Help for lame hen

rfclark

Hatching
Nov 21, 2021
6
7
8
Hello everyone,

Just hoping I can pick your brains as my vet is a bit stumped. One of my lovely rescue chickens suddenly became completely lame on her left leg on Friday morning. I couldn't see any obvious signs of injury or disease so took her to my vets. He couldn't find anything either and suggested it could be a spinal inj.so to give her anti inflammatory for a few days, let her rest and to monitor her. I have yet to see any sign of improvement.

She doesn't appear to be in any distress or pain (though I know that they are good at hiding this sometimes), loves her food and water still and is preening as best she can. She is desperate to get to her sisters and is still laying. There doesn't seem to be any sign of a virus - is still coordinating fine etc.

i don't want her to be suffering but I'm not sure if she is!! Does anyone have any experience of this? Thank you!!
 

Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Sep 18, 2018
3,269
19,201
766
North Central Iowa
Something similar happened with two of my hens this year. Both lived in the same coop, and both began limping within a day of each other. Neither had any obvious signs of injury.

I took them to my beloved avian vet who treated both with anti-inflammatories and, I think, antibiotics, just to make sure. Celeste has completely recovered, and Honey continues to limp. We have no idea why.

Hope your girl gets better!
 

azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,997
40,057
1,232
Colorado Rockies
I've been keeping chickens for fourteen years. I've been on this forum for almost as long. From my experience, both personal and on this forum, lameness is one of the most elusive disorders to try to diagnose. And, it's been my experience, when lameness, when it first comes on, does not present with an obvious reason such as an injury, is almost always due to a chronic avian virus. https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...update-now-another-pullet-going-lame.1432738/

Occasionally, it's a temporary condition caused by a depletion of B vitamins, so treating with B-complex may improve the condition. It's worth a shot. Just get a bottle of B-100 from the vitamin aisle and pop the pill once a day into the hen's beak. It has B-2, B-6, and B-12, all which can repair nerve connections if it's caused by a deficiency or other minor injuries.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
41,708
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Southern N.C. Mountains
One of my lovely rescue chickens suddenly became completely lame on her left leg
Welcome To BYC

Where are you located in the world?
You mention "rescue"....how old is she?
Is she an Ex-Batt?

I agree, often vague symptoms of lameness can be attributed to Avian Virus (LL, MDV). IF the hen is an Ex-Batt or high production bird, then possible a reproductive disorder is at play. Cancer, EYP, etc. would be something I would consider as well.
If you lose her, then consider having a necropsy performed to get an official diagnostic or you may find some answers in performing your own informal necropsy at home.

Supportive vitamin therapy/care can be given to see if she improves.
 
Last edited:

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
63,162
56,629
1,322
southern Ohio
Most of this has already been covered, but Mareks disease is always a worry with lameness in one leg. It affects young chickens unless they have been recently exposed to the virus in a new area or with a new chicken who is a carrier. Injury should always be the first possibility, followed by a riboflavin vitamin deficiency. Mareks has a lot of different signs, and can be different in each case.

Make sure that she can reach food and water. Give 1/4 tablet daily of human B complex vitamins crushed in a small amount of water or food. Consider using a nest or chicken sling where food and water can be near her. She should have so much time out of a sling to sleep and stretch. Here are some examples:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/versions-of-chick-chairs-please.1166308/

 

rfclark

Hatching
Nov 21, 2021
6
7
8
Something similar happened with two of my hens this year. Both lived in the same coop, and both began limping within a day of each other. Neither had any obvious signs of injury.

I took them to my beloved avian vet who treated both with anti-inflammatories and, I think, antibiotics, just to make sure. Celeste has completely recovered, and Honey continues to limp. We have no idea why.

Hope your girl gets better!
Thank you so much!
 

rfclark

Hatching
Nov 21, 2021
6
7
8
I've been keeping chickens for fourteen years. I've been on this forum for almost as long. From my experience, both personal and on this forum, lameness is one of the most elusive disorders to try to diagnose. And, it's been my experience, when lameness, when it first comes on, does not present with an obvious reason such as an injury, is almost always due to a chronic avian virus. https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...update-now-another-pullet-going-lame.1432738/

Occasionally, it's a temporary condition caused by a depletion of B vitamins, so treating with B-complex may improve the condition. It's worth a shot. Just get a bottle of B-100 from the vitamin aisle and pop the pill once a day into the hen's beak. It has B-2, B-6, and B-12, all which can repair nerve connections if it's caused by a deficiency or other minor injuries.
Thank you so much - I'll give that a try 🤞🤞
 

rfclark

Hatching
Nov 21, 2021
6
7
8
Most of this has already been covered, but Mareks disease is always a worry with lameness in one leg. It affects young chickens unless they have been recently exposed to the virus in a new area or with a new chicken who is a carrier. Injury should always be the first possibility, followed by a riboflavin vitamin deficiency. Mareks has a lot of different signs, and can be different in each case.

Make sure that she can reach food and water. Give 1/4 tablet daily of human B complex vitamins crushed in a small amount of water or food. Consider using a nest or chicken sling where food and water can be near her. She should have so much time out of a sling to sleep and stretch. Here are some examples:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/versions-of-chick-chairs-please.1166308/

Thanks so much - really praying it's not Mareks. Will definitely try the vitamins and keep my fingers crossed and she's got a good little recovery pad set up in the coop separated from the others 🤞
 

rfclark

Hatching
Nov 21, 2021
6
7
8
Welcome To BYC

Where are you located in the world?
You mention "rescue"....how old is she?
Is she an Ex-Batt?

I agree, often vague symptoms of lameness can be attributed to Avian Virus (LL, MDV). IF the hen is an Ex-Batt or high production bird, then possible a reproductive disorder is at play. Cancer, EYP, etc. would be something I would consider as well.
If you lose her, then consider having a necropsy performed to get an official diagnostic or you may find some answers in performing your own informal necropsy at home.

Supportive vitamin therapy/care can be given to see if she improves.
Thank you! We're in North Yorkshire in the UK.

She is an ex-barn rehomed from a charity, I got her and the others in June so im guessing roughly about 18 months old. I'm keeping all my fingers crossed that the vitamin therapy works 🤞🤞
 

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