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HELP! Staggering hen!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Champagne980576, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. Champagne980576

    Champagne980576 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 27, 2008
    I recently purchased a few Sebright bantam hens, and they were doing great for about 2 weeks. Yesterday, I noticed one of the younger girls (hasn't started laying yet) was walking a little oddly, but she soon corrected herself and I didn't give too much thought to it.

    Today, she is staggering around, using her wings to catch herself when she falls. It almost looks like the staggering a rabid animal would do, but I know chickens can't get rabies. None of my other hens are doing this, just her. Her droppings are fine, her eyes are still bright, and her nose isn't runny. I haven't switched feed or anything recently, and she's been eating the same stuff as the others.

    A few hours ago, she was laying on her back on the floor of the henhouse, with her feet in the air, wings splayed. I thought she was dead, but I picked her up and she was okay. Her legs aren't broken or swollen, and I can't find anything visually wrong with her.

    I thought it might've been egg binding, but like I said, she hasn't laid yet and I don't think she's due to start for another month.

    If anyone can help me, I would be most appreciative. I'm not sure she'll make it through the night.
     
  2. MakNat

    MakNat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! One of mine was just doing the same thing. Check her for lice/mites. Mine is eaten ALIVE. I dusted him and put him in a dog cage for the night. If you do see bugs you will need to dust. 7 or DE. Some say wood ashes too, so if you got a wood burning stove, you can use the cold ashes. Electrolite water will help too. Hope this helps her!!
     
  3. Champagne980576

    Champagne980576 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Well, I put her in the brooder for the night. She seems to be able to walk somewhat better in there. I'm thinking this must be a neurological issue, because I can't find anything physically wrong with her.

    To the person who posted above, thanks so much for the advice. I went out and checked her for mites, but I wasn't able to find any. I checked a few of the others for good measure, and they were all okay. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  4. Champagne980576

    Champagne980576 Out Of The Brooder

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    After reading some of the other posts in this section, I have deduced that she possibly has a broken spine. I have her wrapped in a towel in my bathroom, and I have been dropping water into her beak and feeding her a wet mash.

    Her poo is still good. She doesn't have much of an appetite, but her eyes are very bright and she feels good enough to glare at me when I make her eat. She can move her legs, but they still don't support her. She can move her wings, but not well, and she can move her neck some.

    If I try to place her upright, her legs scoot forward, so she sits on her rear, with her legs in front of her. I have her laying on her side in the towel.

    Poor baby!
     
  5. MakNat

    MakNat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How is she doing now??? I thought mine too had a neurological problem. With his legs out in front of him and can not walk. The mites are tiny, tiny , tiny. Unfortunately for mine I could not watch him suffer anymore. And he was in no way getting any better. AUgh......... My hubby took care of him. We dusted everyone else late last night. I wonder if mine was anemic due to to many mites?? I sure hope your hen is going to be okay!! Good luck.. Please keep me posted!!
     
  6. kart_chicks

    kart_chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 2, 2007
    I have a chicken doing something similar. I let her out of the coop so she could eat some corn privately and then she started shaking her head( with it down toward her stomach). When I went to put her back in the coop, I put her down but she didn't support herself. She kinda just let herself fall. It is really worrying me. Can you help?[​IMG]
     
  7. Champagne980576

    Champagne980576 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Well I have never had a mite problem, and she was the only one doing it out of all of the hens. I've checked and checked for mites, and I don't see anything. [​IMG]

    She's doing a tinyyyy bit better, now that she's inside. I have her wrapped securely in a towel on her side, so she doesn't hurt her legs by trying to stand. I have paper towels underneath her rear to catch droppings, which still look fine.

    She still can't stand and support herself, but she was closer to being able to do so as of today. I think I'll keep her inside until she's completely better. If she doesn't make any progress in a week or so, I think I'll have to end her suffering, but I REALLY don't want to have to do that.

    She is quite irritated with me coming to pester her with more food and water every few hours, and is getting increasingly grumpy. [​IMG]

    kart chicks, I would suggest taking your girl inside and wrapping her in a towel. Give her water with a dropper if you have to. I added water to my girl's feed, so now it's more like a goop. The goop is much easier to push into her beak. Good luck!
     
  8. smom1976

    smom1976 too many projects too little time!

    May 2, 2008
    Pensacola, FL
    oh good luck with your hen and please keep us posted.
     
  9. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could she have gotten into some pesticides and gotten sick? This happened recently on BYC--we all thought it was a spine thing, but turned out to be a poison in her system. Do a search-- it should be around here somewhere.
     
  10. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    toxin, botulism (think stagnant water or source of rotting vegetation like a compost heap), Mareks disease and several vitamin/micronutrient deficiencies (severe) and mycotoxin can all cause (temporary) paralysis.
    If it is Mareks or botulism there is little you can do except provide basic support as they will either recover from or not.
    Basic support measures :
    Separate to a temp stable draft free area
    Make sure the bird drinks sufficiently (dehydration in these cases will kill them quicker than what ails them)
    Give three drops of Polyvisol Enfamil in beak once a day (this covers the most cmmonly occuring vit deficiencies) for a week then taper off the next
    Offer a live culture yogurt.
    If your bird is having serious problems eating then go to the pet store and get some baby parrot handfeeding formula (this is a dry powder you add water to) and make that into a porridge and add to her normal feed to concentrate the nutrition.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008

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