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My bantam hen's leg is giving out.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sidney, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. sidney

    sidney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My bantam hen cannot sit on her perch and has been sleeping on the floor of the coop. She sits down in the run and occassionally gets up to walk. When she's walking, one leg gives out and she's sits down again. She has trouble getting in and out of the coop. I have isolated her because I thought she might have Mercks. She has lost quite a few feathers and you can still see the shafts on her. Her appitite is great. This has been going on for 3 weeks. She's been in isolation for 2 weeks. She's walking better now but I don't know if I should return her to the coop with the other chickens.
    She is a golden sebright and is 3 1/2 years old.
     
  2. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They can stop walking like that from malnutrition too (weakness). Check her breastbone... does she have a good weight?
    You should also check her for mites and/or lice. They can cause malnutrition if not treated.
     
  3. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So that we aren't just guessing, could you possibly answer the questions on the second sticky post of the forum - only into this thread, please? That way we have more information and can more correctly address your question and help you put.

    In the mean time, are the shafts possibly pin-feathers? New feathers coming in that still have their casing?

    What is her diet exactly? Is it possible she got into any soured or wet feed, compost piles, maggots, falled fruit/berries/etc? How high is her perch? Has she stopped laying?

    It wouldn't hurt to give her 3 drops of polyvisol vitamins (for babies - without iron - vitamin section of drug stores) in the beak directly daily for a while. That way if it's anemia, this will treat. If it's a disease, it will help her immune system.

    I also wouldn't return her until she can walk normally. She'll over do things and then may make herself way worse. Leave her up where she can easily get to feed and water. Also check her joints to see if you feel any inflammation, heat, etc?
     
  4. sidney

    sidney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my first post so I'm learning. Thanks for the help. My bantam doesn't have any mites. She eats layers pellets, scratch, fresh fruits and veggies. There's no way for her to get into any stale or spoiled foods. The perch is about 8 inch from the floor of the coop. I don't think she is laying any eggs. I have 4 bantams and only 2 are laying. Her poop is fine. Sometimes a little runny. I was told that if you give them fruits and veggies, their poop can be runny. So far I have isolated her and fed her her usual rations and have put vitamins in her water. She has lost some feathers from her tail area. Enough so that it's noticible. Her leg looks okay but I'll check it again for any hot areas tomorrow. She's not malnourished, her weight is good. I think I will get some baby vits for her.
     
  5. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would you possibly say she's a little heavy maybe since she's not thin? And are you certain she has no mites? You've checked on a few nights, after roost time?

    On the laying pellets, is she getting at least 90% or more of her diet with just the layer - offered free choice all day? Just a tiny bit of scratch, like less than a shot glass? More like half a shot glass? Because scratch is pretty much an empty food. It's actually designed as a treat fed in handfuls to a full flock, tossed in the deep bedding to get them to 'scratch' around in it and aerate it. That could cause her to cease laying, and sometimes withheld eggs or soft shelled eggs cause that same symptom. (Many things do.) Also I'd make sure they all get oyster shell, free choice.

    The vitamins sound good. The weight sounds good - I wonder if she's a bit heavy maybe, as my sebrites tend to bulk up more so than any of my other bantams.

    Where she lost tail feathers, do you see any stubs as if the feathers were broken off? Or do you see any pinfeathers as evidence of any new ones coming in?
     
  6. sidney

    sidney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My bantam is not overweight. I think I am feeding all my chickens too much scratch. I give them a large dog scooper full of scratch spread all over the yard. Her leg is not hot and I do not see any wounds on it. I checked the shafts on her feathers and they look like new feathers coming in. Are the shafts fragile to the touch? They seem to break apart when I pull them. No mites. Her appitite is great. Maybe she sprained her leg somehow. I hope this is the case and not something more serious.
     
  7. fourfeathers

    fourfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does her leg look like it is rotating or twisting to the side?
     
  8. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, the little coverings come apart very easily ... the casings. The feather shaft in the center of the feather should be strong.

    You could probably ease back on the scratch to good effect. I usually lean more towards injury in these cases, but always check the bottom of the foot, all the joints for swelling and heat or evidence that calcium might be being deposited on the inside in the joint (large joints without heat or puffiness), any change in the angle of the leg, and then adjust the diet to rule out nutritional issues - usually giving vitamins 'in case' as unfortunately we usually can't do blood tests on them at home.

    I'd definitely watch for any changes: Toes curling in, any sign of a lack of feeling or floppiness to the leg, toe dragging. Any other drooping say a wing or not holding the head up well. Any signs of actual disease like respiratory issues, diarrhea, etc. Ocular changes like greying over in the surface of the eye, or changes in pupil shape or responsiveness, etc.
     
  9. Feathered Wings

    Feathered Wings Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Georgia
    Has there been any fighting among your chickens recently.
    I have seen chickens hurt their legs in a fight.
    Is the roo being too hard on her you didn't mention haveing a roo but sometimes they can be too hard on a hen.

    Could she have been chased or injured out in the yard by something.
     
  10. sidney

    sidney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She still walks rather gingerly. The shank is at a 45 degree angle to the claw. That is how she stands. She straighens up a little when she walks. She has been bullied by another bantam. Had all the feathers on her head pulled out. That was a while ago and her feathers had grown back. I don't have a roo.

    I'm cutting back on the scratch. Her leg and feet look ok. I'll just wait and see if the vitamins and isolation works. She may have hurt herself getting in and out of the coup and up and down from the perch.
     

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