Hens can't stand up and she won't eat or drink water!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by woodynightshade, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. woodynightshade

    woodynightshade New Egg

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    Oct 5, 2012
    So, Ramona is, as far as I can tell a Production Red hen. Got her about 2 years ago when she was already about 2 1/2 years old. She has been progressively having a harder time over the last few weeks with being able to use her leg strength which we had attributed to her getting older, as she takes more afternoon naps and rests than the other chickens. Anyways, I found her a couple days ago, unable to stand up. I removed her from the yard and am keeping her in a milkcrate with some straw in the living room currently. She cannot stand up, won't eat or drink water, and she has a hard time keeping her head up. It looks as though, despite her intentions, her head will fall down, as though she has lost control of her neck muscles or something. None of the other chickens are sick in any way. Haven't done anything to treat her because I don't know what the problem is. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.
     
  2. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Could be botulism maybe? It's a soil-borne spore that produces a toxin in the presence of rotting animal or plant matter and the toxin causes paralysis. You can do a google search for "botulism in chickens" and find all kinds of information. Sadly, most chickens will die from it. I'm not positive Ramona has this, though, because you mentioned this has been happening over the course of a few weeks. So maybe some kind of nutrient deficiency? Here's something else that could be helpful: http://www.apa-abayouthpoultryclub.... SYMPTOMS FOR DIAGNOSING POULTRY DISEASES.pdf
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  3. woodynightshade

    woodynightshade New Egg

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    Oct 5, 2012
    Thanks, Country Goddess. Thanks for your suggestion. Maybe it is botulism. Not sure. Gonna maybe try the epsom salt thing. I did figure out that if I prop her head up on a pillow to stabilize her neck, she will drink water and eat a little bit, so perhaps there is hope. It has been a week and she is still hanging in. I guess we'll see. Thanks again.
     
  4. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    If it IS botulism and it has been a week and she's still alive and drinking water with help, then my guess is that she'll pull through. My fingers are crossed!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  5. woodynightshade

    woodynightshade New Egg

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    Oct 5, 2012
    Well, we're going on a week and a half now, and Ramona seems to be getting a little better. She's been eating a lot of applesauce and baby food and drinking water, all, with my help. It is a bit taxing on me, as it takes an hour or two each time, but it is worth the effort if she might recover. thanks for caring, Country Goddess!
     
  6. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2010
    Maryland
    I'm so sorry to hear about your hen. I had an older Red Star hen that would periodically become lethargic and then rally for awhile before becoming lethargic again. When she passed away, I had her necropsied and, unfortunately, she had cancer. It sounds like you're doing what you can for Ramona. Good luck.
     

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