Emergency!!? Chicken with injury acting odd

JHH3

Chirping
Dec 7, 2020
98
142
86
North West Wisconsin
I am inexperienced with raising/treating chickens.

1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)

Black Australorp, approximately 6 months old, weight seems normal.

2) What is the behavior, exactly.

She sits flopped on one side, head up and alert but won't move. Can be forced to stand and hobble around, favoring one leg I think the right one. Her tail is moving up and down as she lays there but I'm not sure if it's just how she's moving while breathing or if she's trying to pass an egg or something.

I can't feel an egg, though I'm not sure I know where to feel for one. Her crop seems to be fine.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?

Since yesterday afternoon, not quite 24 hours at this point.

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?

No.

5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

She was initially removed from the flock due to an injury to her lower back, she was pecked/eaten maybe 1/8 inch deep, maybe not quite that deep but close, but a pretty nasty looking wound.

Treated the wound with vetericyn yesterday evening and this morning, the wound looks ok, as one might expect 24 hours afterwards.

6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

Unknown, my guess is that she might have been injured due to mating and then picked on by the others. Given her other more worrying symptoms, I'm wondering if she has some other issue and that prompted the pecking creating the injury.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

Her normal feed, some mealworms, she wants to eat and drink but it has to be brought to her.

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.

Only poop I've seen was pale yellow with a blob of green that looked like plant material. That said, it's been snowing so I'm not certain where she'd have eaten anything green.

9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

Tried soaking her butt on the assumption she might be eggbound, no results.

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

I live in a rural area, I'm not sure if there's even a vet that would treat a chicken here. I'm hoping there's something I can do to help her, or at least know what's going on so I can stop worrying about it.

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

I can upload pictures as needed, but I don't think the wound is the issue, it doesn't look infected or otherwise out of the norm. Tell me what you need to see and I'll try to get photos/video.

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use

Dog crate filled with wood shavings, placed in the mudroom and heated up into the 70's.


To my limited knowledge, the behavior doesn't fit the wound and I feel something else is wrong. If she doesn't start moving around soon I honestly don't expect her to be alive in the morning. Is there anything I can do to help her?
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
40,670
58,797
1,362
Southern N.C. Mountains
Please post some photos of her, the wound(s) and her poop.
If you have video of how she moves that may be helpful -upload to youtube and provide a link.

To feel for an egg, you would need to insert a lubricated finger inside her vent about 1-2" to see if there is one there.
If she's able to poop then likely there is not an egg stuck low enough to be blocking the intestines.

It's hard to know if her injuries would be causing the immobility or if she has something else wrong.
Do you think she was injured by the other birds or is there a chance a predator attacked her (canine/hawk, etc.)

At this time, I would make sure she's staying hydrated, check for an egg and continue to treat the wounds.
 

JHH3

Chirping
Dec 7, 2020
98
142
86
North West Wisconsin
Please post some photos of her, the wound(s) and her poop.
If you have video of how she moves that may be helpful -upload to youtube and provide a link.

To feel for an egg, you would need to insert a lubricated finger inside her vent about 1-2" to see if there is one there.
If she's able to poop then likely there is not an egg stuck low enough to be blocking the intestines.

It's hard to know if her injuries would be causing the immobility or if she has something else wrong.
Do you think she was injured by the other birds or is there a chance a predator attacked her (canine/hawk, etc.)

At this time, I would make sure she's staying hydrated, check for an egg and continue to treat the wounds.

Ok, working on getting the video and pictures uploaded and processed.

I tried to wipe up the poop but it was on a rug so a photo will still give an idea of the color, it didn't come up well.

I think she was injured by the other birds, given how she walks it's possible she was bred by the rooster clumsily and may have been injured that way. It's been snowy so they've all been staying indoors a lot, and there's a cage in there with her sister who's being reintegrated in the flock, so the space is more limited than usual. I'm almost certain it wasn't a predator.

There is no indication of injury on her leg that I can see other than how she walks.

I'll try to get the photos/video up as soon as possible.
 

JHH3

Chirping
Dec 7, 2020
98
142
86
North West Wisconsin
Link to video of chicken (Lucy) walking.


Picture of wound and what remains of the poop. The wound is not wet and bloody despite the pictures looking that way, it's dried blood.

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NatalieP

Songster
May 3, 2020
126
118
116
South Central Kansas
I'm limited in experience as well but if shes not eating anything green, it could be starvation causing that color.

Is she seperated from the rest of the flock at this point? I would definitely give her a safe space with food, water, and grit. Inside would be best if it's cold out in the run area.

It seems like she is injured on that right leg based on that walk. I haven't dealt with leg injuries, but I think a thorough inspection is required to rule out a physical injury. My gut would be to inspect for swelling and movement of the leg, gently.
 

JHH3

Chirping
Dec 7, 2020
98
142
86
North West Wisconsin
I'm limited in experience as well but if shes not eating anything green, it could be starvation causing that color.

Is she seperated from the rest of the flock at this point? I would definitely give her a safe space with food, water, and grit. Inside would be best if it's cold out in the run area.

It seems like she is injured on that right leg based on that walk. I haven't dealt with leg injuries, but I think a thorough inspection is required to rule out a physical injury. My gut would be to inspect for swelling and movement of the leg, gently.

Starvation? I guess I could see that if she's been injured for a few days and not getting any food, she does seem to want to eat so if so then she should perk up.

