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Hen Falling Over to One Side (Same Side)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Firefly, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. Firefly

    Firefly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
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    I have a 6 month old RIR hen who has been up until now very healthy and laying well. Several days ago we noticed she seemed uncoordinated-- she would fall off the roost, accidentally dip her entire head in the water when trying to drink, and stumbling to her right side when trying to walk. She sort of holds out her right wing to steady herself. Then she can walk normally for a few steps before stumbling to the side again-- always the same side. Her feet/neck are not twisted or at a wierd angle or anything. The only other symptom she has is whitish yellow and green diarrhea. She is eating normally, is alert and curious as usual, not lethargic (she wants out of her isolation room!), has a nice big, red comb/wattles (not pale). Today is day four, and it's the first day when I let her out of the crate to observe her that the stumbling around seemed to be better. Maybe she is on the mend (I hope!), but I wanted to check in here and see if anyone had any ideas what this could be.

    I suspected egg binding at first, but then on the second day I discovered TWO eggs in the crate with her-- one completely soft shelled/squishy, the other thinly shelled. She has not laid any since. But if it was egg binding, wouldn't the symptoms have disappeared once she passed the eggs?

    My other thought was that she ate some kind of toxin-- pokeberry or nightshade, something else she shouldn't have. If so, I'm not sure what to do to help her.

    None of my other 14 hens are exhibiting this behavior, so I'm inclined to think it's not something like spoiled food/grain or toxin. No signs of trauma but I did consider a stroke or brain damage-- if that's even possible for a chicken!

    I've been researching this like crazy but am still at a loss. Would love to hear any thoughts/feedback...
     
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Have you read up on Mereks disease? I hope it's only something temporary! [​IMG]
     
  3. Firefly

    Firefly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Connecticut
    Thanks, Birdaholic! Yes, I've researched Marek's and she doesn't have any of the other symptoms so I'm pretty sure that's not what is going on. None of the other hens are sick either, and I think with Marek's I'd start to see it move through the flock. Very strange!
     
  4. jadeybaby70

    jadeybaby70 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2009
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    Hi Firefly, I am sorry I am of no help but I too am having a very similar problem. I lost my little Millie Fleur a couple weeks ago and now I have a sick barnevelder. My Millie Fleur hen didn't last long, she passed away in three days. She seemed to be limping at first and then the day after I noticed that, she decided not to move much at all. I separated her and brought her inside but that just seemed to make her worse. She would only eat when I took her back outside. I was devastated when she died and to make matters worse, two days after her passing, one of my Barnevelders' wing was drooping. Again, the day after I noticed this, I also noticed her coordination was off but unlike the Millie Fleur, she was very alert and responsive. She has been eating and drinking fine and she has survived more than a week like this. She seems to be getting better and regaining her balance but I am terrified about the rest of my flock.
    Also, I had one of my two sweet, wonderful silkies pass away just Wednesday morning. [​IMG] She and her sister had been brooding and each morning when I or my husband let the girls out, they would run and chow down as much layer mash as they could and then go back in for the rest of the day. During their pig outs, the one who passed repeatedly choked and would make an awful almost crowing sound as she shook her head and food would fly out. So, on Wednesday, my husband called me in a panic saying that one of my silkies was dying!!! Apparently she was practicing the same routine and she jumped straight up in the air then fell on her side. My husband did not know what to do and within just a few moments, she was gone. I am inclined to think that she choked, especially because, when I got home a few moments later, I scooped packed food out of her throat. BUT, because, I lost the Millie Fleur just a short time ago and now have a sick Barnevelder, I am worried that it was related to what has effected those others.
    I am utterly terrified that I am going to lose my flock one at a time. I am especially worried about my other silkie and my Wyndotte, the only two remaining of my original 4 after losing the other two original girls. This all seemed to happen after introducing two new chicks to the flock. The new chicks have been vaccinated for Mareks, I am positive the Barnevelders are vaccinated and the Millie Fleur was as well. [​IMG] All the signs seem to point to Mareks but how could it be and what can I do to keep from losing all my girls?!?!?
    I will keep looking firefly and keep you up to date on any findings and please could you do the same? I have a feeling that we are both fighting the same problem. Good luck to your little hen, you are in my thoughts!
     
