Elderly Hen Can't Walk


In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 13, 2014
I've got a little Americana hen that I've been nursing and can't figure out exactly what's wrong with her. First off, she's old. Don't know how old but she was the oldest of a few hens I bought about a year ago. During the winter I noticed she started staying on the roost all day and wouldn't come out. When she would come out she would just sit and dose in the sun. I could see she was starting to get weak and had a harder time getting around as spring came around. I noticed one day her upper beak was grown way down past her lower beak and I figured she wasn't able to eat properly so I trimmed it back nice and neat and she was able to eat better. Finally I put her in her own coop away from the flock. I figured if she was going to pass I was going to let her do in in peace away from the roosters and alpha hens. By the time I put her in her own pen she couldn't walk at all. She hobbles around on her haunches and has trouble balancing. Her eyes are bright, comb is nice and red, feathers in good shape and no signs of parasites. She eats and drinks and manages to get in and out of her private coop everyday and goes in at sunset. Feel sorry for her but don't know what else to do for her. I feed her scratch, pellets and mealworms. Since I started her on pellets she seems to have more energy and even cackles at me when I come to the coop. Should I try adding even more protein to her diet to see if her strength increases enough to walk?


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
Is her "belly" or underside swollen or does it seem to be filled with fluid? One possibility is egg peritonitis, also known as internal laying.

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