Hen lying on her side, unable to use her legs, please help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sarah&chickens, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Sarah&chickens

    Sarah&chickens New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2010
    Hello-
    I am new to this forum, and sorry to have to "meet" you all this way, but this morning my son and I went out to check on our girls in the coop and say good morning and I found one of them lying on her side in the bedding on the floor of the coop. She doesn't seem to be in pain, and has no visible injuries, but she is not able to stand up. I am wondering if anyone knows what might be causing this, and if there is any chance that she is doing this prior to laying??? We are new chicken owners- we got our birds as chicks this past spring, and they have been laying for several weeks now. I've never noticed this behavior before, but I'm hoping to hear (and so is my 4 year old) that this is somehow normal...
    Thank you for any help/advice!
     
  2. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Not normal.

    So sorry she is sick. [​IMG]

    Have you picked her up to examine her?

    Provide as much info as you can to give folks here as many clues as possible. You can use as a guide the 'sticky' near the top of the Emergencies section.

    JJ
     
  3. Sarah&chickens

    Sarah&chickens New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2010
    thanks JJ
    back ground info: she is a Rhode Island Red, about 7-8 months old. No past troubles.
    I have picked her up- she has no visible injuries, her left leg seems to be ok, but her right doesn't seem to be able to bear her weight. she is bright eyed and responsive- she doesn't have any trouble breathing, and isn't making any noises- doesn't seem to be uncomfortable. Her poo looks normal- not runny, no sign of blood, etc. She's just lying down. We put water and food where she can reach it, and don't know what else to do.
     
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    What position are her legs in? Are they stiff or flacid?

    If in the splits, she likely has Mareks; if not, botulism is a strong possibility, and you would need to flush the toxins from her system with either a moalssas or epsoms salt flush.
     
  5. Sarah&chickens

    Sarah&chickens New Egg

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    Her legs don't seem stiff, she's lying with her left leg under her toes pointed to the front, her right leg is sticking out behind her. I'm not familiar with Mareks, but will read up on it, and don't know how to flush her system?
    should she be separated from the rest of our hens? We haven't done that yet because we didn't want to distress her?
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    It actually does sound like it might be mareks, so they are already exposed. Do a search on "flush" and you should find instructions. Basically you mix the epsom salts or molassas with water and give nothing but that for a couple of days. If the bird will not drink it on their own, you need to carefully syringe feed them. Google Merck Veterinary Manual for a good writeup on Mareks.
     
  7. Sarah&chickens

    Sarah&chickens New Egg

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    thank you for all of your help & guidance so far!
    She hasn't changed much over the last few hours, except that I think she's moving that left leg around ok- she has changed her position so both legs are next to her- is there any chance of some internal leg injury on the right leg?
    Trying to look for any positive outcome- I'll keep reading.
    Thanks again!
     
  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Certainly could be injury or other illness.
     
  9. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately like any other animal once they are down it is not good you need to decide if a culling is in order In my experiance an animal in this kinda shape rarely fares well...
     
  10. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    How is she doing? [​IMG]
    JJ
     

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