chicken walks like a penguin

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by langston, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. langston

    langston Hatching

    Jul 17, 2008
    My daughter discovered one of her young chickens laying on it's back with it's legs straight up in the air. We have been giving it an antibiotic in it's water. It is now upright and appears to be doing better but is wobbly when it walks AND walks upright like a penguin. We have it separated from the other chickens. It has been walking this way for about 10 days now. It is tottery enough that I think maybe part of this has to do with balance but I don't know. I have never seen anything like it. Anyone have any ideas?
  2. Google spraddle or splay legs. If you decide it is, try the interventions suggested immediately. If it isn't, I wonder about a vitamin deficiency. What are you feeding your chicks? Try some polyvisol drops without iron as well.

    Good luck.

    Oh, and welcome to BYC!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2008
  3. virgilini

    virgilini In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2007
    Hi Jennifer,
    I had a hen that walked the same way. I discovered it last year. I was looking after some friends chickens and noticed that one of them was acting strangely and hiding all the time. She would get under a bush or hide in a corner etc. After a few days I saw that she couldn't roost anymore either and would hide under it and the other chickens would poop all over her in the night! I took her out of the coop and kept her by herself. She could walk but was very upright with her tail feathers curled under her and she tottered or lumbered along and used her wings for some balance. There aren't any good chicken vets around here but I did take her to one and he didn't have any clue. Just said to take care of her and keep her comfortable. Well this hen became my pet. I work on a horse farm and she would go home with me every night and sleep in a crate in our garage and then go with me to the farm in the mornings and I would put her in a pen away from the other chickens. She got along great and could walk enough that she could get around a bit. I did this for over a year. What ever was wrong with her did progress to the point where about a month ago she really couldn't walk anymore and everytime she tried to take a step she would fall forward and drag herself with her beak. It broke my heart to watch her!! She wanted me to hold her all the time and when I put her down on the ground she would peep madly and try to get over to me. I finally made the decision to euthanize her last week. Her quality of life had just deteriorated to the point where she wasn't comfortable anymore. I was devastated!! Taking care of her was a big part of my every day and really miss her. She was really sweet. My vet said that she thought it was something neurological but didn't know for sure. She really didn't know much about chickens. I wish there was a vet around here that knew something about chickens. I would have spent anything to find out if it was something I could treat. That's not for everyone though. I have 8 chickens and they're just pets. I know that a sick or injured bird is usually culled. I just can't do that. I'm sure this doesn't help much but I thought it was interesting to see that someone else had a chicken doing the same thing as mine. One vet said that I should try some anti-inflammatories but it was too late by then. Maybe not for yours though. Keep us posted as to how she's doing. I did post a topic last week before I euthanized my hen asking for advice if you want to read it. It's ....disabled chicken.... It's in this forum. Good luck with her.

  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Is the bird of laying age? Usually the penguin stance indicates the bird is eggbound or is having trouble getting the egg out.

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