Chicken can’t walk, fell off roost during the night and crying on the ground

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Pianochicaz, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. Pianochicaz

    Pianochicaz Hatching

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    Hi everyone, forgive the length of this story. We have a 3 year old Americauna who a few weeks ago woke us up during the night squawking and I found her laying on the ground in the coop. There was nothing obviously wrong with her, no sign of injury, but she couldn’t walk. I soothed her and she calmed down and I put her back in the coop. That morning, she flopped/hobbled out with the others and ate some scratch. I also hand-fed her some food and water. It was Christmas morning, we couldn’t take her to the vet, and we were on our way out of town for a couple days. We did not have anyone planning to come check on the chickens because we have a solar door and it was only for a couple days. There was nothing we could do so I put her in the coop and left her in a crate in the coop with food and water and hoped for the best. We had a security camera in the backyard, but there was no sign of her the whole time we were gone. I came home 2 nights later expecting to find a dead chicken in the coop, but there she was up on the roost sleeping with the other chickens! The next morning she came out with them as if nothing ever happened. Maybe she had injured her foot and just fell off the roost that night, I thought. For the next few weeks everything seemed normal. But then 3 days ago, the exact same thing happened again. Woke us up, laying on the ground in the coop crying, couldn’t walk. I watched her closely for the next couple days (she still had an appetite and I couldn’t see any sign of injury) and sure enough, on the 3rd day, she was able to stand and started walking again. Tonight she is back up on the roost like nothing happened. I have no idea what is going on! I wondered if she was egg-bound but she actually laid an egg on Day 1 of the latest episode. Also I suspected Marek’s (paralysis) but I contacted the feed store where we got her and they said they have always vaccinated their chicks. I also read about vitamin B deficiency so I was feeding her Brewer's yeast as well as giving water with apple cider vinegar, maybe this helped? Has anyone ever experienced anything like this???
     
    WannaBeHillBilly and Clubber1234 like this.
  2. Kneedles

    Kneedles Songster

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    Maybe she has a slow crop and it was so full and heavy that she lost her balance?
    Marek's vaccines only make it less likely for chickens that contract the disease to die of it; they can't give chickens complete immunity to the disease.
    In any case, I would try using nutri-drench or pedialyte in case they perk her up.
     
    WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  3. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

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    If this happens again can you try to get a video of her trying to move/walk? Post it on youtube or other host and put a link here. Sometimes pictures/videos are very helpful.
    A few thoughts and questions... How high are your roosts? How many chickens do you have in how much space? How many feeders/waterers available? Have you examined her feet and legs for any injuries, swelling, scabs etc? As stated before, checking her crop function is a good idea. It should be empty first thing in the morning before access to food or water, and should have food in it when she goes to roost at night. A full body exam to look for anything out of the ordinary is in order. Check for lice/mites, anything that isn't normal, check inside mouth, look at eyes, feel the abdomen, look under wings. How is her weight? Are droppings normal?
    It is true that the Marek's vaccine does not prevent the disease, it only prevents the formation of the tumors in various body parts that can be impacted, and the symptoms that presents. The bird can still be infected and still shed the virus. Not saying that is what is going on, but it's important to know. If the roosts are too high she may be injuring herself jumping up or down. She may be getting knocked off and getting hurt. There can be some drama while they are all trying to get their preferred roost spot in the evening. If she's low in the pecking order she may be getting shoved off, she also may get kept from feeders and waterers which could make her weaker, so in some cases adding more to increase access can help. Since she seems to perk up with some supplementation, that may be part of the issue. So a bit of observation and a good exam will hopefully help answer some questions and help narrow down the possibilities.
     
  4. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

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    *i would not give yeast to a hen with possible crop problems*
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    Nutritional yeast is okay and a good source of b vitamins. It is a deactivated yeast.
     
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  6. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

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    Lol guess I’m crazy! I just crush up the B vitamin tabs that I take and use those.
    Inactive yeasts is used for flavoring (Has B true) when making flat breads or pizza crust. The last thing I would want would be to add yeasty flavor or Smell to a sour crop.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    Yes, I keep B Complex for myself at home, and it can be crushed or dissolved into food or water to use. A 1/4 tablet daily is more than enough to use. They do like the taste of the nurtitional yeast but dosages are nowhere to be found. I have used a pinch, LOL.
     
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  8. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

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    I guess if your hens is struggling with being egg bound she could show it by walking differently. Everywhere from a duck like waddle to a upright penguin waddle. Having crop issues can be secondary to a reproductive issue.
    You’ve gotten some very good advice so far.
    You need to examine her. Then start your process of elimination to figure things out.
    How does her vent look?
    Could she have a prolapse that she’s still laying thru?
    If it were me I’d stop the yeast because Smelling her breath tells you if she’s sour or not. I’d be afraid of the false positive because of the yeast aroma.
    You need to go hands on and check her out head to toe.
    Let us know what you find.
    Best wishes
     
    Cragg Klefor likes this.
  9. Pianochicaz

    Pianochicaz Hatching

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    Thank you, do you know if Marek’s paralysis could be temporary and come and go? Also, I felt her belly and crop and it seemed normal.
     
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    Yes, it can. Hopefully someone like @rebrascora can chime in with more details of how Marek's works.
    In the mean time here's some very good information for you to read:
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
     
    Pianochicaz likes this.

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