Hen puffed out and unable to walk- PLEASE HELP!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChickenPeep, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

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    Our 3 year old RSL hen is unable to support herself or walk, she is fluffed out, she seems skinny, she is uninterested in food or water and is lethargic and weak. Whenever I let go of her she tries to stand and then falls over. It seems like her left side is not working as well as the right, as her wing is spread and her leg slides around. We found her laying in the coop on her side. None of our hens have laid for several days and the temperatures have been in the teens for the last few days. My mom checked on her and the others 2 days ago and didn't notice anything wrong. She has been pooping, and pooped all over my mom when she picked her up. [​IMG] Her abdomen seems slightly swollen and I was thinking it is possible she could be egg bound. She was one of my first hens and I can't lose her! Please, anybody, help!!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  2. Amarisus

    Amarisus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfourtunantly it sounds like she's egg bound [​IMG] I have heard of some ways to help her pass the egg but never really tried them myself. You can dip her in warm water to relax her muscles and try to help massage the egg out. I have also heard of putting olive oil in the vent area but I'm not so sure about that one. Hope she gets better, best of luck to you.
     
  3. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

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    If she is eggbound, will she still be able to poop? She has been pooping perfectly fine.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Did she have a Mareks vaccine? She could be having symptoms of that. To check for egg bound, take a rubber glove and lubricate it, and stick a finger into the vent to gently feel for an egg, while using the other hand to examine the abdomen. If an egg is felt, place in a tub of warm water for 30 minutes. Give a calcium tablet or Tums crushed into some egg or yogurt. These 2 things should relax the muscles to pass an egg. Dry her with a towel and dryer--keep inside overnight. Here are 2 good links on Mareks disease and 1 on egg binding:
    http://www.avianweb.com/eggbinding.html
    http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/disease/502
     
  5. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

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    She does not have a Marek's vaccine, and none of my birds do. I've never had experience with Marek's. I've heard it's highly contagious. Assuming she has Marek's, if I keep her in the basement and if my other birds are also in the basement, could it spread to them? Thank you so much for your advice. I will be doing what you suggested tomorrow.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Mareks is contagious through dander and dust, so it pretty much is everywhere in the environment when one chicken has it. It won't do much good to separate except maybe to keep her from being hurt. Make sure that she can reach her food and water.
     
  7. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

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    Thank you. Is it possible for my chickens to get Marek's if they've never come in contact with other chickens in thier life?
     
  8. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Yes its possible. Mareks can travel miles in the wind and is a highly contagious airborne disease..
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Many people who have Mareks chickens never really know where it came from. It is in dander from the feathers, and they say if you ever have a chicken in your house on on your property, there will always be Mareks around. So it is possible that it was in your enviroment years ago--you can't clean for it, and it gets on your clothes, shoes, so it can easily be spread from going to a feed store, a poultry swap, or even from a chicken show. Since it takes 2 or more weeks for the vaccine to take affect, many vaccinated chicks can get it if exposed during that 2 week period. Also, no one can diagnose your chicken over the internet, so I would recommend getting the chick blood tested by your vet--there is testing available at the University of Texas. Or if the chicken dies, refrigerate, not freeze the body , and have it necropsied by the state vet--they can diagnose it. Sorry that your chicken is sick.
     
  10. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

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    Fluffers isn't doing any better today. She still very lethargic, but I did get her to eat and drink some. I felt her abdomen, and it felt like there was a mass on the left side, but I'm not sure if it's one of her organs, or if it's an egg. I did try to insert my finger in her vent, but I didn't feel anything. While I had my finger in her vent she passed a very gross, watery diarrhea.I don't think she has Marek's because she is almost 4 years old, and from what I have read, Mareks usually affects chickens around 5 months of age. I will try to get a video of her uploaded later, but I was just wondering if any of you have an opinion on what is going on with her based off of what I have just told you now. another reason that I don't think she has Marek's is because she stands but the only reason that she falls is because she is so lethargic. It does not seem like she does not have control of her legs, just that she doesn't have much strength.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014

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