Deformed Silkie hen (leg deformity) at laying age, acting funny

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by iamowl, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. iamowl

    iamowl New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Oct 17, 2011
    I will post pics of her as soon as I can, but the trouble started this evening and with all the fuss trying to figure it out I didn't have time to document it.
    When I got Gimbly, she was in a batch of chicks purchased from Pistils. We didn't notice her leg deformity until a few weeks later, as we are first time chicken owners and it wasn't obvious. Turns out she likely has leg deformity that Silkies are prone to anyway, on account of inconsistent incubation conditions when she was in the egg. (We weren't involved in that part of the process so we don't know any more than that).

    In any case, the hope was that if we splinted it she would recover. The splinting didn't work, but she did appear to get around well by flapping her wings, hopping with her good leg, and a sort of "pushing off" movement she uses to get around. She eats and drinks fine, when the other hens give her a chance. I spend extra time with her making sure she gets fruits and other treats before the bigger hens can steal them from her.

    So now all the hens have started to lay, and we were beginning to wonder how that would affect Gimbly, if she would lay an egg, if she was among our egg laying hens (hard to know who is laying what and when since they all chose the same nest box) or if she would become egg-bound due to her odd condition.

    Today when the chickens were let out to free range, she stayed in the coop. When I went to investigate she had her head tucked under her body and was frantically distracted by grooming. This seemed abnormal, so we decided to bathe her and check her for mites and other things. We drew her a warm bath, used a small amount of Dr.Bronners, and soaked her until her feathers were clean. Then we rinsed her carefully and she let me blow her feathers dry and made happy sounds later as I was holding her to warm her back up. She showed no signs of mites, scaley skin or anything, though her feet pads (especially the crippled foot) were pink) I thought she was going to be fine, since she pooped normally, didn't appear to be bound up, and looked around interestedly at the house. The moment we put her back in the coop however she tucked her head again and began nibbling away at herself.

    Is this normal behavior or a sign of something worse? It appears very obsessive for her and kind of freaks me out. I'm rooting for her as the under-chicken, but if there's anything I can do to spare her from an untimely death or discomfort I'd like to know.
     
  2. iamowl

    iamowl New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Oct 17, 2011
    Went to check on Gimbly this morning and she was still in the nest box we put her in. Usually she sleeps in a big pile of hens all in one box (they insist on sleeping that way) so this was abnormal. While the other chickens were out roaming already, she was hanging out in the nest box. She was still checking her undercarriage (and by that it's difficult to tell what she is aiming for, could be her vent, sometimes seems to be her neck/crop area). I had to go to school so we decided to leave her be and see if maybe this was just her way of laying an egg.


    When I got home an hour or so ago, she had moved from the nest box to near the feeder, but seemed to be laying down and still kind of in that head tucked position, though speaking to her did arouse some normal cheepings. There was an egg in her nest box. We aren't sure if it's hers, or if someone kicked her out to lay their own since they all like to lay in the same box...

    I took her out to the yard to hang out in the grass, and hand fed her some mashed hard-boiled egg (which she gobbled down), some yogurt and some banana. She is pecking at the grass but not really trying to get around, and occasionally still grooming herself like crazy.

    Her poops as I have discovered are kind of dryish, the pale yellow color and consistency of a hardboiled egg yolk.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by