Yes, I separated her last night when I noticed her wound, she's in a nice warm mudroom. Since she'd be at least a month healing from the wound I figured I'd give her a warmer space.

I'm letting her just rest now, but I'll try to feel of it more later, I kinda did before when I was trying to see if she had any wounds on her feet and legs but didn't note anything unusual. But I'm not sure I'd know if something was unusual unless it was really bad out of whack.
 

NatalieP

Songster
May 3, 2020
126
118
116
South Central Kansas
Starvation? I guess I could see that if she's been injured for a few days and not getting any food, she does seem to want to eat so if so then she should perk up.

Yes, I separated her last night when I noticed her wound, she's in a nice warm mudroom. Since she'd be at least a month healing from the wound I figured I'd give her a warmer space.

I'm letting her just rest now, but I'll try to feel of it more later, I kinda did before when I was trying to see if she had any wounds on her feet and legs but didn't note anything unusual. But I'm not sure I'd know if something was unusual unless it was really bad out of whack.
Hopefully, someone that is experienced with leg injuries will chime in here. I had a chick with weird leg issues and I let her claws grasp my finger and then moved my hand up and down to see if the joints moved properly. You might ne able to do something similar and see if shes exhibits any discomfort. Hopefully she pulls thru ❤
 

JHH3

Chirping
Dec 7, 2020
98
142
86
North West Wisconsin
So, about 10 minutes ago she got up hobbled outside her crate and did the following poop, then went back into the crate and laid back down.

From the looks of it, I don't think this is good a good sign. And unfortunately, at almost 6pm on New Years Eve, I'm probably not going to be able to get to the farm store to get any kind of supplies until tomorrow and I don't even know if they'll be open on New Years Day.


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Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
40,670
58,797
1,362
Southern N.C. Mountains
I think she was injured by the other birds, given how she walks it's possible she was bred by the rooster clumsily and may have been injured that way. It's been snowy so they've all been staying indoors a lot, and there's a cage in there with her sister who's being reintegrated in the flock, so the space is more limited than usual. I'm almost certain it wasn't a predator.
Since she'd be at least a month healing from the wound I figured I'd give her a warmer space.
So, about 10 minutes ago she got up hobbled outside her crate and did the following poop, then went back into the crate and laid back down.

From the looks of it, I don't think this is good a good sign. And unfortunately, at almost 6pm on New Years Eve, I'm probably not going to be able to get to the farm store to get any kind of supplies until tomorrow and I don't even know if they'll be open on New Years Day.


View attachment 2470464 View attachment 2470465
No, the poop is not too good :(

Do you know if she's started laying eggs yet?
In the video, she's not feeling well, so I would keep treating the wound like you have, but re-check her to make sure there's no hidden injuries under the feathers.

The tail down - I have to wonder if it's from the injury or if she's struggling with a soft shelled egg.
I know she's young, but I would give her extra calcium (1/2 Caltrate for 3 days only) plus some poultry vitamins if you have them (I like Poultry Cell).
See that she's drinking well and offer her some food - normal feed, it can wet or dry, bits of egg to entice her, etc.
I would also check to make sure her crop is emptying overnight - At around the 18sec mark or so in your video, she stretches her neck and makes a slight "chewing" motion. This could be normal crop adjustment (they do do this sometime after eating/drinking) but it just best to monitor crop function so if there is a problem you can address that too.

Please do get good looks at her poop overnight, see if it gets better/worse/stays the same.
 

JHH3

Chirping
Dec 7, 2020
98
142
86
North West Wisconsin
No, the poop is not too good :(

Do you know if she's started laying eggs yet?
In the video, she's not feeling well, so I would keep treating the wound like you have, but re-check her to make sure there's no hidden injuries under the feathers.

The tail down - I have to wonder if it's from the injury or if she's struggling with a soft shelled egg.
I know she's young, but I would give her extra calcium (1/2 Caltrate for 3 days only) plus some poultry vitamins if you have them (I like Poultry Cell).
See that she's drinking well and offer her some food - normal feed, it can wet or dry, bits of egg to entice her, etc.
I would also check to make sure her crop is emptying overnight - At around the 18sec mark or so in your video, she stretches her neck and makes a slight "chewing" motion. This could be normal crop adjustment (they do do this sometime after eating/drinking) but it just best to monitor crop function so if there is a problem you can address that too.

Please do get good looks at her poop overnight, see if it gets better/worse/stays the same.

I can't say with 100% certainty that she's laying eggs because I haven't watched her do it yet but I know for sure that at least 2 of her sisters have been laying eggs regularly so I am fairly certain that she is also.

I will have to see if I can find some Caltrate at one of the farm stores around here, assuming they're open tomorrow. I'll pick up some vitamins also.

So far she's been drinking pretty good, though she has to be served her water out of a pink plastic cup. She's been eating also, stretching her neck out of the crate while laying down to peck at the food. I might make her some scrambled egg tomorrow. I'll check her crop as well, though it seemed to be fine earlier today.

Her poop is one of the first things I'd planned on checking in the morning. If it's the same as the picture, I imagine I'll have to clean her up anyway.

Hopefully she'll be ok in the morning, she seemed alert enough before she settled down to sleep. The fact she got up and came out of her crate to do that poop rather than just do it laying there gives me some measure of hope for her survival.
 

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