Hen ducking/pushing head in and walking backwards. Very worried.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mkovach, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Mkovach

    Mkovach In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2012
    Hi everyone, Happy belated Thanksgiving.

    I have a hen who has picked up an odd behavior and I am absolutely confused and worried. She will be walking fine, eating fine, etc., then acts almost as though she's scared and ducks her head and walks backwards. However, I've seen her doing this more often and there's no big noises, no predators, nothing around to startle her this often. She's not really an easily-ruffled bird anyway.

    I tried searching and found nothing but this kind of thing in ducks who are clearing water from their nostrils. Her nostrils look fine.

    More details, she is molting and hasn't laid an egg in weeks. She is eating normally and drinking normally for this time. Poop looks fine. It just got very cold here as well (~20f).

    I'm not even sure where I saw it but something said maybe Vit. E deficiency? So I bought electrolytes but haven't given them yet because I wasn't sure if they were really just used in the summer for heat exhaustion.

    I'm working on uploading videos that will show her. Any help, ideas, anything would be appreciated. Thank you.


    Quick video of Michelle
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013

  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I've read several account of hens walking backwards...think I remember it was a neurological issue.

    But read for yourself, here's at least a half a dozen threads:

    advanced search>titles only> hen walking backward

    Good Luck!

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