Legs out behind her... Dislocated?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Mistifire, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. Mistifire

    Mistifire In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2007
    My Black Australorp was fine the day before, but I found her laying down and she was unable to get up to greet me. I took her inside and checked for wounds or bruising but didnt find any, she will grab my finger if I press it to her foot so she can feel and control her feet, but now she lays with her legs straight out behind her. She is fine otherwise, poops look normal, she is alert and everything.

    Her hatch date was Feb 18 so it cant be egg related. She has been with 2 chicks I got at the same time as her, a little roo that is just starting to crow now that was also raised with them, and my 2 adult hens. They all are acting normal. They are all eating 20% layer pellets and free range when I can supervise. They were not let out the day that I found her.

    I mixed up a wet food to try to cover all the bases, baby bird food with some kitten food and DE, poultry vitamins, garlic powder, and a little apple cider vinegar. She ate the food but this morning there is no change.

    Could she have dislocated something? What should I do?
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  2. I don't know....Sorry
  3. annek

    annek Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Why is she eating layer pellets if she is so young, shouldn't she be on chick food?
  4. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    vaccinated for marek?
  5. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    First, please don't feed DE, or kitten food. The baby bird food is ok because it has probiotics in it. If you want to add protein, try boiled (and mashed) egg yolk. Definitely not the DE at this point. Honestly, I don't use DE for feeding at all anymore. Period. Use it in the bedding and dust areas - and then only sparingly.

    She also needs to be eating grower at this point. It has more nutrition which might be a concern here.

    It's possible that she injured herself, especially if she's heavy. It's also possible that she's slipped a ligament if she grew very quickly. However, this is also a classic sign of Mareks. "The splits" is what I call it. Let's try to rule out other things though.

    First, I'd supplement her with vitamin E. If you can get straight vitamin E or vitamin E with selenium, I'd do that. One capsule per bird. This will help if this is neurological. Also, A, D, and E are the first vitamins to degrade from foods because they're oil based and don't do as well in dry foods. That's why you want to get a capsule because they're oil based. I would not use a packaged vitamin/electrolyte supplement. If you do want more broad spectrum, go with the (non-iron) baby vitamins in the mean time. You shouldn't need broad spectrum with the baby bird food though. You might still need E.

    You could also try a wheat germ oil (from the feedstore or health food store) or capsule (grocery store). One cap of the oil to 1/2 gallon of food, mixed in well. I'd highly recommend one of the oil-vitamin supplements.

    The baby bird food should help her nutritional intake as well as providing live bacteria (probiotics) during her illness.

    Can you also tell us whether or not it's possible she got into any stagnant pools or puddles, algea water, compost piles, or maggots?

    Try to keep her separated and nourished. Put her somewhere where she doesn't have to move to get to food and water. Keep her vent dry as she won't be moving otu of her poop. Then let us know what happens.

    I actually had a baby that did this, at an earlier age, because of a nutritional deficiency. I would personally recommend a more age-specific food for this bird. Feeding her the baby bird food will make up for it in the mean time. but this is a crucial period of development for their reproductive organs, which are so problematic in chickens. Laying food is for finished reproductive organs. it's a different program of nutrition. Laying a good foundation for their development is crucial. I know it's hard to do when they're with a laying flock. But I'd find a way to try to do it if possible.

    I hope this helps.
  6. Mistifire

    Mistifire In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2007
    Thanks for the responses,

    They were on medicated chick mash until they were put outside full time, which wasn't very long ago. They were only picking out the big pieces of corn and not eating anything else in the chick mash. They eat the layer pellets and whatever bugs and plant materials they find when they are out of the pen.

    The feed store didn't have grower pellets or crumbles and they don't eat mash its just a waste of money, I got the higher protein layer pellets thinking that they could all eat it.

    Why not use DE? there is a light dusting on the pellets they eat, it gives calcium and keeps the bugs out of the feed.

