Chicken laying on side, couldn't get up?

Mum

Songster
8 Years
Dec 23, 2011
872
27
128
UK
One of my bantams was in her run, laying on her side unable to get up. I watched for a few minutes just to be sure she wasn't in dust bathing mode then I picked her up and have put her in the "hospital" coop.

Ideas????
 

ICallMyselfCherie'

Songster
9 Years
Apr 26, 2010
627
1
131
Sacramento-3 Chicken Yrs
If you could post the answers to these questions, and maybe post a picture of her, we'll be able to help you better.
smile.png



1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
2) What is the behavior, exactly.
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
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?
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use


In the mean time, make sure she's warm and isolated from your other birds.
 

Mum

Songster
8 Years
Dec 23, 2011
872
27
128
UK
Of course, sorry I didn't think to do that before

If you could post the answers to these questions, and maybe post a picture of her, we'll be able to help you better.
smile.png



1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
Pekin bantam approx 18mths
2) What is the behavior, exactly.
Found laying on her side in the run, unable to get up
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
Just this morning
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.
Only had this girl since Sunday; don't believe anything has happened other than moving here with her 3 friends
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
Layers pellets and water with ACV added
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
small droppings brown and yellow
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
Seperation and put her upright
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?
Treat at home
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
N/A
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
She was in an Eglu and run sharing with her 3 companions. Run is on grass, bedding is Aubiose. Now housed in hospital coop - traditional wooden style.


In the mean time, make sure she's warm and isolated from your other birds.


As I say, I've only had this group since Sunday and they have all been kept seperate from my main group as part of their quarantine period. Now I've isolated this one from her own group. She has stayed in the nesting area of the wooden coop I've moved her to and is just sitting which I suppose is a stage up from when I found her on her side but if she keels over again, I know she won't be able to right herself.
 

happytxchick

Egg Song Acre
10 Years
Jul 8, 2009
751
6
131
Sulphur Springs, TX
One of my EE hens is doing to same thing. I've seen this condition described here before but never paid any attn to the responses bc I've never had a chicken present this way. She is between 2-3 y old & was fine (flew up & pecked my hand day before yesterday when I was out feeding), never has been sick.. She is eating well, and none of my other birds are sick...no wounds, no respiratory issues, no weird poop.
 

ICallMyselfCherie'

Songster
9 Years
Apr 26, 2010
627
1
131
Sacramento-3 Chicken Yrs
Of course, sorry I didn't think to do that before



As I say, I've only had this group since Sunday and they have all been kept seperate from my main group as part of their quarantine period. Now I've isolated this one from her own group. She has stayed in the nesting area of the wooden coop I've moved her to and is just sitting which I suppose is a stage up from when I found her on her side but if she keels over again, I know she won't be able to right herself.

Okay, thank you for the extra information.
smile.png


So now what I'm wondering are these things:

Can she move her legs? Are they completely paralyzed or are they just weak?
Does one leg seem to be more affected than the other?
Is she attempting to stand, or not at all?
Does she seem alert and responsive, or kind of "far off"?
Is she eating and drinking now?
Is she panting, or have her mouth open?
Can you hear any noisy breathing if you listen closely?
Does she seem thinner than usual?
Has she had access to any rotten fruit, pesticide, etc.?
Are there any unusual things about her eye -- discoloration or misshapen pupil?


At this point, here are some possibilities that come to mind:

Marek's
Slipped tendon
Egg bound
Botulism
 

ICallMyselfCherie'

Songster
9 Years
Apr 26, 2010
627
1
131
Sacramento-3 Chicken Yrs
One of my EE hens is doing to same thing. I've seen this condition described here before but never paid any attn to the responses bc I've never had a chicken present this way. She is between 2-3 y old & was fine (flew up & pecked my hand day before yesterday when I was out feeding), never has been sick.. She is eating well, and none of my other birds are sick...no wounds, no respiratory issues, no weird poop.

Have you posted about this on the diseases thread? You'll be able to get more answers if you post directly.
smile.png
 

happytxchick

Egg Song Acre
10 Years
Jul 8, 2009
751
6
131
Sulphur Springs, TX
Have you posted about this on the diseases thread? You'll be able to get more answers if you post directly.
smile.png
I know, but I've been too busy to play with our new site & I'm just on my phone which makes it more difficult. Between my uncle dying this week & just the everyday routine of taking care of my family, I've had to back burner Sophie. She's eating really well & seems perky other than doing exactly what the OP's chicken is doing. If y'all answer her question, then I'll have my answers, too. Thanks!! :)
 

Mum

Songster
8 Years
Dec 23, 2011
872
27
128
UK
Can she move her legs? Are they completely paralyzed or are they just weak?
Weak
Does one leg seem to be more affected than the other?
No
Is she attempting to stand, or not at all?
Yes
Does she seem alert and responsive, or kind of "far off"?
She's been relatively subdued since I got her on Sunday (the other three are very perky, she is very quiet)
Is she eating and drinking now?
Yes, but the dishes are literally a few inches away from her, so little effort required to reach them.
Is she panting, or have her mouth open?
No
Can you hear any noisy breathing if you listen closely?
No
Does she seem thinner than usual?
No idea; she seems the same as when I collected her Sunday
Has she had access to any rotten fruit, pesticide, etc.?
No
Are there any unusual things about her eye -- discoloration or misshapen pupil?
No


At this point, here are some possibilities that come to mind:

Marek's
Slipped tendon
Egg bound
Botulism


Thank you for those suggestions and the time you've taken to reply.

