Chicken can't stand up

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chards, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Chards

    Chards Hatching

    Oct 15, 2008
    Hi all,
    New member here. We have a 4 year old hen that we found lying on her side this morning. She was very lethargic. Actually thought she was dead when we first found her. It was about 34 degrees last night and she was lying outside so she was cold. We brought her in, put her in a box by the stove and warmed her up. Also forced a little water down. She is a bit more responsive this evening (eyes open and head upright instead of slumped over). However she still does not seem to be able to stand. We saw her poop once today. It was dark, stinking and very soft--kind of like tar. She doesn't seem interested in eating. I tried feeling her craw and it seems soft. Don't know if she's been laying as we have 4 hens and the share nesting sites. Appreciate any help.
  2. mainchick

    mainchick Songster

    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    i don't know for sure, she sound really sick. Kepp her isolated so if she has anything contagoius it doesn't spread. I always try to get them out of a slump with sugar water and then antibiotic.
  3. Chards

    Chards Hatching

    Oct 15, 2008
    We'll try to get some antibiotic tomorrow. Thanks
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits...

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    heres a bump up...
  5. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    It seems that sometimes chickens (particularly the heavy breeds) lose the ability to stand up a lot. There's a Buff Orp on that just sat around for months and is now back to normal...

    I hope your hen isn't sick.
  6. Chards

    Chards Hatching

    Oct 15, 2008
    Thanks. This may not apply as the chicken is a fairly small hen. Not heavy at all. She still can't stand up this morning. Also seem to keep her head pulled far back with neck pushed forward. When she tries to stand up she tends to roll to one-side. Almost like she has vertigo.
  7. sdhilger

    sdhilger Hatching

    May 7, 2007
    Cushing, WI
    I am going through the very same thing with one my hens. I'm at a loss now she just lays and doesn't really move at all. Good Luck!
  8. steffpeck

    steffpeck Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Erda, UT
    I have a 7 week pullet that I found 2 days ago, laying on her side, unable to stand and I have been told that she has Mareks Disease, so that may be what you are dealing with also.
  9. Chards

    Chards Hatching

    Oct 15, 2008
    Interesting. I did some reading on Marek's Disease. It seems that it often occurs in young birds. My chickens are about 4 years old. However, sounds like it can occur in an older flock as well. If this is what the hen has, then I suspect I'm going to see it show up on other chickens as well. Everything I read says it is highly contagious. Hoping this isn't what she has but the paralysis symptom certainly sounds suspicious. Thanks for the lead.
  10. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    I think your initial suspicion of hypothermia was correct... you need to warm her up and keep her at ideal temps (round 80 degrees preferabley) in a draft free temp stable and quiet area.. you should put electrolytes in the waterer and the water should be lukewarm... make electrolyte solution fresh daily and do not feed anything dry ... you can cook in water some human oatmeal and add just enough through her feed so it is moist and clumps together. Unless she show s symptoms of respiratory illness or such that recquires antibiotics then do not give her antibiotics. You can also give her three drops of POLYVISOL Enfamil formulation (childrens A-B-D3 liquid vitamins) in beak once a day for a week and taper off the next. Offer a live culture yogurt free choice.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008

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