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Chicken falling over/losing balance

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pdxwes, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. pdxwes

    pdxwes Hatching

    Oct 22, 2011
    We have a Silver Laced Wyandotte that is having difficulty standing. I've read the related posts, but thought I'd reach out and see if there might be any new insights. So far I am left to assume she must have eaten something bad.

    She is 1 year old
    The 12 hens are in a coop, but get out every afternoon into the garden when the kids come home from school
    This was first noticed yesterday afternoon and yesterday evening she was on the lowest rung of the roost.
    They are fed Layena, but graze in the garden and forest next door when they get out. There are oyster shells/baked egg shells available in a feeder in the coop as well.
    There is a large compost heap in the corner of the garden, but it is all yard waste (leaves, grass, and straw from cleaning the hen house)
    We have given no medications
    She is the only chicken exhibiting any issues.
    "Hurricane" has been the top of the pecking order since the young hens moved to the henhouse. Today I went to let the chickens out and she was leaning against the fence of the run for support. She had been thoroughly picked over by the other chickens. If was the first time she ever had a feather out of order. She is a bit of a tyrant, so in her weakened state everyone seemed to have give her some back.

    When she got out of the henhouse she went straight for the dust bath the chickens have created under a lean-to we have on one side of the garden (normal behavior), but every 4-5 steps she would lose her balance and slump to one side. She would regain her balance and take a few more steps. After a good dustbath I found her over by the coop leaning against the fence. I gave her some scratch and she clucked and pecked at the scratch while leaning against the fence (normal with the exception of staying in one place and leaning against the fence). She seems to have real difficulty with muscle control in her legs.

    When it was time for everyone to go in I put her in a dog crate in the garden shed with some litter, clean water and food. When I first put the food in she ate some. She escaped a time or two when I opened the door to check on her. I left her in the crate this evening.

  2. coberdor

    coberdor Songster

    Nov 24, 2008
    Norton, Ohio
    Sounds like Mareks.

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