HELP! I have an old hen who is laying on her side and will only walk when forced.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by samipaulson, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. samipaulson

    samipaulson New Egg

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    Hi there, I came home today to find my 6 or 7 year old Black Star hen laying on her side, not willing to move. If another hen steps on her she will move, but wobbles a little. She hasn't seemed interested in food much, but I have given her a little bowl with electrolyte water and she ferociously drinks it. It is quite cold in Wisconsin being about 0°F today and about 20°F inside the coop. So, I would assume that mold or many bacteria can't survive in there. I've also heard about Marek's disease, but from what I've heard it commonly only occurs in chicks. Also, her eyes appear normal and are not that cloudy blue color. She is really a sweet, lovable hen and the only remaining of my original flock. So, what do you think this could be. Is she just getting old? Is she calcium deficit?
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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
  2. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you felt to see if she is egg bound? My oldest is less than 2 years so I have no idea if she would even still be laying. I hope you figure it out and she gets better though!! I know it is tough to worry about one of your main girls.
     
  3. samipaulson

    samipaulson New Egg

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    Quote: I've considered that, but it's just that she can't walk correctly like she doesn't have correct balance. [​IMG]
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    There are many things that can cause the symptoms you are seeing. I would bring her inside and keep her warm and then you can also monitor how much she eats/drinks and what her poop looks like. Check her body condition, see if she's lost weight or if she feels bloated in her belly. Has she ever been dewormed? Checked for mites/lice?
     
  5. samipaulson

    samipaulson New Egg

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    Quote: I brought her inside last night and she seems to be doing mildly well, just lethargic and not caring much of her surroundings. She still can not stand up correctly and wobbles while falling over. I don't believe she has any broken bones, because I was touching her feet and they didn't seem to hurt. I just checked and I couldn't find any insects crawling on her. She has never been dewormed, none of my girls have, but we've never had any problems that I'm aware of. Can older chickens get some sort of arthritis?
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I have had one older hen develop some arthritis but it presented as stiffness and a limp, not as an imbalance or inability to walk, and she was completely normal otherwise.

    If she is 6 or 7 years old and never dewormed that is where I would start. A load of parasites can weaken a bird, even to the point of death. They really are very damaging. There are a lot of other things this could be but worms are something easy enough to treat for and rule out. Other then that the only way to maybe get a diagnosis is a trip to an avian vet.

    How is her body condition? Does she feel thin at all? Is she still laying eggs or no?
     
  7. samipaulson

    samipaulson New Egg

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    She does have very thick plumage and she doesn't appear to be thin, but she does have a lot of featherweight. She does not lay eggs anymore. I also noticed today that her feet don't seem to be the issue. It seems that she is falling forward most of the time and from this I figured that maybe she has some sort of ear infection/problem, but as you have mentioned it could very well be a parasite. If it has come to that I feel like it would be about time for her to go anyways, because I wouldn't want to put her through the stress of a vet when shes so old.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    You can worm them yourself, Safe guard for goats is a good one to use. and is pretty safe.
     
  9. samipaulson

    samipaulson New Egg

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    I think I have finally found my answer...I was thinking that the left side of her body seemed paralyzed and that gave me the conclusion that she had a stroke leaving limited movement in the left side of her body. I did a little research and found a story of a chicken who had survived a stroke and still lives well. This gives me a sliver of hope, but I still know the odds aren't likely. [​IMG] Thank you for your contribution to helping me find the problem.
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    How is she doing today?
     

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