Help - my chicken is not able to walk and is eating heaps of small stones

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cyberturd, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. cyberturd

    cyberturd Hatching

    Feb 1, 2014
    For the last two days my chicken can only stand up briefly and walk maybe two steps and then sits back down. She does not appear to have an impacted crop. I cannot feel any egg block though am not sure if she is laying. She was in excellent health and is under a year old and was laying regularly. She is dragging herself around to the rockier areas of the yard and eating many small stones. She is still eating grasshoppers and sunflower seeds offered to her and seems alert. She is passing poo albeit it with undigested seeds in it. She has always had access to the yard with many small stones for her crop. All my other chickens are in great health. This chicken was the 'boss' chicken and was always the one to eat the tasty morsels. I suspect this may be related to her eating something, but what do I do to help her? I have tried water and oil but to no avail.

  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I agree that something is off with her digestion if she is attempting to get more grit and cannot grind her seeds properly but that doesn't explain why she cannot walk. Maybe hardware disease? Maybe she has picked up a sharp object and it has punctured her gizzard and she is suffering from peritonitis. My rule of thumb is if a bird cannot walk on her own, she is culled~it's about quality of life at that point.

    Keep us updated and if you cull or if she dies, could you do a necropsy and let us know? It should be interesting.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. The first thing that always comes to mind with a chicken that is having trouble walking is Mareks disease. Does she have problems with balance or uses her wings to balance or move around? Another reason might be a joint infection such as viral arthritis or mycoplasma synoviae. If her weight starts to go down, and her keel bone are easily felt, she could have something stuck in her gizzard blocking digestion.
  4. ten chicks

    ten chicks Songster

    May 9, 2013
    Bring her inside,keep her on soft foods for approx 24 hours. She appears to be trying to remedy the problem herself by eating large amounts of stones,perhaps a soft diet may help pass whatever is causing an obstruction.

    Is it both legs or just one,even if they have on leg that has sustained an injury you will often see them hobble around using wings for balance.

    Check both her legs,see if you can feel any swelling. Run your thumb down back of both legs from hock(leg joins body)to shank(scales start)you are feeling for a slipped tendon,if tendon has slipped it will feel like an elastic band when you press down you will feel it snap back into place.
  5. cyberturd

    cyberturd Hatching

    Feb 1, 2014
    Thankyou for the prompt technical informative advice, it was very appreciated. I have checked her tendons, all fine. I am certain she does not have an injury. She can stand on both legs but does not do so for long (discomfort?). There are no other symptoms present of Mareks disease, viral arthritis or mycoplasma synoviae but I cannot rule them out. She is still alert and last night scoffed a beetle and moth, but is now on a diet of soft foods in isolation of the flock. He has spent her second night inside. Her poo was small but normal this morning. I will tell you how it goes.

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