Hen is Wobbly and Lethargic

LuxLuxray

In the Brooder
Jan 31, 2015
15
4
49
Just last night, one of my wyndottes started wobbling and limping. It all happened when suddenly all of my hens were scared out of their coop by something, but I can't be sure what it is. We've seen possums, rats, and skunks around my house though I'm not sure if it's any of those things. I know for sure it was some sort of predator that scared them out of their coop, but one of my chickens is now ill and I'm not sure what I can do for her. Her right foot has two red dots on her feet that look like snake bite marks, though I've never seen one in this suburban area.

I've quarantined her in my room with some food and water to hopefully keep her stable until I figure this out. She can barely walk and trips very often, and her vision seems to have worsened as she's having trouble seeing things now. Otherwise, she seems very healthy and is just having trouble with eye and body coordination. She eats just as much as usual as well. I'm hoping she pulls through but I can't be positive.

Any ideas and suggestions? Thanks!
 

LuxLuxray

In the Brooder
Jan 31, 2015
15
4
49
Can you post a photo of what looks like a snake bite? Is there any swelling? Do you know what species of snakes might live there?
upload_2018-11-24_0-35-14.png


It's hard to see them, but even after cleaning them off the marks are still very red. There hasn't been much swelling but her feet are a bit redder than usual. I'm not sure what kind of snakes live here, but I found a site that shows which kind.

http://www.californiaherps.com/snakes/snakespics.html
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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but one of my chickens is now ill and I'm not sure what I can do for her. Her right foot has two red dots on her feet that look like snake bite marks, though I've never seen one in this suburban area.

I've quarantined her in my room with some food and water to hopefully keep her stable until I figure this out. She can barely walk and trips very often, and her vision seems to have worsened as she's having trouble seeing things now. Otherwise, she seems very healthy and is just having trouble with eye and body coordination.
How is she doing today?
How old is your hen?
Can you upload a video of her actions to youtube then provide us a link?
If not, photos of your hen, her poop and her eyes would be good.

I do see the red dots on the bottom of her foot, but if that was from a snake bite, I would expect to see more swelling.
The vision and balance problems you describe are concerning.
One thing that comes to mind is Marek's, but you will want to inspect her more closely to see if she has any injury/head trauma.

Look closely at her eyes, do they seem to be any different? Compare her to your other chickens.
Let us know how she is. Hopefully with photos and more information we can help you figure this out.
 

LuxLuxray

In the Brooder
Jan 31, 2015
15
4
49
How is she doing today?
How old is your hen?
Can you upload a video of her actions to youtube then provide us a link?
If not, photos of your hen, her poop and her eyes would be good.

I do see the red dots on the bottom of her foot, but if that was from a snake bite, I would expect to see more swelling.
The vision and balance problems you describe are concerning.
One thing that comes to mind is Marek's, but you will want to inspect her more closely to see if she has any injury/head trauma.

Look closely at her eyes, do they seem to be any different? Compare her to your other chickens.
Let us know how she is. Hopefully with photos and more information we can help you figure this out.


Quick update before I reply:
She seems to be doing much better, energy-wise. She's probably one of the most energetic hens in the flock and she's maintaining that energy very well; It seems like she has the will, but still is off-balance. I put her on a small dose of benadryl last night (only 1mg) and that seemed to help her tons. Otherwise, she's still doing well - her only problem now is how out of balance she seems. For now, I'm giving her a tiny bit of antibiotics just in case.

Something new I've noticed:
I didn't notice until now that there's a tiny bit of swelling on her toes, here's some pictures:
upload_2018-11-24_16-50-45.png upload_2018-11-24_16-51-12.png
There seems to be a bit of inflammation on the feet I hope to deal with. Any ideas about how to deal with it?

Replies:
Q - How is she doing today?
A - Very well, to see more info refer to the update. The only problem she has now is her balance.

Q - How old is your hen?
A - About 4-5 years old.

