Help needed for mystery neurological situation...

Goosebaby

Chirping
Nov 10, 2019
73
151
83
Just an idea but I had a gander once who suffered a brain injury after being attacked by a dog, his motor skills were a bit off for awhile but he eventually fully recovered.
If it isn’t disease related I wonder if she suffered a little trauma to the brain prior to you purchasing her.
 

MysteryChicken

Crowing
May 31, 2018
3,946
6,744
411
East, Tawas Michigan
I have a pullet just like this. I first suspect a vitamin E deficiency, & treated her with vitamins for 2 weeks, & saw a little bit of improvement, but not a whole lot. Then I discovered she had worms, I dewormed her, & still not much improvement. She did hatch with head tremors, so maybe this is maybe a type of neurological disorder that has progressed.
 

amyduck

Songster
8 Years
Jan 20, 2011
151
40
151
Oakland, California
To me it appears that she has been pecked around the head and face, since their are broken off feathers on her head. There may be dried secretions or food on her face and head as well. I would take a warm wet washcloth and wipe her face and head off. Put a dab of plain Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment into her eyes twice a day.

Can you show us a picture of the inside of your coop? How many roost bars do you have? How many chickens are in the coop? Can you place her on the roost after dark if she is off? You may need to spend more time with them to find out what is going on.
-----
I'll post a photo later, but I only have 3 hens right now. They have about 3 bars to jump up to the roosting bar, which is about 5 feet up. My boyfriend now checks on her several times after dark and once before we go to bed to put her back on the perch if she's fallen down... they have my yard to free range during the day. My boyfriend is between jobs right now, so is the one spending time with them during the day and so he sees them a lot. Just this week, he has found her on her back 3 times, two outside and once this morning in the coop. She doesn't seem to be able to right herself, but maybe she does and he just hasn't seen her. He also found her on the floor of the coop at night twice this week.

I just went out to feed them some sardines with sprinkled vitamin B and I was struck by just how scared she has become. Seems like chicken PTSD. She is very scared of Penny, the now alpha hen, but she is even somewhat afraid of her buddy Tracy (they are about the same age and from the same ranch). And although there was plenty of sardine on the plate, she would wait to see if Tracy took some first. My boyfriend mentioned yesterday that she isn't growing as much as Tracy, and no wonder, if she's even afraid to eat. That said, my boyfriend puts out 3 dishes far enough away from each other to make it harder for Penny to get them, since Penny always wants what they want... (she's turned into a real bully since she became the top girl!)

About her eyes, they seem crusty around the lids, which is what seems odd to me.... and why I thought it might be a fungus or mite... as opposed to pecking, although I think that's happening too. I'll do what you suggested.

Oh, one more thing. From the beginning, she just hasn't seemed the brightest. She can't seem to find the opening in the fence, she tries to get through the posts on the deck (which are too close together) instead of just going down the stairs to get to the garden. It was hard to train her to get into the coop at night when we first got her... Thanks.
 

amyduck

Songster
8 Years
Jan 20, 2011
151
40
151
Oakland, California
My one hen Cosmo is blind in one eye due to an injury and she was a bit strange when she was younger. We knew about the eye from the first day. Now, at almost 3 yrs old she's second in command and spunky too.
I don't think she is blind, since she can sometimes get a meal worm on the first try... but I think later when we wash her head, I'll see if she reacts to movement on one side of her head... Thanks.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
Apr 3, 2011
48,427
37,546
1,122
southern Ohio
I don’t see any favus, but you might want to look for eye drainage or bubbles in her eye, and keep her eye clean. It sounds like she is being bullied, and may not be getting her share of the food. But ending up on her back or side, seems like she has something neurological going on.
 

amyduck

Songster
8 Years
Jan 20, 2011
151
40
151
Oakland, California
I have a pullet just like this. I first suspect a vitamin E deficiency, & treated her with vitamins for 2 weeks, & saw a little bit of improvement, but not a whole lot. Then I discovered she had worms, I dewormed her, & still not much improvement. She did hatch with head tremors, so maybe this is maybe a type of neurological disorder that has progressed.
Yeah, at this point, I figure it's a disease like marek's, a vitamin deficiency, a neurological birth defect, or maybe even something like a brain tumor... the sad thing is that she seems to be getting worse...
 

amyduck

Songster
8 Years
Jan 20, 2011
151
40
151
Oakland, California
She also has trouble scratching on one leg...she looses her balance. And I notice that when she walks she walks sort of flat footed and a little more stiff legged, if that makes sense... rather than a graceful walk where the toes are relaxed and the leg bends a little.
 

amyduck

Songster
8 Years
Jan 20, 2011
151
40
151
Oakland, California
Just an idea but I had a gander once who suffered a brain injury after being attacked by a dog, his motor skills were a bit off for awhile but he eventually fully recovered.
If it isn’t disease related I wonder if she suffered a little trauma to the brain prior to you purchasing her.
One day my boyfriend dragged a large banana leaf across the yard and she totally lost it, squawking and running around, so we began wondering if something happened before we got her... Maybe a dog might have gotten her and given her a shake and then let her go? Pure speculation of course, but who knows...
 

MysteryChicken

Crowing
May 31, 2018
3,946
6,744
411
East, Tawas Michigan
Yeah, at this point, I figure it's a disease like marek's, a vitamin deficiency, a neurological birth defect, or maybe even something like a brain tumor... the sad thing is that she seems to be getting worse...
So, she drags her feet, & holds her body low to the ground? If your girl does these it's probably a birth defect like my girl has. Flat footed walking like you mentioned in the other post is what I call foot dragging. I'll take video of my pullet with the neurological problems, to share with you. My girl freaks out when she sees cockerels.
 
Top Bottom