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Chicken Can't Walk - Dislocated Hip? Tips for Isolation Pen?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
When we got home from work we found our dominique hen Vivian laying on her side beside her feeder, unable to get up with both feet out. We brought her inside and my husband felt all over her legs and feet, and we can't see anything wrong except that she leans over towards one side. She can stand and lay down but is unable to keep her balance when she tries to walk. She can move her feet and will grip your hand with her toes, so my husband suspects that she may have dislocated her hip. Her appetite is good. Does anyone have any advice or experience with this? We have a cage set up inside with pine chips, but any tips for how to make her comfortable in there for a few weeks would also be appreciated. She's spent her whole life with her sister Esmerelda--if she is isolated inside, should we bring her in periodically to minimize the stress of being apart? Thank you in advance for any help!
Edited by Jiff - 5/8/16 at 4:00am
~2 Dominique hens (Vivian & Esmerelda), 2 Silkies (Stella (Roo) & Lucy), three spoiled cats (Edmund, Odelia, Tucker), and a border collie (Roxie) and beagle (Ranger).~
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~2 Dominique hens (Vivian & Esmerelda), 2 Silkies (Stella (Roo) & Lucy), three spoiled cats (Edmund, Odelia, Tucker), and a border collie (Roxie) and beagle (Ranger).~
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post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
We would still like advice if anyone has any. smile.png She is able to walk a few steps now, but still mostly lays down or stands. Her appetite is still very good.
~2 Dominique hens (Vivian & Esmerelda), 2 Silkies (Stella (Roo) & Lucy), three spoiled cats (Edmund, Odelia, Tucker), and a border collie (Roxie) and beagle (Ranger).~
Reply
~2 Dominique hens (Vivian & Esmerelda), 2 Silkies (Stella (Roo) & Lucy), three spoiled cats (Edmund, Odelia, Tucker), and a border collie (Roxie) and beagle (Ranger).~
Reply
post #3 of 7

How old is she?

Is she laying eggs, when was the last time she laid an egg?

Does her abdomen feel bloated at all?

Is the joint swollen, bruised, inflamed or discolored?

 

Keeping her separated may help. If you suspect injury only and not something like Marek's then she may actually do better being separated in the cage in the coop/run. That way she is with the other chicken.

If you suspect Marek's then isolating her from the other one may be the best option-but most likely the other one is already exposed.

 

Provide her with food/water, you can add some vitamins to her water if you wish.

 

LEG INJURY/DISORDERS

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/leg-foot-and-toe-issues-in-poultry-of-all-ages

https://sites.google.com/a/poultrypedia.com/poultrypedia/poultry-podiatry

 

MAREK'S

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

 

MAREK'S VIDEO
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHgr6s6-iEY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BydP994Tp7E

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
She turned 7 this spring. She hasn't been laying regularly for about a year (probably laid her last egg a month ago) but I've assumed it's because she's getting a bit older. Her abdomen feels normal, and we couldn't find any swelling or areas hot to the touch on her joints. I can't visually see anything, but will try to look under her feathers. She is still only taking a few steps, but if she lays on the "bad" side, she has a hard time getting back into a standing position. If she sits down straight she can get up easily.

Thank you for the articles! I watched the video and thankfully she doesn't look like that, so I don't think it is Marek's. She has better control over her legs than the chickens in the videos.
~2 Dominique hens (Vivian & Esmerelda), 2 Silkies (Stella (Roo) & Lucy), three spoiled cats (Edmund, Odelia, Tucker), and a border collie (Roxie) and beagle (Ranger).~
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~2 Dominique hens (Vivian & Esmerelda), 2 Silkies (Stella (Roo) & Lucy), three spoiled cats (Edmund, Odelia, Tucker), and a border collie (Roxie) and beagle (Ranger).~
Reply
post #5 of 7

Most likely it is an injury.

It's never rock solid on diseases but at her age of 7 Marek's would be unlikely.

Reason asking about abdomen was sometimes if they are egg bound or have an internal laying problem they can sometimes exhibit limping.

Isolating her would most likely cause more stress, so if you can put her in a kennel to limit her movement for a while, but she can still "interact" with her friend would help keep her calm while she is healing. Of course food/water for her in the kennel. I've found that with some "sprain" injuries, limiting the activity during the day (kennel time) but letting them out to go sleep in the coop with the others the healing process goes fairly well. One of mine had a sprain and she could get on the roost at night, but I would get up early to get her off for a period of time (jumping down caused the sprain in the first place) - she now sleeps on a lower rung so I guess maybe she learned something:)

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks! It is looking more like it is just an injury. Today when we were changing out her shavings she started running around! We will try to keep her calm for the rest of the week so she can continue healing, but it was wonderful to see her walking again. She spent some time outside with her sister and they were glad to be back together, so we will probably try moving her out to sleep with her tomorrow night--I like that idea. We also added electrolytes to her water so that may have perked her up a little too.
~2 Dominique hens (Vivian & Esmerelda), 2 Silkies (Stella (Roo) & Lucy), three spoiled cats (Edmund, Odelia, Tucker), and a border collie (Roxie) and beagle (Ranger).~
Reply
~2 Dominique hens (Vivian & Esmerelda), 2 Silkies (Stella (Roo) & Lucy), three spoiled cats (Edmund, Odelia, Tucker), and a border collie (Roxie) and beagle (Ranger).~
Reply
post #7 of 7

I'm glad she's making progress:)

You just never know what can cause injury. When my girl first sprained her foot she did very well being in "jail":P for a few days, then a couple of weeks later I turned an area of dirt over like I regularly do, she worked all day with a couple of other girls digging out a crater, dust bathing, etc. next day she was slightly limping again, I think she must have overworked it. So you will have to monitor your girl, they get gung-ho sometimes, but usually heal pretty well.

Keep us updated.

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