My chicken is walking strange with lifted legs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cjpines, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. cjpines

    cjpines Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 2 year old Australorp that suddenly is walking 50% of the time like she's on hot coals. Lifts her legs up high. She doesn't do this all the time, but I'm wondering what this is.

    She's been broody twice for months and molted twice. She's just getting over the second molt. She hasn't layed eggs since all this has been going on--probably almost a year now.

    Anyone know why she's walking this way?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I have a few older birds that do this as well, I have never found a reason, check the feet for sores or cuts and the toenail length, and trim if necessary, I suspect that some develop arthritis at a younger age and they walk strange to compensate.
     
  3. cjpines

    cjpines Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I thought at first she was egg bound, but she doesn't walk like a penguin and has no symptoms as mentioned in articles. I will check her feet. Thank you.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    What does "broody twice for months" mean?
     
  5. cjpines

    cjpines Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When a hen is broody, that means she wants to hatch her eggs and raise chicks. She will sit on the nest box for weeks or in my case months. I had to remove her out to the run to eat and drink, sometimes she would come out on her own but go right back in the nest box.

    She has done this twice within two years.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I know what broody means...guess I should have been more specific.
    How long did you let her brood without hatching chicks?

    Prolonged setting can weaken their whole bodies, including their legs from lack of exercise.
    If you don't want them to hatch chicks, best to break them of their broodiness rather than let them set on and on for months.
     
  7. cjpines

    cjpines Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do you break them from being broody?
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.

    Nipple water bottle added after pic was taken:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. cjpines

    cjpines Chillin' With My Peeps

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