Drunk hen??? Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by whynotpoultry, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. whynotpoultry

    whynotpoultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2012
    Saturday when I let the girls out I was amazed to find 1 of our hens had molted from head to toe. She was perky and being a chicken...until I noticed her walking and stumbling around. She staggers a bit, then crosses her legs like she is loosing her balance. I put her in a large dog crate in the garage. No draft, she is warm and dry. I have put some antibiotic in her water. She will eat treats and corn, but won't touch her feed or scratch. She doesn't have any injuries, her eyes are clear, she is alert, and showing personality. Just the stumbling like she is drunk and loosing her balance. Any thoughts or suggestions would be great! Thank you!
     
  2. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    Do you have any fruits or berries she could have gotten to?
    If they ferment, you can get a drunk hen. Or cow, goat or anything else.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    How old is she? I would probably give her electrolytes and vitamins in her water rather than antibiotics. SaveAChick, pedialyte, Gatorade, or homemade electrolytes (see below) will be good. Give her some scrambled egg for some protein, since sick chickens will usually eat that. She could be suffering from just an extremely hard molt, but she may have become dehydrated somehow. The balance and staggering are worrisome, but hopefully getting her rehydrated and fed will pep her up. Chickens who run out of feed or water can suddenly go into a molt, not that she did, but it happens. Is she ever bullied away from the food and water? Even though it may not be the problem, I would learn a little about Mareks disease just in case her stumbling could be related. Here are a couple of links about Mareks disease:
    http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq

    HOMEMADE ELECTROLYTE SOLUTION
    1/2 teaspoon salt substitute--optional if you can't get it
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon table salt
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 gallon water
     
  4. whynotpoultry

    whynotpoultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2012
    Hi! Thank you both!!!! She is 2 1/2. I have the electrolyte packets and will give that a try. It really is odd. No one else is showing any sign of anything and none of the other girls molted. we have done a really good job of making sure they have food and water all the time. It's possible they could be pushing her out. They have been going through some order changes around the flock. They were picking on the ducks-but they finally figured out they were bigger and could stand their ground. Let you know how it's going tomorrow. Again, I really appreciate your help!
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Mississippifarmboy, nice to see you back online, and good to know about chickens eating fermented fruit. At 2 1/2, that would be about the right time for her second molt. I hope she gets along well after her electrolytes, and that molting is all that is wrong.
     
  6. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    Thanks Eggcessive! Finally have a computer and internet again. Nice to be back.

    I've only seen drunk chickens once. A really weird hot spell right after the mulberry tree dropped a ton of berries. You could smell it for about a 100 yards. It was sorta comical, but watching the goats walking into trees and stumbling into the pond was priceless!

    I'm sure it's probably dehydration or a bad molt, it's just in my nature to eliminate the obvious things first.
     
  7. whynotpoultry

    whynotpoultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2012
    I appreciate you both so very much! No fruit or anything around that she could have gotten into. I give them fresh watermellon and veggies-they are gone within an hour. She is still stumbly this morning. I will let you know how she comes along after changing her water out.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    For molting, extra protein may help. 20% flock raiser or 24% gamebird given during molt may help. My chickens are all molting now, and they are not eating that much or taking calcium in the crushed oyster shell either. They will devour scrambled eggs chopped up, or feed made wet with water, though.
     
  9. whynotpoultry

    whynotpoultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2012
    Well shoot! I took a video, so you could see, but the site won't let me upload it. Still stumbling around. Other than that she is completely normal. Eating, drinking, feathers are coming in. The rest of the flock is perfectly fine. She looked at me like I was nuts when I gave her the scrambled eggs. She pecked around them and the walked away. I'll try the higher protein feed, I can tell she is eating less but thankfully she is still eating. Thank you both again!
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    If they have never had scrambled eggs, they may not know how good they are. I remember the first time mine had them as chicks when they turned up their little beaks, but later they were like little sharks feeding. Most people post videos on YouTube, then post a link.
     

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