Hen appears paralyzed one moment, fine the next

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GraceyMay, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. GraceyMay

    GraceyMay Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Sep 12, 2012
    We only have a few hens (no rooster) and over the past week I've noticed one of them being very strange when I let them out of their pen in the mornings. She is the head chicken (henpecks all the others) and she will be laying almost on her side, one leg spread towards her head, the other towards her tail and she is breathing heavy, seeming unable to move. I've seen this twice. Once she eventually got up, the 2nd I had to help her. Once she's up, everything seems fine. My father says she was like that yesterday afternoon as well.

    Any idea what could be causing this?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,828
    4,056
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    She wasn't sunbathing was she? Here is a video of a sunbathing hen:
    If that is not what she was doing, then I would keep an eye on her, in case she gets worse. With Mareks disease, that can be how a chicken might lie down if they have a paralyzed leg.
     
  3. GraceyMay

    GraceyMay Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Sep 12, 2012
    The sunbathing chicken is very much how it looked, but this was around 7am and the sun is not quite up yet. It's been very cold lately and my mom suggested maybe the cold was causing this. We do have a light in the inner coop with their roost and nesting boxes) to keep the hens warm. Sometimes it gets too hot for them in there and we'll see them in the outer coop (their little yard) -- this is where I find them waiting for me in the mornings when I let them out and give them scratch and this is where I've seen the hen looking paralyzed.

    I did read about Mareks disease -- I don't know. :s None of the other chickens seem ill. Although they all just started laying again about a month or so ago -- they had all gone a few months laying no eggs at all. We've had the hens a few years and they've never gone that long without any eggs.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,828
    4,056
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by