Chicken Lost Eye, Balance Issues

KStarmer

Hatching
Dec 10, 2018
3
0
2
Hi everyone,

I have an Australorp that has undergone a series of health issues, all of which I've nursed her back from health, including multiple cases of "penguin episodes" where we finally got egg to pass with warm baths and olive oil massages, a broken leg that we splinted and under went "Chicken Physical Therapy" to get her walking again. Needless to say I have put a lot of time into her... She is only two years old.

This Past Friday we found same chicken upside down in the coop, and she appears to have been brutally attacked by her flockmates. She has lost an eye, and the entire right side of her face is badly scarred/damaged. we have since moved her into the house, where she is eating and drinking and seems alert. No sign of infection yet, keeping things as clean as we can and away from our bird dog...

I have great faith in the chicken's ability to heal, HOWEVER, I have been taking her outside with me while I garden, and she still is unable to stand/walk on her own. Nothing is broken, as she will stand if you help support her, and will walk if you help support her. When left on her own, she falls over as soon as she tries to take a step and seems disoriented and sometimes flails until she ends up on her back again.

Any advice/similar experiences? She doesn't seem to be in pain, has a great appetite, bright and clear in her good eye. Brain damage possible from the attack? Any hope of recovery?

I realize she's a chicken.... No, we won't take her to a vet as we discussed that when she broke her leg. I love my chickens, but not enough to spend hundreds of dollars on a $5 chick.

I don't know why it's always this same chicken either....
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
119,096
340,708
1,977
New Jersey
Welcome to BYC. Sorry for the circumstances. I'm wondering if the lack of coordination is what resulted in her being attacked by her flock mates. Do an on site search on Marek's disease and see if that sounds like a possibility.
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,197
50,778
1,302
southern Ohio
Welcome to BYC. Sourland’s post of a suspicion of possible Mareks disease was in the back of my mind when I first read this thread about finding her on her back a few hours ago. It seems that chickens will get attacked by their flock sometimes when they are sick and acting oddly. She sounds like she has had quite a few hardships. I would probably leave her in the coop, but separated in a wire dog crate with her own food and water within reach. A chicken sling or chair can be fashioned to get her upright to reach food and to keep her cleaner while she is recuperating. Here is a good link to look at some homemade slings:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/versions-of-chick-chairs-please.1166308/
 

KStarmer

Hatching
Dec 10, 2018
3
0
2
Welcome to BYC. Sorry for the circumstances. I'm wondering if the lack of coordination is what resulted in her being attacked by her flock mates. Do an on site search on Marek's disease and see if that sounds like a possibility.
 

KStarmer

Hatching
Dec 10, 2018
3
0
2
Thank you,

We’re still hanging in there and after reading up on Mareks I don’t believe that’s the issue as she has mobility in her legs and pushes herself around/thrashes with them. She still can’t balance, and is starting to not eat/drink though I got her to eat some scrambled egg with turmeric tonight. Her comb is starting to pale and I’m on the fine line of trying to judge if I can rehab her or if it’s more kind to let her go. So hard!
She doesn’t talk to me anymore... and freaks out every so often which again makes me think there’s inner ear or neurological damage from the attack.
 

Cragg Klefor

Crowing
Apr 14, 2017
912
1,621
282
County Kilkenny, Ireland
Hi KStarmer,
Your poor chicken has had a difficult time.
Even if it is Mareks you have absolutely no definite way to find out until she passes, so I would think with all the time and effort already invested in her, why not at least give it a little more - once there are different things you can try.
Have you tried B Compex vitamins?
It sounds like it's going to go one way or the other right now - she will either rapidly decline or you'll see an improvement.
I believe a hen that stops 'talking' is generally either in pain or depressed, so thats not great.
If she continues to be off her food I reckon she's given up.
I doubt it will take more than a few days to see which way she's going.
 

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