Chicken seems like she has vertigo and can't walk

kellydew

Hatching
Jan 14, 2016
1
0
7
New to BYC-Florence is one of our older hens. Got her at an unknown age from a free range farm with goats, dogs, and lots of other chickens. She is a bantam seabright. She is our best layer, and today she was laying/sitting on her side. She looked odd so went to go to her and she twitched her head in a semi-circle (and kept doing this periodically). She tried to get away and couldn't stand or walk. I thought it might be her feet, so I brought her inside and washed her feet. There was nothing that I could see that would tell me what was wrong. She can't fly (even a little bit) and will instead, fall to the ground, hard. Don't worry, I didn't let her go, she got away from me and fell from my arms by accident. I can't afford to take her to the vet but I have two other hens that I'm concerned about. Should I isolate her from the other chickens? I don't want her to struggle and I'm concerned about her being able to get around to eat and drink. Should I bring her inside in an aquarium to keep her safe and away from the others? ANY suggestions are welcome. I am a wreck and so is my sweet Flo. Please help. Thank you.
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,632
51,344
1,302
southern Ohio
Welcome to BYC. How old is she? It sounds a bit like Mareks disease, but that usually doesn't affect older birds, unless they have recently been exposed to a carrier of Mareks. Those carriers can be vaccinated chickens who have lived with a bird or in an area contaminated by Mareks. Could she have suffered a head injury or had a stroke? I would keep her quiet, separated with food and water, and give her some vitamins in her water or food. Keep her warm. Make sure that she is eating and drinking, and keep her close to the food. Here is a little information to read about Mareks:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
 

chicklover 1998

Songster
Sep 30, 2015
1,615
102
118
Oskaloosa,Ia
New to BYC-Florence is one of our older hens. Got her at an unknown age from a free range farm with goats, dogs, and lots of other chickens. She is a bantam seabright. She is our best layer, and today she was laying/sitting on her side. She looked odd so went to go to her and she twitched her head in a semi-circle (and kept doing this periodically). She tried to get away and couldn't stand or walk. I thought it might be her feet, so I brought her inside and washed her feet. There was nothing that I could see that would tell me what was wrong. She can't fly (even a little bit) and will instead, fall to the ground, hard. Don't worry, I didn't let her go, she got away from me and fell from my arms by accident. I can't afford to take her to the vet but I have two other hens that I'm concerned about. Should I isolate her from the other chickens? I don't want her to struggle and I'm concerned about her being able to get around to eat and drink. Should I bring her inside in an aquarium to keep her safe and away from the others? ANY suggestions are welcome. I am a wreck and so is my sweet Flo. Please help. Thank you.


Welcome to BYC. How old is she? It sounds a bit like Mareks disease, but that usually doesn't affect older birds, unless they have recently been exposed to a carrier of Mareks. Those carriers can be vaccinated chickens who have lived with a bird or in an area contaminated by Mareks. Could she have suffered a head injury or had a stroke? I would keep her quiet, separated with food and water, and give her some vitamins in her water or food. Keep her warm. Make sure that she is eating and drinking, and keep her close to the food. Here is a little information to read about Mareks:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf

Welcome to BYC. I am leaning towards eggcessive's thought of mereks as for the drinking you can take a dropper and slowly drip it into her beak.
 

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