Hen with Difficulty Walking

Megger2

Chirping
Sep 1, 2021
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133
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Hoping for some more support and good advice. Yesterday afternoon my daughter noticed our approx. 25 week old Black Australorp hen Pepper was limping. I brought her inside and fixed her up in our pack n play chicken hospital in the garage. We checked her out and did not notice any broken bones, bumblefoot, swollen joints, injuries. No obvious signs of scaly leg mites. I didn't feel an egg in her abdomen. She was favoring one leg so I figured may be a soft tissue injury. My husband also reported she seemed normal in the morning when he put some feed out and my daughter noticed her limp after school.

However today she seems worse to me. I did put her out in a covered pen near her flock but when I felt she was having more difficulty walking promptly isolated her again. We'll keep her in the garage until we know it isn't a contagious illness.

She cries when we go in the garage to be let out but otherwise eating and drinking normally. She likes to sit back on her hocks - her legs are not splayed out like I've seen on some posts when worried about Mareks. While most of her flock mates have come into lay I don't believe she's started laying. We do have a rooster but she is not one of his favorites. We have a flock of 6 pullets, 1 cockerel and 1 hen (about 4 years old). They spend most of the day in a covered run but are let out for supervised free range after school.

She had a little bit of poop under her vent that I think is from laying down to go - it came right off and wasn't that cement-like paste that is worrisome. No wheezing, coughing or watery/bubbly eyes. However a friend of my daughter had a chicken develop some of those symptoms so I am giving her Phyllanthus Niruri (cool article about mycoplasma from Backyard Poultry) and upping the vitamins and healing herbs for all.

Unfortunately I work all day tomorrow - if not better by Friday I may need to take her in to see if a vet will see her. But any thoughts here? Suggestions? I'll see if I can post pics.
 

Megger2

Chirping
Sep 1, 2021
80
133
76
And now with progressive paralysis/incoordination. I’ve decided to try and supplement with a human b complex. I had to treat this flock twice with Corrid - so may be thiamine deficiency?

Vet closed today because of a storm. Would appreciate any thoughts or feedback. Anyone successfully treat progressive paralysis with B complex?
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,988
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Germany
I am sorry she is not feeling well.

Here is what you can do to determine whether she is laying or not: Feel the pelvis bones situated either side of her vent. With laying hens these bones are separated between 1-2 fingers wide, non laying hens have their pelvis bones very close together.
Look at her vent, is it pulsing, does it look like there is pressure from inside?

Which leg is the one she has problems with?

Sometimes a pullet has a problem with her first egg and the egg pressurizes the nerve of the left leg leading to lameness. usually this will get better as soon as the egg is laid.

Was she vaccinated against Marek's Disease?

EDIT: Just watched your video, it is her left leg. She might be egg bound.

Do you have calcium tablets at hand? Those for humans will work.
 

Megger2

Chirping
Sep 1, 2021
80
133
76
Thanks for writing back. Yes her vent is pulsing. Today she seems to have trouble with both legs and maintaining balance. She is interested in eating and drinking when I offer where she can reach.

I have calcium tabs. How much? I decided not to give her a warm bath because it is winter and cold in my garage.

Yes she’s vaccinated for Mareks. Bought from a poultry dealer who buys bulk from a large hatchery - Hoovers I think.
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,988
29,802
952
Germany
Thanks for writing back. Yes her vent is pulsing. Today she seems to have trouble with both legs and maintaining balance. She is interested in eating and drinking when I offer where she can reach.

I have calcium tabs. How much? I decided not to give her a warm bath because it is winter and cold in my garage.

Yes she’s vaccinated for Mareks. Bought from a poultry dealer who buys bulk from a large hatchery - Hoovers I think.
How much calcium does one tablet contain?
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,988
29,802
952
Germany
Is she able to defecate, and if so, how does it look?

Does she have a normal weight or does she feel rather skinny?
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,988
29,802
952
Germany
I decided not to give her a warm bath because it is winter and cold in my garage.
Instead of the warm bath you could position a hot-water bottle filled with not hot but warm water under her, so her belly can relax.

It might be even better to take her inside your house in a cage with warm bedding, a guest bathroom maybe, to keep her more comfortable and relaxed.

Lubricating her vent with some previously warmed oil (coconut or germ oil or similar) can help also. A few drops right into her vent should do the trick.
 
Last edited:

Megger2

Chirping
Sep 1, 2021
80
133
76
Is she able to defecate, and if so, how does it look?

Does she have a normal weight or does she feel rather skinny?
She seems a little smaller today to me. But not really skinny.

She has been able to defecate. Has been smaller and normal looking but I did just notice some diarrhea that is sticking to her vent feathers. Newer today.
 

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