Calcium deficiency resulted in limping then unable to walk

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by msjenno, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. msjenno

    msjenno New Egg

    Dec 26, 2009
    Hi Guys,

    Just thought I'd pass on my recent experience with one of my ISA Browns (Georgie). First sign of anything wrong was soft shelled eggs for 2 days in a row.

    I should have realised at this point that something was wrong but as the chooks are only a year old I wasn't too worried. The next thing I know, I spot her lying on the ground trying to get up but unable to do so. One leg appeared to be completed useless. I thought she must have been attacked but could find no evidence of broken skin or bones.

    Next stop - off to my local vet (who loves hens). She was very quick to ask about recent egg production, soft shells, and then her diet.

    I had to admit that Georgie had a special liking of sunflower seeds and sometimes I wondered if she ate the other food on offer. Well it seems that she was probably just eating her favourite food and leaving everything else for the others.

    My vet advised that when chooks don't get enough calcium, their little bodies still try to lay that egg every day and use up their own bodies stash of calcium to do it. Usually sending the calcium from the legs first up - not the best option Georgie....

    Anyway, I have since been feeding layer pellets only (has everything they need as they are free range) and along with the medication from the vet we are progressing nicely.

    The first week she was getting Metacam for pain and inflammation each day along with 1ml of liquid calcium. Unable to stand up all week.
    Second week 1ml liquid calcium every second day. Still unable to stand up but comb colour coming back.
    Third week 1ml liquid calcium every third day etc etc. Able to put weight on sore leg but not enough to walk.

    I had her in the house with me for the first 3 weeks - after that she was able to walk again and wanted to be outside with her mates. Her first steps were quite comical as she was basically walking in circles with the circles getting larger as she got better. After 4 weeks she was laying eggs again - small but very happy to see her on the mend.

    After 5 weeks she was back following the pet pig around to steal worms he was digging up. While she will probably never be completely back to normal - she seems pretty happy and productive.

    Love her to bits and will be giving her weekly liquid calcium to keep her upright.

    Hope this helps anyone else who finds themselves in the same situation.

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Good thing to know, thank you
  3. bwinn01

    bwinn01 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 28, 2010
    Wow, I just logged in to see if I could find anything about a chicken that can't stand. One of my newer hens has been sitting in a corner for several days. When I let the other chickens out I go in and make sure she has food. She could move around some but just a few feet at a time. At night she huddled on the floor of the coop. I can't find anything wrong with her, but now the other chickens are pecking at her and her neck is bleeding. Yesterday I brought her in the house and have her in a large dog crate. She really ate well, I gave her yogurt and she gobbled it up. This morning she was standing. YEA!!! I will make sure she is getting plenty of calcium and TLC. Thanks for your post.
  4. bwinn01

    bwinn01 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 28, 2010
    Update, I guess a little TLC goes a long way. My hen is standing up, when I open the door to the crate she tries to get out. She is eating very well, drinking water. I'm going to keep her in the house for a few more days. Yesterday she couldn't stand up, now she seems fine.

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