. My second attempt to check her legs ended up with me getting kicked and clawed at with both legs, so she can definitely move it. She didn't like me feeling her leg. Not one bit. Angry, crazy little bird.
My best guess is she injured it, as of now she keeps falling over trying to rise on that leg and cannot put weight on it. She is acting her usual angry self.
It is cold, wet, muddy, and nasty out. That can't be helping matters, and likely is causing whatever injury she has to stiffen.
Edited by arrowti - 3/24/16 at 3:04pm