Chicken collapsing and lying on ground suddenly.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Squigzeh, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Squigzeh

    Squigzeh New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Aug 18, 2014
    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
    Unsure of specifics beside it being a female chicken, 11 years, of the 7 chickens I have owned through the years it has always been about 15% bigger and heavier than the other birds.


    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    We found it collapsed on it's front and slightly to the right side. When picked up it wobbles a bit to the right and stretches out it's right wing but afterwards runs off and digs holes and stuff like normal. It has also been quite quiet and docile for about 2 weeks but still runs around and has dust baths and stuff.

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    We have been aware of it for about 2 and a half days.

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
    No.

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    No.

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    No idea.

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    It drinks water from a hose and eats a seed mix from a pet shop, I have also seen it eating some worms it found, and about a month ago it and the chicken it lives with devoured a Styrofoam box we had in the laundry room.

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    It still poops regularly, they seem normal with one or two that was a little wetter than usual but I wouldn't call it runny.

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    It doesn't seem to be able to climb up into it's roost anymore so we have rearranged the house it lives in so that it has more stuff in reach closer to the ground, other than that it was checked for wounds or infected looking skin/orifices but none were observed, and we have been trying to make sure it remains sheltered from the wind and rain.

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in
    stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

    Unsure, for now just trying to work out if this is something that happens to chickens when they are this age like a German Sheppard's hips giving out or if the chicken is sick or injured.

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    No wounds to take picture of. I can take some pictures if needed.


    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use.
    The chickens live inside a metal shed type thing, 3 solid walls and a roof, the front wall is solid on the bottom with a mesh for the top half. Inside here they have a ramp/ladder that leads up to some laying boxes and they also have some wooden poles sticking further out past this to roost on. The laying boxes are filled with a straw mulch made from sugarcane left overs I believe.



    Thanks in advance for any tips or advice anyone can offer. I would like to know if I should be moving it when I find it lying down or not, if this sounds like the symptoms of an injury or disease, or if this is just what happens past the 10 year mark for chickens?

    P.S I wasn't sure where to put it so I will write here but it still lays eggs like normal.
     
  2. The Yakima Kid

    The Yakima Kid Cirque des Poulets

    I'd start by feeding them chicken feed. Bird seed is not an adequate diet.

    Eleven years old is very old for a chicken.

    Do they have oyster shell?

    Are her eyes changing color?
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  3. Squigzeh

    Squigzeh New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Aug 18, 2014
    Okay thanks, we have just been feeding them a seed/grain mix for laying that a shop told us was good.

    The chickens eyes still appear to be the normal dark orange colour they have always been all the way across them besides the pupil.

    They do not have oyster shells.

    Today the chicken appears to be more tired. When I went to check it a moment ago I helped it down from it's roost to the ground level bedding we made it where it's food and water it, it ate and drank some, it pooped and then it staggered off into a bush with the other chicken. It's wings seem to be drooping down a little lower than usual currently. It's head and eyes are still very much alive and awake however and it responds to everything occurring around it.
     
  4. The Yakima Kid

    The Yakima Kid Cirque des Poulets

    If it appears to have paralysis, it may have either Marek's or Lymphoid Leukosis.

    Look for a complete laying feed that is designed to be fed as the sole ration to laying hens. You may supplement it, but feeds labeled in this way are the only feeds that really provide for the needs of a laying hen. Make sure they have oyster shell so they don't demineralize their bones.

    Chickens are not herbivores. Chickens are omnivores, and most seed mixtures without supplements in them are not adequate.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,988
    2,981
    471
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. You are to be congratulated on having an 11 year old hen in such good condition until now. It's very hard to say what exactly is the matter, but it does sound a bit neurological. Drooping wings can be a sign of general, weakness, but the staggering sounds worrisome. I might suggest that you try some vitamins in the water, and give her a little egg each day for some extra protein. A complete16% protein chicken feed would be good for her. Worming her and checking for mites would also be helpful. She may be in her final stages of life, and I would try to keep her comfortable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  6. Squigzeh

    Squigzeh New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Aug 18, 2014
    I am unsure if it has the same effect as oyster shells but the chickens do get ground up chicken egg shells to eat whenever we have them around. Sometimes I catch them eating meat that they have stolen off a sad excuse of a dog I own. Is it okay for chickens to eat meat?

    The chicken has been getting noticeably more tired each time I have visited her today. I have moved her into shelter and last time I checked on her she seemed to be content to stay there resting. I fear you may be correct Eggcessive. I'll return if/when there are any developments. Thanks for the advice so far you two. At the very least with this I can help the other chicken stay strong. :)
     
  7. Squigzeh

    Squigzeh New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Aug 18, 2014
    Checked it again just now, after spending most of the last 7 hours collapsed it is suddenly filled with energy again. I went to the food barrel to get some out and it sprinted towards me, collapsed on it's left leg this time and didn't move at all until I picked it up, after that it ran the remaining distance, wolfed down a bunch of chicken pellets and then dashed off into a bush with the other chicken.

    Now I can't even work out if it's gone completely mental or if it is injured or something else.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,988
    2,981
    471
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Crushed egg shells are very good since they contain the same calcium carbonate as oyster shell. Meat in small pieces is good for chickens since they are omnivores.
     
  9. The Yakima Kid

    The Yakima Kid Cirque des Poulets

    Ummm..... is it a good idea to feed egg shells from a sick hen back to her and all of the other hens? I'd be inclined to see how she does before feeding the egg shells.

    In any event, if you do feed them, you need to remove the membrane and then microwave them for at least fifteen seconds, let them cool, and then crush them. They shouldn't be recognizable or biddy might decide to skip the part where you pick up the eggs and just eat her eggs herself.
     
  10. The Yakima Kid

    The Yakima Kid Cirque des Poulets

    Get some real chicken feed. Chickens love meat. Some chickens are better mousers than cats.

    If she is eleven years old, she may have had old age catch up with her, too. Which is very sad.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by