  5. un-named

    un-named Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 15, 2010
    I had a hen that could not get up one day, was like a stroke victim. she pulled out of it in a few days. Hope your chicken does too.
     
  6. The Brick Coop

    The Brick Coop Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2010
    I hope your chicken recovers. Marek's can look like some other diseases, but what I really want to say is to get tested. If you have more than one bird die mysteriously, it is best to find out what it is that killed them. Two years ago we got Marek's in our flock. There were two birds that got weak and couldn't walk very well, then died suddenly, just after an older one that died. So I sent the two in to the State Lab. One was a pullet that just had a bad infection in her reproductive tract. The other--Marek's!. I got vaccine the next day and gave shots all our birds, even the older ones. No more died. I vaccinate all the chicks and any newbies if we get any. Once the vaccine is reconstituted you have to use it in an hour or two so I thought ahead and split up the lyphilized "cake" at the bottom of the vial into four equal pieces and stored it in tightly capped tubes in a ziplock baggie with dessicant in my freezer, labeled with the exp. date and lot#, etc. This is not in the directions, but I thought I'd try it; look at the shipping costs. So at least whenever I buy it now I have four times I can vaccinate so I can get that many hatches. No Mareks' since then, and we have mostly new birds and keep the older ones separate. I hope it continues to work, but if it doesn't I will let you know! Those state labs are great help! If you don't know what it is, send the body in to find out and you can try to save the rest of your flock this way. I now am more observant of symptoms. Marek's is spread by feather dander, and wild birds can carry it in.
     
  7. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2010
    Thats the thing with symptoms, alot of the time you don't get a text book case and you don't need to see all or even most of the symptoms to have the illness. With Marek's there are a few forms or different manifestations too that show up in different parts of the chicken. As a result, very likely you would see leg/wing issues without a grey eye or the other way around.

    Seems many people have had success treating paralysis issues with vitamines, might be worth a try just in case it could be a vitamin defficiency. Sometimes though if it is Marek's the vitamin boost and TLC can spur a bit of a recovery however after a while they typically relaps or keel over suddenly according to what I have read.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  8. Firefly

    Firefly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
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    Thanks so much, everyone. I'm going to reconsider the possibility of Marek's. Not to count the poor thing out already but I'll see if I can find out what exactly I'd need to do to send her to the state lab (if she passes). An old timer friend of mine shrugged when I told him and said, "Chickens die". [​IMG] I understand that, but would really like to know what is going on so that if it's something preventable, I can take whatever precautions I need to protect the other hens.

    Jadey-- so very sorry for you losses. [​IMG]
     
  9. Firgey

    Firgey New Egg

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    my banty has had that a few months ago she was sitting infront of the door into the run i got her out took her to the vet he gave me steroids
    for her she took all of them she did get better but not totaly ...
    she can balance herself but to walk makes her hurt worse i can tell.
    when it first happen i noticed her focus was off while eating she couldnt judge where the food was she has gotten better now
    it seemed to me sahe had a stroke . i had 3 other chickens do the same thing but the passed away .
    these chickens were given to me so not sure of there history , now Suzie is a house chicken with 3 cats she keeps me hopping lol
    looking for tiny diapers for her tryed to make one omg what a mess he he ... this is my first exsperence with chickens i also have 2 dogs 2 ducks and a mess of others
    anyone have any idea whats wronge with my suzie please let me know thanks
     
  10. Firefly

    Firefly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
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    Just wanted to post an update on Speckle, the RIR who was wobbly. She seems to be steadily improving. Her dropping are back to normal, and today when I let her out to walk around, she didn't stumble at all, and used both feet to scratch for bugs (previously she would fall over when she tried to use her right foot to scratch around). Interesting note: when she wasn't acting right, the other hens really picked on her. Today they treated her like any other member of the flock. I know chickens can sometimes sense when another chicken is ill and will target it, so I'm hoping it's a good sign that she seems to be back in the swing of her coop mates. I don't know, I realize she could take a turn for the worse at any moment, but I'm keeping hopeful! [​IMG] Thanks everyone for your helpful replies and support!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010

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