Chickens watching too much Monty Python?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ailurophile23, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over the weekend we had a wonderful sunny day and I had the chance to sit outside with my chickens (and dogs and cats) as they really free ranged throughout the yard. I noticed one of my light brahma hens doing what I can only describe as a silly walk from Monty Python - she'd take a normal step (or 2 or 3) and then the next step would include raising the leg overly high (all the way up to the body) and then sort of awkwardly putting it forward. This happened with both legs and happened intermittently. This hen was born in June of 2009 and is a hatchery hen - she lives with a flock of 11 other hens (5 speckled sussex and 6 more light brahmas). They are fed a mix of Flockraiser and Layena and get fresh greens (lettuce, kale, cabbage, collards....) daily along with as much free range time as I can give them (usually 1-2 hours during the week, longer on weekends). They have all just gone through their first major molt and laying is almost non-existent (due to the molt and the time of year - no worries here). Any ideas on what is going on with the awkward walk?
     
  2. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2011
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    Hum... might be just a fluke, normal. But, do you have a normal worming routine? Have you wormed the flock? If they are all a couple of years old, do you worm -- maybe twice a year? Especially free range chickens are prone to worms, which can cause a variety of symptoms, including limping, not laying, etc.

    Search here on BYC "Worming with Valbazen" if you have never wormed them... note posts by dawg53 for good info on how to, dosages, etc...

    I don't really know the reason she would walk like that... if she was the only one doing that.. was it on wet grass or something that might not have felt good to walk on?

    Well.. good luck. I hope someone else will add something more difinitive for you. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
     
  3. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the reply. And no, they have not yet been wormed this year. Since laying is down so much, I have been meaning to do the worming but just haven't gotten to it yet. I will go ahead and follow the instructions I have seen on here in case worms might be involved.
     
  4. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Was she vaccinated for Marek's disease? Have there been mosquitoes in the area? Any chance she could have fallen or had a knock to her head, neck or back?
    Sounds like some sort of brain or spinal cord problem but could also be a B12 or folic acid deficiency. I think nutritional is unlikely but it does happen if your feed store doesn't rotate feed often or it gets infested by bugs. Or, if she has worms, she can have malnutrition.
    Feed her some poly vi sol or brewers yeast ( or nutritional yeast) and consider worming. I'd change out feed bags, just to be on the safe side. Maybe consider worming but I might wait and see about that. Give her a good exam, look at her weight, look for mites, lice, look at her pupils.
    Check everyone else for the same. Check combs, are they light pink or dark pink?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  5. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Tracydr and thanks for your input. Yes they were all vaccinated for Maerck's when purchased. We do have mosquitos in the area during the warmer months but we have already had a number of major freezes this year so I doubt they are still around though I cannot rule it out completely. I do not think there has been an opportunity for a fall as their roosts are about 18" off the floor of the coop and even their doors (which lead to ramps) are not more than 18" off the ground. However, there is one somewhat higher roost in the coop that may be 2 feet off the ground so I suppose that could be an area where a fall might occur. I do have polyvisol on hand and had been considering giving the hens some due to the stress of molting and will do so this evening. They just started two new bags of feed and both look fresh and smell fresh with no obvious signs of bugs. No signs of mites/lice on any of the hens and we keep DE or poultry dust in their bedding and on the roosts. Weight is good on the hen in question and she is eating well and competing with the other hens for food. Eyes and pupils look fine - react to varying light levels, no discharge. The hen with the issues has a bright red comb though some of the others are a little pale - I have been assuming this is due to the stress of molting - another good reason to give them their vitamins.
     
  6. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just an update - the hen in question seems to have gotten better after some combination of worming and a few doses of vitamins in the water over the course of a couple of weeks. I have also made an effort to let them have access to more free-range time over our 1 acre yard. Thanks again for all your comments.
     

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