Chicken balance issues

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by becks1984, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. becks1984

    becks1984 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2015
    Hi everyone,

    Hoping for some help, we recently added two 18 week old hens (a Rhode Island Red bantam & an Araucana standard hen) to our three existing bantams. It's all gone quite well I think and the little RIR seems to have settled right in, she's mingling quite well with the others even. The Araucana however still seems very separate to the group and keeps well away from them though she happily mooches around with the RIR girl. I've noticed though that her balance seems a bit off. She can walk and run around just fine but if she's eating from the ground say if I throw some treats down for them she sort of loses her balance and topples over while she's reaching down to get the treats, she uses her wings to prop herself back up. When we brought her back we did clip one wing, just the flight feathers but we've done this with all the girls. Could it be that and she's just not adjusted well to it or something worse? :( she's eating and drinking fine too.

    Thanks a lot
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    She seems healthy enough so there is not much that you can do. It may be a personal genetic thing, and she will live her life as such.
    I would not worry too much..
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Research signs of Marek's disease and see if it fits your hen.
  4. That was my first thought also!! If it is Marek's disease that is not good!
    Did you first quarantine your new birds?
    I am buy three hens tomorrow and will keep them in my garage for two to three weeks before I feel safe to let them out with my others.
    Please keep us posted on how they make out.

    Fingers crossed its nothing. Best of luck!
  5. becks1984

    becks1984 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2015
    Thanks so much for the best wishes :)

    I've looked into that and she does have balance issues but none of the other symptoms but it could still be that couldn't it? :( :( she's no worse just the same still eating and drinking fine but she still stays separate to the rest of the girls, I feel so sorry for her. Could it possibly be anything else? Keeping a real close eye on her she's such a sweet little lady I really really hope it isn't that. Are there any vitamins or anything I could give that might help at all?
  6. Mereks is a fast moving disease, or so I thought it was?
    I wonder if she got bonked on the head? Or is she blind?? Maybe her hearing is off???
    As long as she is still eating and seems healthy I wouldn't worry about her.

    All you can do is keep an eye on the poor thing.

    Best of luck!!!
  7. becks1984

    becks1984 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2015
    Thanks a lot I appreciate that!! I was wondering if it was something to do with her ears that can affect balance can't it. Or maybe some kind of vitamin deficiency? I hope it's that anyway :( I have some vitamins on the way to put it their water just in case it helps and I've been making sure she's eating and drinking (she is still) just upsetting to see her wobbling around when the others are all charging about like normal
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would say if it is just a balance issue without any leg or wing weakness or either side, that seeing or an ear problem might be possible. The poultry vitamins are helpful, and just make sure that she is eating and drinking. Just because of the Mareks possibility, Here is some information to read:
  9. becks1984

    becks1984 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2015
    Hi everyone, just thought I'd post a quick update on Olive, she's doing much better now, she's a little wobbly still but nowhere near as much as before, she stands to eat now instead of sitting down and is generally much less unbalanced. She's still eating and drinking fine too but she was before. I gave them all vitamins in their water for 5 days and also wormed them (which they were due anyway) do you think these things helped? Also does Mareks get better like that? Thanks so much for all your help!
    1 person likes this.
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Mareks never leaves the bird body, but they can survive it, they will be 'carriers' of the disease.

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