As I mentioned previously, she is now isolated and I'm due to wake them all up in another 2hrs, so I'll give her another check over (it's too dark right now).

happytxchick - my condolences to you; sorry to read about your Uncle ((hugs))
 
Last edited:

ICallMyselfCherie'

Songster
9 Years
Apr 26, 2010
627
1
131
Sacramento-3 Chicken Yrs
Thank you for those suggestions and the time you've taken to reply.

As I mentioned previously, she is now isolated and I'm due to wake them all up in another 2hrs, so I'll give her another check over (it's too dark right now).

happytxchick - my condolences to you; sorry to read about your Uncle ((hugs))
You're very welcome, and thank you for taking the time to answer more questions. It definitely helps.

Okay, the fact that she hasn't been exposed to any rotten fruit, etc., coupled with the fact that nobody else is sick, botulism can probably be ruled out. If it IS botulism for some reason and she survives, you can expect it to get better in a couple days.

That leaves the possibility of Marek's, egg bound, or even a head injury. Of course there are others, but these are the main ones that seem likely to me.

So . . .

Slipped tendon: I think it's worth researching and examining her closely to see if one leg is weaker than the other, even though it seems as though it isn't. You can hold her and try to see if she offers resistance when you move her feet around, one at a time. If one does and the other doesn't, that's something to pay attention to.

Head injury: Have you seen her being picked on? Could she have fallen any significant distance (greater than three feet), or flown into something? She might have a slight tremor of her head, like shaking her head no. It would be different than the "flicking" type movement of being irritated by mites, you might notice it when she has her eyes closed or is half asleep, like a "resting tremor". She doesn't necessarily have to have this tremor, but it is something to note.

Egg Bound: You'll want to check for this as soon as possible, for sure. Feel her abdomen for a hard lump. If you're not sure, you can put a rubber glove, or a plastic bag over your hand and gently insert a finger inside her bottom to feel for an egg. Soak her bottom in warm water and epsom salts (or just normal salt, if that's all you have.) This will help relax her and help her lay the egg if she is egg bound. The fact that you said "yellow" poo is also something that is interesting to me. Is it possible it could be part of a broken egg oozing out? I don't quite know what you mean by brown and yellow. Here is the poop chart, for now and for future reference. http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0

Marek's Disease: Hopefully it isn't this. This is the worst of the possibilities. However, given the symptoms, it is also one of the more likely possibilities. I don't know how much you know about Marek's, but here is some information: She is a bit old for the typical onset of Marek's, but it is still very possible for a bird to start displaying symptoms at an older age, even if it has been vaccinated. The type of Marek's it would probably be would be what is known as "Neural Marek's". Marek's is caused by a form of herpes virus, and causes tumors. It can cause tumors in the nervous system, causing paralysis, particularly of the legs, wings, and neck. It can also present simultaneously as "Ocular Marek's" which can cause blindness in one or both eyes, visible as a greying of the iris or abnormality of pupil shape. Marek's is HIGHLY contagious and very difficult to irradiate once introduced to your flock. The traditional diagnosis of Marek's is by necropsy, but contrary to what one is usually told, there IS a test for Marek's that can be performed on a live bird. Unfortunately, it is not a test readily available through a veterinarian, but rather through food and safety labs, particularly universities. If you are in or are near California, UC Davis has a very good program that offers the test for less than three dollars. Most states probably have their own programs for this, as well. It tests blood for Marek's antibodies, and you can even draw the blood yourself and save yourself the vet bill. There is a drawback to the test, however. It is seemingly unable to distinguish between protective antibodies, and antibodies that are present due to illness. What this means is 1) if the bird has been vaccinated for Marek's, the test will likely come back positive, whether or not the bird is actually suffering from the illness, and 2) some birds have developed a resistance to Marek's, and will therefor have Marek's antibodies. However, I believe it is still a valuable preliminary tool in diagnosing Marek's. After all, if the test comes back positive, yes, you may be back at square one -- but if it comes back negative, won't you be glad you didn't euthanize your bird to find that out?

Here is a link with some good info about Marek's.
http://www.poultry.msstate.edu/extension/pdf/Marek's.pdf

It also mentions another tumor-causing disease that is similar to Marek's, which would be worth researching also, but is less likely. It is called Lymphoid Leukosis. Here is a link about Lymphoid Leukosis: http://www.poultryhub.org/bird-health-and-disease/lymphoid-leukosis/


Hopefully something here will help. Chickens are difficult to diagnose sometime, but perhaps something here will click.
 

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