    I found her laying away from food and water, I don't know how long she was off food. So I was looking for easily digestible foods that I could mix in vitamins and get it in her quick. It was in one of those snack size fruit cups I added less than half the fruit cup of baby bird food, a pinch of vitamins and a pinch of DE for calcium, I would say 10 pieces of kitten food for a boost of easily digestible protein, a sprinkle of garlic and a few drops of ACV.

    Kitten food is not something they eat often and I didn't want to wait for an egg to boil at the time. I was looking for quick and gentile.

    This morning I gave her a vit D and a Vit E tablet, glad you think they might help.

    No stale water where I live, its a desert here. The compost bin is covered and they haven't been in that area, no maggots that I know of.

    The water is on a raised platform 2 1/2 ft off the ground but there is 3 inches of shavings on the dirt floor for padding. The roo has started acting like a roo maybe he jumped on her, she is pretty small.

    I read that the grower food was for growing meat birds quickly and that layer food is for chickens that will be for egg production.
    What is in the grower food that is not in the layer food that they won't pick up outdoors? I was thinking about switching to a mix of grains and making my own mix so I know what is going into the birds and the eggs.

    I am not sure about her genetics, She was bought from someone local who buys hatchery chicks and resells them, the buff orphington chick (i posted about a little bit ago) never grew feathers and still has chick fluff on its back sides and bottom. It had this problem on the chick feed so I know this chicks feather issues are not related to nutrition.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  7. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    Using DE won't necessarily keep bugs out of food. Keeping fresh food is the way to do that. If there's an issue with bugs, then your food's nutrients will just not be left in the food because of the manner in which it was stored (likely before you got it).

    DE only kills things (slowly) that might be exposed to DE. And it's not a true calcium source. You can't give enough of it, should NOT give enough of it, to act as a calcium source.

    Calcium is provided by a balance of calcium in relationship to phosphorus in the correct amounts, as well as vitamin D3 (only obtained by exposure of D to the right light rays) and sometimes can be enhanced by magnesium.

    What I've learned from years of raising calcium dependent birds (including owning exotics who will mutilate and feather chew if their calcium goes off) and from a feed design course that I took years ago at a research facility is that all calciums are not created equal. Providing calcium doesn't mean that the bird can use it. The addage is that an old shoe contains many minerals, but if we ate it that doesn't mean we'd use the minerals. (No offense to DE of course.... but it's a saying that really focuses the mind back onto nutritional relationships and mineral usage.)

    But the key to calcium is by providing a normal source (your complete feed, and grit), making sure the feed itself is fresh as it's a source of vitamin D3 precursors, and not feeding too many grains.

    Laying pellets are balanced so that the cal/phos ratio is correct. The D in the feed should help that. Adding a calcium grit to the area is a safer way of adding a little extra calcium in the environment in amounts large enough to make up for some hens that might need more. But vitamin D sometimes degrades from feeds (as all oil vitamins unfortunately do) and thus what people do to boost calcium absorbtion is boost a little vitamin D.

    Personally, I do this with a monthly addition of organic apple cider vinegar to the water at a rate of 1 ounce per gallon of water. I also give a weekly treat of yogurt (1 teaspoon per hen) on the occassion that I'm concerned about calcium intake or any time I see waves on eggs. Otherwise, my birds get a complete feed that is definitely fresh with a small amount of grit available.

    I used to feed DE within my ration as a worming preventative helpmate. I'm not sure whether or not it worked. But I used very little, and frankly now I use none and I find my birds are just the same. The rate at which I used it was less than one pound per 50 pounds of feed. I believe that a product should be treated for what its forte is, but don't expect from it that for which it's not really designed.

    As for dusting, if you lightly dust food with DE, they breathe it as they go to eat it. (I suppose you're mixing it in first.) I can't emphasize enough how this is just simply not good for birds, any bird. I would always remove it in any case of a bird not being completely healthy. And then once again it depends fully upon the DE. It should never be anything less than fresh-water human grade DE. DE is meant to slice up bugs' hard exoskeletons.

