Hen with paralysis on one leg--neck feathers missing

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sarah, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. sarah

    sarah Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    Hello,

    We have a small flock of 6 hens and this one is the smallest, a relative newcomer and the bottom of the pecking order.
    Her neck feathers are missing completely--even though she is molting right now--is this a sign of being pecked?

    In addition, she is not using her right leg today and wants to hide. She did not dash out of the coop this morning with the other girls. I had to flush her out from under the henhouse and only then noticed her limp.

    After reading several pages of posts, I didn't find quite this combination. On BYC advice on other maladies, the hubby has put her alone in the garage.

    I'm concerned that the other girls may have injured her. No lacerations or punctures that I can see. When I push on the bottom of her right foot, it does not close around my finger. Could her neck/spine have been injured with a vigorous pecking?

    Help? We are new to this, and will not be using any medications.
    Thanks very much!
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  2. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Indiana
    Hi Sarah,

    Welcome to BYC. She may have had an injury from the other birds. Since there are no visual wounds I would suggest keeping her away from the others for the night and see how she's doing in the morning. There may not be much you can do for her.
     
  3. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    I agree: separate her. She might be in shock from the injuries she sustained, which could explain her lack of responsiveness.
     
  4. sarah

    sarah Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thanks, Christine and Jenn.

    Ok, Brian set up a lovely little corner for her in the garage, complete with thick straw, food, heated water and a hot lamp...also the outdoor thermometer is in there so we can monitor the temp in there from the house.

    The light stays on to keep her warm (without the toasty comfort of the other girls), so I don't now how much rest she got, as it seemed she slept under it. But this morning she perked up when she saw me. I gave her some fresh kale leaves and buttered bread (her favorite).

    She is still not using the leg, but I did notice last night, as she stood at her food that she was able to use it as a brace--kind of like a crutch and stand on it. But there was no muscle response to my hand pressing up from her foot. Poor little thing.

    So is the consensus so far that she has sustained an injury? If so, here's the main question:
    Will she ever be able to join the rest of the little flock again? Or would I be sending her in to an unpleasant fate? We really only have room to keep the girls all together in our tiny urban lot. And as Murphy's Law would have it, she's the most sociable!
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  5. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Indiana
    Well, it depends on if she heals from the injury or not. So you're saying she can't walk at all only prop herself up with the leg, correct? If she's using it as a crutch I think that is at least a good sign. She may have only sprained it. How long had she been living with the rest of the flock?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  6. sarah

    sarah Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    Christine,

    She's been with the flock since August. Though it took a good month for them to accept her...begrudgedly.

    And she can move, it's just a hop on her left foot. So I'm not sure if she will be able to get up the little "ladder-slat" door to the henhouse. We found her under it instead. Although after the molt, we don't have to trim a wing, so she will have the opportunity to fly a bit.

    In previous posts I've seen several references to heat helping the healing process. Should she be in the basement instead of in an unheated garage with a hot lamp over her? And then after her healing, how does she re-acclimate to the cold? Last night it was 30 degrees where she was, and 17 outside--probably about 24 in the henhouse.
    I'm concerned about her, on the other hand there are 4 cats in the house (one completely spastic kitten) with access to the basement where the litter box is. I don't think she would feel like it's very restful in the house [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  7. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Indiana
    Oh honey, you're asking the wrong person about keeping them in the house. It just so happens I have a hen living on my back porch as we speak. [​IMG] She's back there with the dogs all day with the occasional visit from the cat and seems fine with it.

    I do honestly think maybe a little heat wouldn't be such a bad idea. And just keep her separate for awhile to see if it's just a sprain. Sounds like she might just need a little TLC for a bit.
     
  8. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Indiana
    Any update?
     
  9. sarah

    sarah Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    Yes, good news! She seems to be regaining the use of her left leg! She eats well and seems to be in better spirits--clucking when I give her yummies.

    We'll try to re-introduce her to the coop a little later in the week, when the weather gets a bit warmer. She's probably gotten used to the nice toasty 32 degrees of the garage instead of that nasty wind chill we're getting today!

    Thanks so much the the help!! I heart this site!
     

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