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please help: chicken won't walk or stand

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am hoping someone can help me.  I went to check on my chickens yesterday afternoon and found one of my Rhode Islands just laying in the coop next to the water.  When I went to pick her up she did not put up a fuss, so I knew something was wrong.  when I set her on the ground her legs kind of gave out and she fell over.  I picked her up a couple times and tried to get her to stand, she would for a second and then tumble over.  So I brought her in the house and set up a little cage for her.  I read it might be a vitamin deficiency so I gave her a mixture of yogurt, honey, egg yolk, oatmeal and calcium that I found on another website.  Her left leg seemed a little swollen so I made a sling for her so she wasn't laying on it all night.  This morning she won't even try to stand when I put her on the ground.  She is eating and drinking, but will not move.  Her comb seems a little discolored and I don't know if her legs are bruised or not, but they have red spots on them that none of my other chickens seem to have.  Her poop this morning was mostly yellow with some green and frothy, but no blood. 
I tried to make an appointment with the vet but they cannot see her till friday.  I am at a loss at what to do at this point and any suggestions would be greatly appriciated.  Oh and all my other chickens seem perfectly fine.  Thank you smile
Other info:  She is about 14 weeks old.  They are free range chickens, they sleep in the coop at night which is very secure.  They eat Purina start/grow and a bit of veggies once and a while.  oh and it looks as though the feathers on the top of her head and neck have been plucked at.  Our Rooster has just begun crowing... could he have injured her?  should I keep her in the sling?  Right now she is outside in a separate pen getting some air.


Edited by treetree9 - 7/15/09 at 1:08pm
post #2 of 34

Welcome!  It sounds like you're doing just what most of us would.  So long as she is separated from the others while she is outside, I can't think of much to add.  I expect other members will be more useful (if not as succinct).

Please let us know how it goes with the vet and, again, Welcome!

Good Luck!

post #3 of 34

...freerange ... Her poop this morning was mostly yellow with some green and frothy, but no blood.


have you ever wormed them?  if not then  that would be my guess (worms can also be secondary to something else > this re the red spots on the legs) ...
do you have a compost heap?  Keep your birds away from it.
Use a broad spectrum wormer like ivomec Eprinex would be my advice.   
You might think about giving vit K.   If you do not have Avia Charge 2000 (an excellent general complete supplement formulated for poultry available online from McMurry or strombergs) then you can look at your petstore for some baby parrot/bird formula (a powder you mix with water) and mix that in with her feed to concentrate the nutrition.  (you can also look in the bird section for a vitamin supplement that has vit K in it)
I am advising the K just in case she got into some rodenticide (or picked up a few mice  turds that had gotten it in their system > the K is for the bleeding that the red spots on the legs MIGHT indicate)


Edited by dlhunicorn - 7/16/09 at 11:47am
post #4 of 34

Perhaps if you told your vet it was an emergency she could be seen sooner.  Also, if your vet sees chickens, please post his/her name here:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=200108

In every fat person there may be a skinny one screaming to get out, but in every skinny person there is a fat one screaming to be fed!
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In every fat person there may be a skinny one screaming to get out, but in every skinny person there is a fat one screaming to be fed!
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post #5 of 34

My rooster did the same thing, so I hand-fed and watetred him for a couple days.  I don't know what happened to either of mine or yours. By the way, mine got better in a couple of days, but still has a tiny limp.welcome-byc

Don't worry about the world ending today, it's already tomorrow in Australia-Charles Schultz
                 
Crazy about Mel Brooks "I Wanna Be a Producer!"
Handle every stressful situation like a dog, if you can't eat it or play with it pee on it and walk away.
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Don't worry about the world ending today, it's already tomorrow in Australia-Charles Schultz
                 
Crazy about Mel Brooks "I Wanna Be a Producer!"
Handle every stressful situation like a dog, if you can't eat it or play with it pee on it and walk away.
Reply
post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for your replies.  My chicken didn't make it, she passed last night.  Her name was Red red and she was a very good chicken.
I will pick up the vitamin K suppliment today and the wormer for the rest of the chickens.  my compost pile is covered and pretty far away from the chickens... I have never seen them anywhere near it.  But I do have a cat that leaves a lot of dead mice around.  Could they be getting worms from eating the dead mice?  I will be sure from now on to dispose of all lf my kitties little treats so the chickens dont get them. 
My flock :  4 Americanas, 2 wyndots,  3 australops, and now 4 rhode island reds (three of which look like they might turn out to be roosters... ahhh smile

post #7 of 34

I'm sorry about your chicken.  They make such nice pets, and you can get so attached to them.  They each have a special personality.

post #8 of 34

Hi, I saw your message from last summer, I'm sorry about your chicken.  Our Rhode Island Red, around the same age as yours was, is badly limping, cause unknown, we've tried massage, some homeopathy, but the knee seems to have gotten visibly swollen in the past few days so I just started her on Chinese herbs, more homeopathy, and massage, and we're trying to put her into a sling so she won't walk on it but can have access to food and water without having to stay seated all the time.  Can you please tell me what kind of sling you made, of what materials and what design, and was it a comfortable sling?  Did it allow her legs and wings and head to move freely?

Any info and advice would be much appreciated!

By the way, my daughter insists that we should not get any more Rhode Island Reds, since we had a 5-month-old RIR die probably of being egg-bound, and all the RIR's seem to be really sweet but passive and have difficulty standing up for themselves or running away from danger. 

Thanks!

post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am sorry to hear about your chicken.  I don't know how much help I can be but I will try.  Our sling was not all that wonderful. I used a scrap piece of fleece I had and cut two holes (with slits on the side of the holes so her feet would fit through, if that makes sense)  in the bottom for her legs.  Then I took an ace bandage and cut it in half, I sewed one half to the front of the fleece so it would be under her breast and the other half behind her legs.  Then I tied the ends around the wire of the cage we made for her.  Probably not the best system, it sagged a lot and the back half got pretty dirty smile  Oh yeah I also put a piece of ace bandage around her wings because she kept flapping them around and i didn't want her to hurt herself.  But her feet and head could move freely.  I don't know if that helps at all, I had a really hard time trying to make a sling and don't think it worked all that well in the end but maybe you can take parts of that and change it up to work for you.

Oh I also gave her that yogurt/oat mix that a lot of people on here were talking about and a vitamin supplement from rooster booster.  When I first started giving it to her it seemed to help but then she just started crashing really quick.  But maybe it will help your hen. 

Don't give up on Rhodies yet, I just love them.  The one we have now Lil' lil' (because she is super small) is the friendliest chicken.  She follows me everywhere and heaven forbid if I leave the front door open.  She comes right in, walks around, and just looks at me like "do you have any treats for me."

post #10 of 34

Thanks very much!  We spent a good part of today dealing with the injured chicken.  We tried out various slings, and boy it was hard to get everything lined up.  Yours sounds maybe simpler, so maybe we'll give that a try tomorrow.  We had her rigged up in a fairly tight wrapping inside of a contraption with wide straps, and hung it from the top of her cage, so her feet could lightly touch the ground.  It finally looked secure and like it was going to work, and 15 minutes later. somehow she had gotten out of the whole thing, left the wrapping inside the contraption and was standing on the ground!  So we held her up in the air a lot of the rest of the day.

Any further info or advice from anyone is certainly welcome and will be appreciated....anything about diagnosing?

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