    That being said, I do believe its use in dusting areas (again in moderation) is its forte'.

    So that's my soapbox on that. [​IMG]

    As for the grower food, this is where it gets tricky. Grower can also be for laying flocks. Really, I always consult the manufacturer's site on exactly what the foods are designed for. For my flocks, I usually choose a grower whose manufacturer says it's for growth of laying flocks. Broiler grower will usually say that it's for broilers. It's getting to be a bit like a legal matter: you have to investigate and read the fine print. "Medicated" means more than one thing now. "grower" does, too. Layer is for pullets just about to lay for building up calcium stores for that time. It's for fully developed reproductive tracts. Really technically laying food isn't the best food for roosters, or for birds in molt. But it's the most commonly available complete feed and usually birds are grown anyway. However, I do find it's not the best feed for breeding birds, for example, if they're not of very sturdy and reliable breeding stock. It gets complicated and can make the eyes glaze and brain hurt. [​IMG]

    ANd as for the feathering issue, I wouldn't be so sure it's not nutritional. It could be that your feedstore either doesn't have a big turnaround, or perhaps the feed design isn't the best. Or maybe the brand uses lesser quality ingredients (like unfortunately my latest feed supplier does). Crumbles have a particular problem with having to be stored well because of their increased surface area causing increased nutritional decay. Even the best brands of feed can suffer if the bags are over date, or stored in warm conditions (even at the wholesale vendor).

    This is not saying that you've done anything wrong, because obviously you're doing everything available to make a mixed flock work. I've done the same. It's just that sometimes there are factors involved of which some people aren't necessarily aware.

    That being said, sometimes individual birds have different needs. I'm sure that there are a number of birds in my past that had higher needs in certain nutrients. I was able to meet those needs on an individual basis and usually by trial and error. And sometimes it's just the line of birds. For example, I had a line of high level show birds - gorgeous national level breeders that I bought to start my line. They, as a line, had specific requirements to even produce a hatchable egg that required a lot of nutritional experimentation til I finally found my magic food formula. Another line of high level birds had no such issue whatsoever. So sometimes it's the line of birds.

    On the one that didn't develope better, if she were the only orpington, I'd have suspected she needed "Something More" in her diet that I would have researched to spot-supplement. I still would actually. She should be boosted to jump start into molting those feathers and replacing them with adult type feathers if she's of an age.

    Anyway sorry for blathering on. The short of it is that I'd curtail the DE until she's healthy - they batch supplement, not sprinkle or pinch. Supplement by the bucket, mix in thoroughly if you use it. I'd still keep the foods easily dissolvable - her pellets, and egg yolk, the vitamin (did you try baby vits?), yogurt in case it's her digestion is primarily or secondarily effected. Then I'd continue the spot supplementation. Mostly I'd lean on the E.

    One more thing (I know, I'm almost done heheh) are other deficiencies. I had a bird with a combination vitamin E and riboflavin deficiency. That can cause paralysis. Also, choline/biotin/manganese deficiencies can cause slippage of tendons - not ruled out yet. Riboflavin is available in milk products, which is covered by the yogurt. Maybe give her a larger dose - just not tons of it. As for choline, whether or not it's sufficient in amounts for a young bird depends (in part) on the methionine content of feeds. Biotin and choline are both B vitamins. B vitamins are produced, for poultry, by their bacterial colonies as well as being supplemented. Feeding probiotics will strengthen the bacterial colonies within the gut, possibly increasing these as well. You could hedge your bets by using non-sweetened applesauce (versus other fruits) as a pre-biotic as the pectin within the applesauce is already practically dissolved, cleanses the digestive tract, and feeds beneficial bacteria (which in turn provide B vitamins). Short of supplementing with B and riboflavin, that's what I'd start with.

