JosieMae

Chirping
Jun 22, 2017
56
33
91
Bellevue, WA
Hi all,

well, this has been a difficult season for my chickens! I lost one earlier this year to a mysterious sickness, I just lost another to complications from sour crop, and now I have an Amerucana who can’t walk...I have two healthy hens outside in the coop right now (but they’re both molting terribly). I’ve brought the amerucana inside but I’m worried about what we’re going to do with her. She’s the sweetest bird, I’ve raised her from a day old and she’s such a cuddled. She’s three, and I know that is middle age for a chicken so health problems are more common now.
basically, she’s super stiff and can only walk for mincing steps before sitting down on her hocks. This has been going on for a week. We took her to the vet last week and they gave us some anti inflammatory and antibiotics to try, but they suggested doing things like X-rays and blood draws as well. Financially that’s impossible for us, and I don’t think it’s fair to subject a chicken to going through a bunch of medical procedures. She’s absolutely a pet though and I want to do as much as possible for her. She’s super alert and eats (she hasn’t really been drinking though except what we force her to), and I don’t feel right about putting her down. Any suggestions on what it might be? Not bumblefoot and they’ve been vaccinated for mareks. If she doesn’t get better though I can imagine her quality of life will be very good if she can’t walk around. I also feel bad that I only have two healthy chickens left out of an original five, do you think they’re lonely? They’re all super cuddly so we spend time with them and give them treats but I worry they’re sad. Getting more is out of the question, I’m leaving for college next year and my parents can’t take care of anymore, depending on where I go to school I might have to regime them but that would absolutely break my heart because I love them so much....I definitely didn’t know chickens would be this much of a headache when we got them as chicks :( anyways, any suggestions about the amerucana?
 

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Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Apr 3, 2011
56,474
47,232
1,202
southern Ohio
Is there any way that you could upload a short video of her problems moving to YouTube with a link posted here? Has she been laying eggs recently? Is her backend enlarged, spongy or tight? You might want to add some water to some chicken feed in a small bowl to get more water into her, and I would give some vitamins for a couple of weeks. Human B complex tablets 1/2 tablet daily crushed into food or a treat, or in a small amount of water can be given for leg problems.
 

Docdetective

Chirping
Aug 1, 2020
213
463
83
Northern California
if you’ve ruled out all types of sicknesses and injury’s, it may just take patience. I have a young pullet who was normal until one day she couldn’t walk. Two months of intensive care later, she started walking again.
 

JosieMae

Chirping
Jun 22, 2017
56
33
91
Bellevue, WA
Is there any way that you could upload a short video of her problems moving to YouTube with a link posted here? Has she been laying eggs recently? Is her backend enlarged, spongy or tight? You might want to add some water to some chicken feed in a small bowl to get more water into her, and I would give some vitamins for a couple of weeks. Human B complex tablets 1/2 tablet daily crushed into food or a treat, or in a small amount of water can be given for leg problems.
We’ve been putting vitamin b oil in some eggs and yoghurt and she will eat that pretty willingly...usually if she walks it’s so suddenly and for such a little time I don’t have time to video it, but I’ll try.
 

JosieMae

Chirping
Jun 22, 2017
56
33
91
Bellevue, WA
if you’ve ruled out all types of sicknesses and injury’s, it may just take patience. I have a young pullet who was normal until one day she couldn’t walk. Two months of intensive care later, she started walking again.
Hm, that’s good to know other people have had this happen. What kind of care did you give her? She’s inside our house in a medium dog crate now with her food and water and we’ll take her outside so she can stretch her wings multiple times a day and see if she’ll walk around at all. It’s cold now and the other birds were bullying her so we had to separate her. What happened with ours was super sudden too...I definitely don’t know what’s wrong with her or how to help her best.
 

Docdetective

Chirping
Aug 1, 2020
213
463
83
Northern California
Hm, that’s good to know other people have had this happen. What kind of care did you give her? She’s inside our house in a medium dog crate now with her food and water and we’ll take her outside so she can stretch her wings multiple times a day and see if she’ll walk around at all. It’s cold now and the other birds were bullying her so we had to separate her. What happened with ours was super sudden too...I definitely don’t know what’s wrong with her or how to help her best.
That sounds great! My chick was getting bullied to, to the point where the other chickens were going to kill her, I think. If she seems depressed inside, what I did was set up a dog x-pen in the grass for her to lay in. I covered it with a clear tarp so she could still see the sky but not be attacked by anything. My chick also enjoyed watching tv with us and going on car rides, but I know not all chickens like car rides! As for the physical part, I massaged and moved her legs around multiple times a day. Her food and water was within reach in bother her outside pen and indoor cage. My pullet couldn’t even sit on her hocks, she would fall over, so she’d lay on her side and learned to scoot herself along. One thing I learned the hard way was to keep her bottom and cage super clean from poop. The flies will be attracted and potentially lay eggs on her, and flystrike is NOT something you want to deal with (horror movie material, in my opinion) Although depending on where you live there should be less flies when it gets colder.
Just tag me if you have any more questions! I’m attaching some before and after pics too!
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EBE03129-74F3-4F31-87DE-9299957C5607.jpeg
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Abriana

Spicy Sugar Cookie
Apr 26, 2017
4,889
53,667
1,187
Midgard
Aw she’s a pretty girl :love I have a pullet named Amara who looks just like her. I don’t have advice to offer, only prayers! I hope she gets better soon!
 

JosieMae

Chirping
Jun 22, 2017
56
33
91
Bellevue, WA
Is there any way that you could upload a short video of her problems moving to YouTube with a link posted here? Has she been laying eggs recently? Is her backend enlarged, spongy or tight? You might want to add some water to some chicken feed in a small bowl to get more water into her, and I would give some vitamins for a couple of weeks. Human B complex tablets 1/2 tablet daily crushed into food or a treat, or in a small amount of water can be given for leg problems.
It’s not great quality, but I was able to capture a few steps. I feel like she’s gotten worse and all she can do is that backwards shuffle now.
 

Docdetective

Chirping
Aug 1, 2020
213
463
83
Northern California
My pullet did get worse before she got better, she went from walking fine to shuffling, to not walking for two months, to walking again. So I wouldn't give up hope! Is there any chance she could have copper poisoning? I heard of a chicken that had too much copper that caused a tumor in his liver which in turn pressed against nervesin his legs and he'd only walk backwards.
 

JosieMae

Chirping
Jun 22, 2017
56
33
91
Bellevue, WA
My pullet did get worse before she got better, she went from walking fine to shuffling, to not walking for two months, to walking again. So I wouldn't give up hope! Is there any chance she could have copper poisoning? I heard of a chicken that had too much copper that caused a tumor in his liver which in turn pressed against nervesin his legs and he'd only walk backwards.
Ok, that’s good to know. I hadn’t thought about any type of poisoning...I know my dad had sprinkled something with copper on the roof of our house to kill moss, I don’t know if any of it got on the grass. It did rain a lot between then and the time I let them back out to forage...maybe it could have been tracked by shoes? But if it was any type of poisoning wouldn’t the other birds be showing symptoms as well? I hopes it’s not that, if it does turn out to be a runout situation there isn’t much to do :(
 

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