Hen can not stand/walk/sit up without support!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by FeatherofHorse, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. FeatherofHorse

    FeatherofHorse New Egg

    Nov 15, 2015
    Western CT
    I have been searching the threads to find a similar situation to the one I have with my hen, but can't find anything that fits just right. I thinking that I will get much of the same feedback as some of the other posts, but it's kind of a matter of making myself feel better about my poor chicken.
    This AM opening up the coop to let everyone out, this one particular hen was stumbling. Figured it was just from the commotion of everyone trying to get out at once. No, she continued on her way falling to one side, standing up, falling to the other side. it got worse, after chores I found her laying on the ground eyes closed, limp, legs stretched out. Carried her to a box with bedding and propped her up with shredded paper. She immediately perked up. Eyes have been clear. No runny nose.
    She is interested in eating, however she's not really getting any pellets in ther mouth it doesn't look like....just vigorously pecking at the food. Very interested in meal worms!!! So something is right in her head!
    Not drinking much.
    So she is propped up in this box. If I push her legs toward her body, once there will be resistence and the next time the leg will be limp. It's inconsistent.
    She does cluck to me. Doesn't like to be handled in general, so she try's to put up a fight, but not a very good one since she can't stand.
    Head and neck are active, up right and appear normal.

    I do not know much of her history. She has come to me with four other hens recently. No one has laid anything yet for me. My original hens are moulting, so not laying either.
    looks like it maybe be any number of viral or bacterial issues, just thought I'd ask for some advise pertaining to my chickens condition.
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. It could be several things causing lameness in your hen. Mareks disease, botulism, moldy feed, eating lead paint or lead shot in the ground, and dehydration can cause many of those symptoms. Mareks is a virus common in many areas, and can cause paralysis of one or both legs, wings, and neck. Botulism comes from eating a toxin found in maggots, rotted animal flesh, or vegetation that has bee buried underground or underwater. It starts with paralysis of both legs, then wings, and lastly the neck and breathing center. I would place her near food and water, and continue to watch her. Mareks can progress over a few days, while botulism progresses quickly, and neither is curable. Mareks can sometimes cause eye changes and blindness. Make sure she is drinking well, and electrolytes would be good in the water. Here is some reading:
  3. FeatherofHorse

    FeatherofHorse New Egg

    Nov 15, 2015
    Western CT
    Thank you for your input. I very much appreciate it. She has pooped several times and it looks pretty standard.
    Is there somthing I should look for in that department that would be a tell tale sign of what's going on?
    I am a new chicken mom and even though I read and ask people as much as I can, it is a little like caring for an infant. Nothing prepares you for the first illness and feeling like there isn't anything you can do. :(

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