Hen exhibiting wierd lameness for over a month


9 Years
Mar 9, 2010
We think this hen may have grabbed the hot wire along the top of the fence , but someone told us this may be some degenerative disease. She can grab with her feet but can not walk on one, we have separated her and keep her in a large aviary and make sure she eats and moves and drinks water, she can fly to the top of her dog carrier that she sleeps in and has a real good appetite and seems to be improving a small amount, I do have a problem with scaly mite and just never seem to get rid of it, but this is a young (under a year old) barred rock, who was in excellent health one day and the next day was completely immobile. now she will ballet along , on her toes and flap her wings and get where she wants to go. but we are wondering is this a disease , if so what the heck is it, and should we euthanize her or just wait it out. She is eating layer pellets , bird vitamins ( just in case it is a nutritional thing) cracked corn and mushed up dog food , as that is what I have fed wild birds to raise them before release. I figured it would give her more fat in her diet and a bit of a boost so to speak. Would appreciate any input.

Have you looked closely at the one foot to make sure it is not bumblefoot? (swelling, a dark spot, hard nodules). I would cut out the cracked corn for now, as it is low in nutrition, and not too much dog food. I think if it was a disease it would of progressed by now. If she can function okay with the flock, I would consider putting her back. If she can't get enough to eat or drink, you'll have to decide if her quality of life is good enough as she is, or how much time you want to give her to heal.
I had something similar with hen I 'inherited' from a neighbor who decided chickens weren't her thing. She was a fiesty red hen, have no idea how old she was - she never layed an egg for me - but she had a chronic limp that I tried to do anything and everything for, epson salts baths, antibiotics, separation from the others, massages, etc. No bumblefoot or mites, either. I finally decided to just let her be and set her own limits. and she was fine until last November when the weather turned very cold very fast. She let me know she was ready to go, followed me about and got real close to my legs, something she never did before. A friend who has a lot of chickens came by one evening and took her away, she went very quietly. It was sad but there was really nothing else I could do at that point. At least I gave her a few good months.

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