Clumsiness

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chicknmania, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,924
    153
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I hope this is nothing, but I am looking for a second opinion. We got a Houdan pullet about 6 or 7 weeks ago. I have read that this breed is friendly and tame, also very meek around other chickens. And that's the way she is. We quarantined her for the first four weeks, then she was out for a week or so with the others, but they picked on her, so since then she has been with one of our lowly roos who we keep isolated for his own protection. He and she fell in love, I wrote before about this. Anyway, they are in a pen together but we have noticed that she does not seem to be able to fly more than a couple of feet, and she cannot perch very well. She can't roost with him, can't hang on to the perch. She has always been this way. I think she can't see too well because of her crest, but you can see her eyes. When the roo tries to show her food on the ground, she acts like she's not sure what he's talking about. Today my son let both of them out together to stroll around the barn for half an hour or so, while he stayed out there to protect them. He says that when you gently push Moppit, (the Houdan) she will sometimes stumble and fall. She is very light weight, but not especially bony. She seems cheerful and not sick at all, talks all the time, but the stumbling and falling does not sound good to me. If you pick her up she will climb to your shoulder or arm and doesn't seem to have trouble holding on since she can clutch the material of whatever you're wearing. She has only laid one egg since we've had her, but that would be typical for this time of year and her age, I think. We also know that the hens she was with before we got her picked on her, because she had a small sore on her head when we got her, and a lot of her head feathers are just now starting to grow back. Could she have brain damage? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is Marek's, but she doesn't seem to show any other symptoms. We don't have any experience with this breed..my son things she is just not very bright and not very coordinated, for some reason. Thoughts?
     
  2. beekybuzzard

    beekybuzzard Chillin' With My Peeps

    188
    1
    121
    Dec 21, 2007
    SC
    Doesn't sound like brain damage. Possibly just a clumsy chicken. I have had a few before and just had to keep a little closer watch on them. Also could be a problem with her eyes. Do you see any cloudiness in them?
     
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,924
    153
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    We will look at her eyes, that's certainly possible. But she seems to walk around the barn ok and can find the food.
     
  4. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    please describe the droppings..color and consistency.

    has she been wormed?

    would you consider giving her a little haircut so she can see better?

    check the eyes for cloudiness, and any gray color.

    sounds like she could use some vitamins..
    dhl suggests polyvisol children's vitiamins..3 drops a day on beak for a week, then taper off.
    you might also consider AviaCharge 2000.
    McMurrays Hatchery has it..

    she might also need some extra protein, such as egg..some people offer canned cat food.
    make sure she is eating her feed.

    what all do you feed?
     
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    4,871
    22
    251
    Jan 11, 2007
    trim any feathers obscuring her eyesight... you will be amazed what a difference this can make
    give a good complete supplement like AviaCharge 2000 just in case there is some vitamin or nutritional deficiency going on. Also give POLYVISOL three drops in beak once a day for a week then taper off.
    Is she on a layer ration (she should be if of laying age) > if you can, adding wheatgermoil through the feed will help.
    (be sure to offer a separate bowl of grower or other feed which does not have the high calcium that layer ration does for your roo)
     
  6. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Even using a hair elastic could help...
     
  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,924
    153
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    You know, I went out to see her yesterday; first time I've handled her in a week or so. She has very small (but bright yellow) eyes, and her crest has grown hugely, she is also developing muffs. I couldn't even see one of her eyes now without moving the feathers. So her eyesight is obscured even more. She has gained some weight now and yesterday my son took them out to enjoy the sunshine...he said she flopped down in it like a dead thing with the other hens when they were sunning, and didn't even spread her wings, but got up again after ten minutes or so and was walking around normally. So maybe it is just some sight issues, and maybe a bit of a different personality too? I have been worried about the trimming; paranoid she might jerk; but I will try some blunt kid's scissors and see if I can clear her a path to see out of...the elastics are a good idea, too. Dietary wise yes she has layer and they have a sprinkle of kelp meal on their food every day; try to supplement with fruit, veggies, sunflower seeds, table scraps, crushed egg shells, black oil sunflower, two to three times a week. And she has crushed oyster shell available. Haven't noticed any unusual droppings although they are in straw bedding so it is hard to tell, but her rear feathers are clean around her vent and she keeps herself very clean overall. Don't know if her previous owner dewormed her; we will deworm them all later this spring. One thing...don't know if my kids have any interest in showing her later but if so how fast do the feathers grow back? This might be something we want to do at some point as we think she is turning out to be a very beautiful little hen.
     
  8. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,924
    153
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I really think this is Marek's or something neuological, anyway. we trimmed her feathers, it made no difference. Her irisis are not grey though, they are light yellow and weird looking. She staggers most of the time and acts like she can't see. I googled Marek's and the symptoms pretty much fit, except she does not have grey irisis.she is much worse than she was before, and this seems to have just happened over the past few days; she seems to be going down hill quickly. She no longer will eat treats. Now when you pick her up, her head droops, and she acts like she is dying. She does not have external parasites that we can tell. Ifeel like I am probably to blame for not addressing this sooner. We have started her on vitamins, but only recently.
     
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    47
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    How old is she? If he is mating her has she ever laid any eggs if she is laying age? Just curious if she could be an internal layer.
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,924
    153
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing less than six months old? We got her in late Dec or early January and they said she was a pullet. She laid one egg during a short warm spell we had here shortly after we got her. Since then she has not laid anything but the weather has been cold and wet; just figured that might be why she wasn't laying. Just started towarm up this week. Most of our other hens are laying now but not all.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by