Chicken drunk walks, barely eats/drinks - HELP


Apr 19, 2018
Virginia Mountains
We are completely at a loss & really need help to save our Splash. I'm sorry we don't have more information to give you, between family deaths, foster kittens, & a host of other crazy life things; we weren't able to give Splash our full time & attention until now.

1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.) She's a Splash Orphington born Feb 20. She is loosing weight quickly, I can feel her breast bone (very pronounced now). Still laid eggs daily as far as we know.
2) What is the behavior, exactly. We went out to do an egg check like normal around Sept 17th. Everyone came running up to us except her. She drunk walked/stumbled over. Everyone else was bonkers for treats, she couldn't care less. We kept an eye on her but left her with the flock. She struggled to get up the ramp & into the coop. So we kept her in a crate for 24 hours. She got better & demanded to go back to the flock. She would be fine for a day or 2 other than walking oddly & refusing treats of any sort. At best she seemed unsteady on her feet. At worst, she was having to use her wings to help catch herself while stumbling. Then the cycle (stumble/ok vs drunk/bad) would repeat itself. One morning we noticed she was covered in poop. That night we peeked in on them & found her sleeping under the roost bars. We took her back to the crate. We found her on the roost bar in the crate a few times, she now refuses to use it. She has demanded to go out to the coop everyday so far.
This morning we decided to take her out to the coop so we could go run errands. I tried to take her out to the field but she fought me 1/2 way there. She then just laid in the grass, like face planted, wings limp, feet curled, panting heavily with eyes closed. I immediately took her back to her crate. I held her for a while, petting her, telling her that we love her. She seemed to relax in my arms but had zero energy. She's now in her crate refusing to eat or drink.
Her wattles seem to have a white tinge to them today. Her comb coloring is normal.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Off & on since Sept 17. She would seem fine & demand to go back to the flock. She would act normal except a little wobbly for a day or 2. Then go back to not eating/drinking & drunk walking.
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? No, the other 10 are totally normal.
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No. I have felt her all over, everything seems fine. & I'm an EMT if that matters at all.
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. We have an automatic chicken door, maybe it tried shutting on her? That's the only thing we can really come up with.
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. When she's out with the flock, we have not seen her eat or drink. She will fake/pretend to eat. Bob her head pretending to eat the treats but she doesn't even try to pick anything up. When she's in the crate she eats scrambled egg & oatmeal, very rarely touches the chicken food. Drinks water with Ropa (same as we give to baby chicks, has electrolytes & vitamins).
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Poop is totally normal. Same amount, same consistency. The feathers below her vent do have poop on them so she may have had runny poo that we didn't see. The poop I picked up this morning seemed a little dry.
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? We keep her in a dog crate (with food & water) at night & as much of the day as she tolerates. Every morning for breakfast & in the evening we give her a bowl of oatmeal & a bowl of scrambled egg. Those are the only things she really eats.
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? We live in Shenandoah County VA, we have no idea where a chicken vet is. We would be willing to take her to a vet if it's not insanely expensive. While we both love her, she is my Husband's favorite chicken so we really want to save her.
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use. They are semi free range in a moveable Amish made coop. Inside the coop is food grade/cow hay. It has an automatic chicken door. We clean the coop every 1-2 weeks. They get moved to new grass when needed (depends on rainfall, grass growth, etc.)


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Premium Feather Member
6 Years
5 Years
Jul 31, 2015
Houston, TX
My Coop
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I am sorry she isn't feeling well.

Is she drinking on her own?

Are you willing to tube feed her?

Have you checked her well for lice and or mites?
Have you brought any new birds home in the last few months?
Are your birds vaccinated for Marek's?


Apr 19, 2018
Virginia Mountains
We've seen her drinking when she's in her crate but not when she's out with the others. Not much, like she's not chugging water. If anything, it's like her eating. Seems like less than it should be.

I am more than willing to try tube feeding her. Just tell me how.

Yes, I did a serious once over for lice & mites (especially since I have been carrying her & she's living inside our home these days). Found 1 mite on her left wattle & promptly removed it.

New round of baby chicks in the brooder (no access to her). We had a rescue Roo back in June but he stayed in quarantine until he was well, then he went to live with my in-laws. The girls are free range inside an electric fence so a wild bird could have brought something I guess?

Yes, they have all come from MyPetChicken & been vaccinated for Marek's.

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