Hen hasn't been able to walk for months?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NoUsernameIdeas, May 10, 2018.

  1. NoUsernameIdeas

    NoUsernameIdeas Hatching

    May 10, 2018
    I've been really worried about what to do here and I think this is the right place to post this?
    I just joined today for this reason and need some insight or thoughts on what other people may think this is...
    I live in Maine and we bough about 15 chickens a year ago now and one of the Jersey Giants that we have isn't looking so good now. Winter's over and we had her inside for the most of it when we found her like this months ago and now I'm not sure what to do.
    The weather's warmer so we have her outside, away from the other hens, and in her own separate house so she's safe.
    I don't really know what her weight is right now, but she feels a bit lighter if anything than any of the others. She's awake and she's eating well and drinking water, but she just can't seem to get onto her two legs. She'll wobble up onto one of them and hobble a bit, splaying her wings out onto the ground for support to move, but that's about it...
    We think she may have broken her leg and maybe it healed the wrong way? She doesn't seem like she can get her leg like the other one to stand on and put weight on because she holds it up to her body. We feed her pellets and cracked corn like the rest of them (not sure what kind or brand atm) and bread here and there and she eats like a champ.
    I don't think we have any vets around where we live because we kinda live in the middle of nowhere and I'm not sure what to do, or if she'll survive like this... It's been so long and I feel like she won't be able to walk ever again.
    Her crop felt really sloshy and soft when I felt it as well, though I could feel some of the food in there that she'd eaten. All of our other birds seem to be fine, it's just her and I would just really like a little help on this if anyone knows what this may be...

    KG6ccTHg.jpg This is my girl (Image above) and I feel so bad for her because of all the pain and misery she must feel right now...
    She splays her wings out like that (image below) when she tries to move
    EDS0mYI.jpg JxPmnom.jpg
    And this is what her leg looks like. I tried to get a good image of it, but generally when she gets up, supported or by herself, her leg stays like this to her body.
    I'm sorry this is long I just am really puzzled and don't know what to do.
    We've owned chickens for over 10 years or so and I don't believe I've ever had this happen before...
    Is there any hope for my poor girl...?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You could try putting her in a sling. I believe @Wyorp Rock has a picture, and try some physical therapy, but I wouldn't hold out much hope. You may have to consider culling to end her suffering. It does sound like something may have been broke or is still broke.
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  3. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Free Ranging

    Apr 15, 2018
    I would do a sling. Make sure she has easy access to good food and water. Make sure she isn't stressed; I think that chickens feel safest when they are near other flock members, so you should move her little house she's staying in near the rest of the flock. Make sure she can see them, but they can't hurt her. If possible, GENTLY feel around her leg for broken bones. If you don't feel anything, it might be a sprain, or *gulp* Mareks. If her leg is broken, sprained, or if she has Mareks, a sling is still a good idea in all of those cases. Has a predator attacked recently? Any other thing that happened that could be stressful to her? a moment of intense stress or panic can trigger Mareks in a chicken. Hope your girl gets better!:hugs
    Here is the sling I made for one of my hens with a similar problem:
    Photo on 4-16-18 at 1.57 PM.jpg
    Eggcessive and oldhenlikesdogs like this.
  4. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Free Ranging

    Apr 15, 2018
    *NOTE: your chicken should not spend ALL of her time in the sling. Just for some therapy time. Also, don't forget to take her outside! Fresh air does wonders!;)
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If she were my chicken she'd have been put out of her misery a long time ago. What kind of quality of life does she have like this? What would her quality of life be stuck in a sling? Chickens like to walk, run, scratch, hunt and peck for bugs. Sometimes the kindest thing we can do for our birds is the hardest on us.

    Believe me, I have tried in the past to "fix" hurt or ill animals. I have learned that too often, I was only prolonging their suffering until the inevitable happened. I think I did it more to make myself feel better than the poor animal that I was "helping". I wouldn't put her through any more.
    oldhenlikesdogs and Trux like this.
  6. NoUsernameIdeas

    NoUsernameIdeas Hatching

    May 10, 2018
    I'll have to try a sling for her then, thank you. I hadn't really thought of that. I'm really hoping it might work... We do have her outside a lot and away from any possible predators like foxes and large predatory birds. Thank you for this advice.
    I really hope it isn't Mareks-
    I'll have to see about trying to make a sling for her tomorrow, but again thank you so much
  7. NoUsernameIdeas

    NoUsernameIdeas Hatching

    May 10, 2018
    We will probably do so if the suggested above won't work... It'll just be a last hope that maybe something'll help her. I wouldn't want her to keep with how she is now... Just hoping it might just be her leg or something of the sorts that might be able to be helped. Again, if not we will be doing so :/
    bobbi-j and oldhenlikesdogs like this.
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    I'm sorry to hear about your hen.

    Since she has been like this for so long, I would suspect that she may have Marek's, but there is no way to know for sure without testing. This unfortunately, is done by necrospy and pcr testing of the feather shaft.

    You have come this far with her, so giving her more time won't hurt. The sling is a very good idea, these are used with birds that have broken bones, injury and Marek's. Sometimes getting them upright does seem to be helpful. Therapy of the leg and massage may promote circulation.
    I would also get her on poultry vitamins if you aren't already doing that. Poultry Cell or one that contains B vitamins.

    Here's a very good read on Marek's and about other conditions/diseases that can mimic it
    PollyGirl21 and oldhenlikesdogs like this.

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