    Mareks is still not ruled out, unfortunately. But neither are deficiencies, so I would consider those very strongly.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  8. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    it's possible the roo got to her and she is injured..
    check for any heat or swelling in the hip/back/thigh areas
    see if she is able to move the legs at all..see if she will curl her toes around your finger...or shows feeling when the foot is touched.

    could be nutritional..

    try and get the Poly-vi-sol and E as three horses suggested..
    give the hen 2-3 drops on beak once a day for a week, then taper off for another week.
    (Enfamil makes a no iron formula of the Poly-vi-sol)

    try and get her back on chick/starter feed or grower..

    if she's unable to get around, she needs to be kept hydrated..
    water by drops on beak...very important.

    see if you can make a sling for her so she's not laying down..a bandanna or face mask would work..keep vent clear.
    at a height she can reach food and water.

    aspirin might help with any inflammation she might have from an injury.
    1 (81mg) tablet mixed with 2 cups of water..give some by drops on beak.

    try making a mix of yogurt, a chopped cooked egg yolk, mixed with wet baby oatmeal or feed..puffy not soupy...give this to her..a very small amount..along with feed..

    hope she's ok.

    BTW...describe her droppings, color and consistency..
    (if none right now..before she went down)
    could she have worms?
  9. Mistifire

    Mistifire In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2007

    In my area there is a problem with flour moths. They get into any grain, bird seed, pasta, corn chips etc fresh or not and lay eggs, and the larva eats the grain. I don't use DE because I heard it might help on bugs, I use it because it does work on the bugs we have in this area.

    The added calcium is a bonus, im sure they get plenty of Vit D from the sun to handle the calcium, and yes, it is mixed in thoroughly. I usually batch supplement, but since it was a fruit cup I had to sprinkle a pinch.

    There is not many options here for farm animal feeds, and the brand of feed we have available is used widely, I have raised other buff orphingtons on this same feed and had beautiful feathers. We just loving call her (or him) little freak.
    As I said, I didn't buy it from a feed store, I got these chicks from someone local who buys large quantities and resells them. She goes through chicks pretty quickly and she did say she has had a few little freaks sent before, but she orders hundreds of birds. I think the batch I got was from Privet hatchery.

    I didn't see baby vits at the store, I will stick with the poultry vits I have on hand.


    I answered some of your questions in the first post, I will paste it here:
    I took her inside and checked for wounds or bruising but didn't find any, she will grab my finger if I press it to her foot so she can feel and control her feet, but now she lays with her legs straight out behind her. She is fine otherwise, poops look normal, she is alert and everything.

    She does move her legs, one more than the other one. And she is eating and drinking on her own propped up on a doughnut of cloth.

    Since Mareks is a virus I guess I will know soon enough if that is the problem when the other chickens get the symptoms.

    Am I correct in assuming that Mareks is like Parvo for dogs? where it is easily contagious and there is not much you can do for it but help them through it when they get it, but that it will pass ? I don't want to vaccinate for it if I don't have to.

    We don't have aspirin we use Ibuprofen but I don't know if that is safe for chickens.

    She seems about the same today, still alert and tries to get up to greet me when I come to her box. she moves around a little more adjusting her position.

    Of course it is the most loving one that gets all of the bad luck.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  10. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    "Since Mareks is a virus I guess I will know soon enough if that is the problem when the other chickens get the symptoms." Actually you may not. Some birds never show symptoms.

    When I had a Mareks bird, no other birds ever showed symptoms in quite a large flock. No "visable" symptoms I'll say. Marek's is actually most commonly the cause of internal neoplasias - so you might never see them. Those cases usually end up in a bird dying suddenly 'for no reason'.

    So this is actually good news - it just sounds like not-so-good-news.

    Thanks for the explaination of the bugs and DE usage. I'm sorry I can't do any more to help. Good luck! [​IMG]

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