Blockage of Some Sort? Help Pls


BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 12, 2013
One of our RIR pullets hasn't acted right all day. All the birds seemed fine last night when they went into the coop but this morning she was just sort of laying on the roost and wouldn't get down by herself. We've isolated her from the other birds for the time being.

We can't see any injury to her legs but she can hardly walk and first favors one leg and then the other when she tries. I've been hand-feeding (she's eating less than normal, but still eating some). We've been giving her water with electrolytes but she can't get up to get things by herself. She doesn't seem lethargic, she's looking around and doing a little "talking". She does occasionally pant and the bottoms of her feet feel a bit warm.

She hasn't pooped since we found her this morning. Her vent is sort of pulsing but there is no discharge at all.

Could this be some sort of blockage? She's about 5 months old and hasn't begun to lay yet.

Anyone have some thoughts on what this might be and how to help her? Thank you in advance.
You could put on a rubber glove and with a lubricated finger, insert it into the vent 1-2 inches to check for a stuck egg. Only if you feel and egg, give her a Tums or calcium tablet, and a warm soak of her bottom for 30 minutes to help pass the egg. Don't do this unless there is an egg there. She could just be getting ready to lay and acting peculiar, but you may need to check her out. Check her crop for impaction, look at her under vent area for lice or mites and their egg clumps at the base of feathers, and look at her poop. Crops should be mostly empty in early morning, and during the day it will fill up with food, but a crop impaction will feel full and hard.
Thank you Eggcessive. She has had one very large greenish-white poop and a 2nd smaller one since I first posted. The other things to check seem to be fine.

We noticed after posting that when she gingerly stood up to poop, her left toes were somewhat curled under and she didn't want to (or couldn't) put her weight on that foot. We're wondering if something in the coop bit or stung her (something so small we couldn't see a wound of any kind). Husband did later see one of the other girls polishing off a small centipede so maybe that was the problem?

Our patient has been resting on the enclosed porch all day and is now eating by herself...not as much as usual but more than this morning. She is still very alert and we're going to keep her close to watch over her. Hopefully by morning she'll be even better.

Thank you again for your reply.
Sometimes Mareks disease can cause curled toe paralysis, and it can be caused in young chicks by a vitamin deficiency (riboflavin or B2.) This isn't a diagnosis, but I would do some research on Mareks. I certainly hope this is not what is wrong with her. Here are a few good links to read to about it if this could be a problem:

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