Drooping wing? Too heavy or something worse?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BJS, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. BJS

    BJS Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2009
    I have a welsummer pullet that is just about 3 months old and has been entirely healthy to date. Today, I noticed that one wing is very droopy with the ends of the wing feathers dragging on the ground. It has good energy, is eating and dringking well, and appears otherwise in great shape. When it runs, she has developed a slight hop to avoid her foot from getting caught in the wing feathers. The wing appears to hang almost limply from the shoulder. It is raining today and the pullet (free-ranging) is soaking wet. There is no visible injury. Could it just be that the wing with the added weight of the rain is too heavy for the young pullet to support properly, or is there likely some injury (or disease)?

    The pullet is in the younger group of my flock, with 8 month olds also. Yesterday, the entire flock was penned together instead of allowing to free-range (to avoid any possible incidents with Thanksgiving guests and guest's dogs...) The young welsummers generally sleep in a separate coop from the older birds , but last night several of the older birds went ot roost early in the welsummer's coop and we did not remove them. It is possible that the older birds injured the younger one, but there are no missing feathers or visible injury and the bird with the droopy wing does not seem any more shy or fearful around the others than it did before.

    I'm hoping that when the bird dries out and the wing lightens, it will pick up again, but in the meantime is their anything I should watch out for? If it's a disease, then the entire flock is likely contaminated since they all free-range together. The welsummers were my last acquisitions, picked up at four weeks old about two months ago. They have been in great health every since we got them and after a few weeks in a separate pen I let them mingle with the rest of the flock.
     
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Right wing or left?

    I would segregate her in a dog cage or something similar, get her into a draft-free area , dried out in deep bedding, possibly with a small piece of 4x4 on the floor of the cage as a perch.
    Most probably it is a trauma and she will improve without being tousled by others.
    It will not hurt to offer her poultry or baby vitamins in her water ( no added iron in the vitamins).
    BUT if she is showing signs of a disease like Marek's, you also want her out of there.
    This will also give you a chance to feed her separately and to check her droppings and general physical condition.
    Good time to check for parasites too.
    Offer her regular food, dampen with water if she is not eating briskly.
     
  3. BJS

    BJS Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2009
    I have segrergated the affected bird. It is the left wing.

    Thanks,
    fingers crossed...
     
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Marek's often presents on the left side, I'm told. Yeah, fingers crossed...

    Hoping it's a slight injury...[​IMG]
     
  5. BJS

    BJS Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2009
    Day 2 update.
    The affected pullet is in isolation. I have switched its feed back to starter/ grower 20% to try to give it a boost. It had been on layer pellets with the rest of the flock since 10 weeks. I caught it shivering this morning despite warm temperatures in the indoor isolation. It has since stopped shivering. It is eating well and drinking. The poop is relatively normal, not runny, but maybe a little extra white... Left wing still drooping. The isolation cage is about two square feet, so the pullet can't run/ flap its wings, but can walk slowly. I'm hoping that enforced rest will help. It was tripping over it's wing a bit outside which could only aggravate any injury it that's the cause.

    No other birds in the flock showing any symptoms whatsoever.
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Did you switch feeds out of fear she was getting too much calcium?

    You could be right...at any rate if it is not something contagious you should see improvement in her condition due to rest and being out of the flock.

    Still sounds like an injury...[​IMG]
     
  7. BJS

    BJS Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2009
    No, I just thought the extra protein might be better for recovery and healing to keep her strength up. I understand from others that after 8 weeks layer crumbles are fine and the extra calcium won't hurt.
     
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    You might have a nutritional imbalance, not sure. They can harm their kidneys and show various symptoms of lameness and skeletal deficiencies with extra calcium at that age. Still, you have switched. Watch others for problems.

    If it's trauma you should see some improvement in 48 hours- if nutritional it could take 5 days - 2 weeks...watch to see she stays warm, might have to cover cage at night.
     
  9. BJS

    BJS Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2009
    They ordinarily free-range for food all day, so I would think that would make up for any deficiencies in the pellets if there are any. With all the chickens ranging together, it is impossible to keep one set of chickens out of the feeders of the other if the feed is being freely offered all day.
     
  10. BJS

    BJS Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2009
    Day 5 update: The Welsummer's wing was tucked up in a normal position last night as it ate and stood in its isolation cage, but this morning it is drooping to the cage floor again. [​IMG]

    I was hoping after last night that I could let it out to range today, but with the wing drooping that low again it gets in the way of walking and can only get more injured. Still no symptoms from any other chicken in the flock, and no worsening of the affected bird. Does anyone know if Marek's disease paralysis might disappear temporarily and then reappear? I'm encouraged that there is no visible worsening after five days. Hopefully it was an injury rather than Marek's.
     

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