hen suddenly can't walk -- i see no telltale signs why

chickenannie

Songster
12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
3,152
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Pennsylvania
My 9 month old free-ranging BO hen (she was born sort of crooked) but has been fine until this week, so I dont' think it's related to her crookedness defect. this week she started hanging out by herself, and preening her feathers alot and staring at the wall. Yesterday she was drinking an unusual amount of water and appeared to throw up white gunk but still seemed vigorous. Today her feet are kind of curled up (but no injuries) and she just stopped walking. I looked her over but can't find any wounds except that she seems to have 3" long bare patches -- no feathers near the back of her wings on both sides, but no sign of injury that I could tell. The base of the feathers in a few places look kind of caked or balled up with dirt, but that may be normal (she takes lots of dirt baths). Her comb isn't looking healthy tonight. She's very sad looking now.

Does she have mites? or a disease? does anyone know what these are symptoms of?

Can I do anything for her?
 

DuckLady

Administrator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
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NE Washington State
How does her crop feel? If she is throwing up, she might have an impacted crop and she is throwing up because her crop is full and the food has no where to go.
 

Red

Songster
12 Years
Mar 17, 2007
351
0
149
One of our hens Eva, an ex-battery hen, had some of the exact symptoms you just described...she stood by herself, was very quiet, acted depressed, and drank waaay too much water, and was sick after drinking too much. None of our other chickens that she was with were affected, and we checked for mites and didn't find anything.

We kept an eye on her for a few days then decided to take her to the vets, but she passed away before she got there
This was a few years ago now and we never found out what it was, but touch wood we haven't experienced anything else like this...sorry i can't be more helpful, i hope you can work out what's wrong and someone else can give you some better advice.
 

chickenannie

Songster
12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
3,152
35
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Pennsylvania
I"ll check her crop again. she's just lying down and her feet are all curled inward kind of. She's hungry and thirsty but only eats/drinks a little, then is just lying down, kind of crawls. I feel so bad for her and wishing I could help. she's in her own pen on the grass with a little house to hide in which is where she is with her little head poking out, resting on the ground.

What are marek's symptoms?
 

chickenannie

Songster
12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
3,152
35
231
Pennsylvania
She seems to be walking on her "knees" and on both feet her toes are curling inward. this may be her only problem, as she was very hungry and thirsty today (couldnt get to the feed dish). I fed her by hand and she seemed vigorous except for the walking problem. She does have a bad smell though. I looked up Marek's and it doesn't sound like that's it.
 

chickenannie

Songster
12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
3,152
35
231
Pennsylvania
I re-read my post and I should add that she lies on the ground and can only barely lift up a tiny bit with her feet to drag herself along. The whole foot is curled inwards, not just the toes. 3 days ago, she was walking fine. 2 weeks ago, she was running strong.
 

d.k

red-headed stepchild
11 Years
Feb 6, 2008
3,085
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Southeast Coast of Florida
* I've never heard of them in a chicken before, CA, but if she were a person, I'd be thinking she's had a stroke. what would be the treatment for that in a chicken, I couldn't begin to tell you either. Maybe someone will have some suggestions, though.
 

Pinenot

Songster
12 Years
Sep 11, 2007
750
4
151
She needs to be on vitamins in her water. Are you treating her for coccidiosis?
 

chickenannie

Songster
12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
3,152
35
231
Pennsylvania
I don't think she has coccidosis because her poo is normal and I don't smell the bad smell anymore. She was really hungry last night and ate worms (I dug em up for her while I was gardening!) plus her regular food.

I felt her crop which was a little bulgy, but very soft, and massaged it gently. Her vent looks fine, not poopy. She seems rather emaciated, but was sunning herself and preening. She just squats on the ground and to move kind of drags herself along with her curled in claws.

I'm wondering if she has cancer?
 

chickenannie

Songster
12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
3,152
35
231
Pennsylvania
Or, if she is not getting proper nutrition, despite eating and drinking and free-ranging, what might cause her to be thin.
 

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