Lethargic hen, broken/paralyzed foot


In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 24, 2009
NE Oklahoma
We have a thin, weak, lethargic hen. Our first sick one since we got our girls just over a year ago. She's a 1 1/2 yr.-old Australorp.

We noticed about 3 days ago that her comb was very shrunken and pale and she was moving very slowly. In handling her yesterday, felt how thin she is. She is not broody; at least not in the manner our other Australorp is broody.

The only other thing I can note is that she molted on her back side in the winter (January maybe?) which I thought was unusual and she never has grown back any noticeable feathers. Still got her bare butt. I don't know if that is a symptom of long-standing problem or not.

She does eat and drink, if you put it in front of her, so we are fussing over her with cottage cheese, yogurt, whole oats, etc...and periodically help her to her feet and she will walk a short distance and can move around some. But she has obviously not been going to the feed and water on her own.

We cannot find any other symptoms whatsoever and her comb and wattles have better color this morning.

We are absolutely clueless and any input would be much appreciated. Now I'm off to check on her again..... and will take her some greens this visit.

Update: Our girl has a broken or paralyzed right foot. It is turned under and appears to be kinda "shriveled". She was up on it and walking normally, though slowly, just 2 days ago. Can't imagine how she would have broken it in the coop or pen. They do not free range. She is still eating and drinking...and "sleeping".
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Emu Hugger
12 Years
Mar 10, 2008
a bumpy dirt road in Florida
When was she last wormed? Worms, lice and mites can bring down a chicken fast. I sold a young silkie rooster to someone, and after a moth they brought him back saying he could no longer walk and was crawling on his belly. I took him in and was going to put him down thinking it was Mearks or something until I noticed lice eggs all on his face. I doesed him with a small amount of Ivomectrian to get rid of the lice, mites and possible worms. He now runs around like nothing ever happened, looks totally back to normal.

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