Here's a video of her with the others:
I was trying to get her to walk with some bread, but she isn't wanting to walk when there's nothing in front of her.


About the eyes: They seem to be about normal compared to the other chickens. I don't notice any changes and they are about the same compared to the others.
upload_2018-11-24_16-57-9.png upload_2018-11-24_16-58-9.png
(my other hen)

Lastly, her poop is a bit runny today but otherwise, pretty normal.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
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It seems as though her toes are bending??? Am I seeing that right? And it appears to be happening on both feet. I don't have any clue why that is happening, but I doubt it's injury related unless she injured both feet... I hope someonewith more experience/info checks out that video.

Fingers crossed! :fl
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,648
11,807
712
Nevada County, CA
Did a bit of Googling, and I wonder if it is a sign of a vitamin deficiency. I also saw another thread from BYC from a while back about a hen with similar issues. Riboflavin? I think a B complex was suggested.

I caught seem to find it now, but I think @Eggcessive offered some good advice about it. I apologize if I have the wrong person...
 

micstrachan

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Premium Feather Member
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Apr 10, 2016
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Oh your poor hen! This came on suddenly, immediately following the scare? Two things come to mind:
1. a toxin (like snake poison)
2. Marek’s

She CLEARLY has a neurological problem. Is she any better or any worse? Treating with vitamins is a great idea and shouldn’t hurt. Can you explain exactly the effect the Benadryl is having? Was she more wobbly than this before Benadryl?

Is there any chance she could have gotten into some other toxin like a rotting animal carcass? (thinking botulism). I’m sorry I did not suggest this sooner, and it may not help anyway this point, but do you have any activated charcoal on hand? Is there any other poison (machinery fluid, insecticide, herbicide, artificial sweetener, etc.) she
 
Last edited:

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
one of my wyndottes started wobbling and limping
Quick update before I reply:
She seems to be doing much better, energy-wise. She's probably one of the most energetic hens in the flock and she's maintaining that energy very well; It seems like she has the will, but still is off-balance. I put her on a small dose of benadryl last night (only 1mg) and that seemed to help her tons. Otherwise, she's still doing well - her only problem now is how out of balance she seems. For now, I'm giving her a tiny bit of antibiotics just in case.

Something new I've noticed:
I didn't notice until now that there's a tiny bit of swelling on her toes, here's some pictures:
View attachment 1599003 View attachment 1599005
There seems to be a bit of inflammation on the feet I hope to deal with. Any ideas about how to deal with it?

Replies:
Q - How is she doing today?
A - Very well, to see more info refer to the update. The only problem she has now is her balance.

Q - How old is your hen?
A - About 4-5 years old.

Here's a video of her with the others:
I was trying to get her to walk with some bread, but she isn't wanting to walk when there's nothing in front of her.


About the eyes: They seem to be about normal compared to the other chickens. I don't notice any changes and they are about the same compared to the others.
View attachment 1599010 View attachment 1599012
(my other hen)

Lastly, her poop is a bit runny today but otherwise, pretty normal.

She is a Barred Plymouth Rock not a Wyandotte:)
Have her toes always been crooked?
It looks like she is molting as well?

I would get her on some vitamins. Her size give 1/2 tablet of human B-Complex along with 400IU Vitamin E. I would also give her extra protein like egg, tuna or meat.
If you have any chick starter or flock raiser, make that her main source of nutrition.

Dosage of Benadryl is 1/2 of one 25mg tablet given once.
What antibiotic are you giving? A tiny bit? It's best to try to give the correct dosage if at all possible, we can probably help you with that if you will post a photo of the package or bottle.

At 4-5yrs old it could be Marek's disease, but I would still explore other avenues. To me she is molting so I have found that can make them very unwell at times. With her age she may also have a reproductive problem and that's showing up during this time of stress.
See if the vitamins help along with keep her hydrated and eating. Let us know about the meds, we will try to help with those the best we can.
 

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