Hen can't walk...


11 Years
May 22, 2008
Upstate NY
My birds all free range. They put themselves in at night. Late last week I noticed one of my pullets laying in some hay in the horse paddock. I just thought "I need to remember to get that egg." But there was no egg and no pullet later. Next day she was laying in hay about 300' away near the goats. I thought "she's practicing." At chore time...no egg..no pullet. I never thought anything was odd about it. The next day it was rainy and she was sitting in the horse paddock in mud. I went in and picked her up and her legs just hung there lifeless. She's a big girl and looked perfectly okay. So I thought, "poor thing got stepped on or something? No sign of injury though. Probably will not make it, but not in any apparent pain." I tucked her into a ground level laying box and covered her back with a blanket, gave her food and water.

It's been a week of lifting her up and trying to get her legs under her. She lays with them out behind her. I thought she'd be gone, but perhaps she doesn't have the internal injuries I suspected. Her legs are normal/warm not hot or cold. Tonight she was out of her nest box about 6' across the coop. She must drag herself with her wings...?

She eats and drinks.... I'm lost. Any suggestions?
Same with me - I posted at noon and no reply and the same issues. All I am doing is treating her like she has a vitamin deficiency or worms. Also will start to move her legs for her so they don't get stiff... my hen seems very healthy just seems to have forgotten how to use her legs and this started on Mon and yesterday she could not walk any more. Let he know if you find anything and I will keep you posted the same. Good Luck!
She's not laying. She dragged herself out of the coop and into the barn aisle today. I wonder if I should put her in a cage. Or worse, you know what. She just seems so darn healthy and fine otherwise:( I'm waiting for her to snap out of it....but it's not looking good.
My Barred Rock Chiclet did this last winter. One day she seemed to lose the strength in her legs and used her wings to drag herself. I brought her inside the house and fed her scrambled eggs and yogurt and a a mixture of tums and vitamin e. I massaged her legs while we watched tv together. There were several other people going through this with their chickens at the same time - Marek's disease was what everyone was saying. Horrible stuff. I refused to believe it and in the end most of the chickens grew too weak and passed or the owners gave up on them and left them out in the cold to die but Chiclet and another girl made it. So it couldn't have been Marek's for them to have survived. If your chickens are still eating just don't give up on them. It took 3 weeks for her to get enough strength in her legs to stand. She tried to give up at about 2 weeks but I fed her with an eyedropper. I told her you might give up but I won't. I love her so much and every day I look at her I am so proud of her. I call her my miracle chicken and we have a bond stronger than any of the other girls. Her legs aren't as strong as they were before her illness and she tires easily but she has a great life and is spoiled rotten! I hope things turn out well for both of you.
She is still eating fine. I can't bring her in the house, so she's nestled into the bottom nest box with a blankie over her. I try to put her leggs up under her, but she wants them strecthed straight back:/
I just had a d'uccle with this same problem. He appeared perfectly healthy, ate, drank, talked to me. He just couldn't stand up on his legs anymore. It was progressive and began with lameness in one foot/leg which I could find no reason for. Then spread to both legs. He could sit up on his hocks for a while but then got to where he was jut sitting back on his butt. This took place over the course of about 3 to 4 weeks. Throughout he was bright eyed and healthy looking otherwise. None of my other chickens have been affected. I put him on Poly-Vi-Sol and in the last few days I had to hand feed him and water him with a medicine dropper as he could no longer get to his food or water. I talked to a vet at the University of KY about the problem and finally took him in to their lab for observation, euthanization and necropsy as he began to get too weak to hold himself upright.
I am waiting on the report and will post the results as soon as I have it.
Same here - I put my hen in a cage to protect her from the guineas and there I know she can get her food and water - she is laying with her legs straight out to the side - I try to tuck them under but she wobbles to the side - I am still getting eggs and she is still eating and drinking - I plan to keep her as long as she is still healthy. I did take her out yesterday and today to give her some exercise - while holding her chest she moves her legs around really fast and then after a few minutes they seem to get tried and she starts to curl her toes.
Good Luck to All and please continue to share and progress or new foods to feed.
This happened to one of my BO at 5 weeks of age. I thought she was going to die. We couldn't get her to stand at all and she just laid off to one side with her legs off to the other side. We brought her into the house, (she had a heat lamp on her because of her age but I had also read somewhere that warmth helps when they are sick). After the first day she got weaker, then I gave her Smart Water (because of the electrolytes) and gave her food that was softened with water. I don't know if the softened food will help either of yours since your birds are eating but maybe try the Smart Water. After one day of that she got a little stronger and each day that past she got better and better. By exactly one week later, she was up and walking again. I have no clue what was wrong with her and if anything I did helped but it seemed to. Oh....I also crushed up some Vitamin B and drained Vitamin E on her food. She actually wasn't that into the food when I did that and was already half way onto her recovery but it couldn't hurt to try.

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