My hen is off balance in the morning


Dec 1, 2015
Hello. I'm new here. I have 8 hens, all born on 4/29/15. Four of my hens are laying on a daily basis. I have one NH Red that has been occasionally walking off balance, specifically in the morning. She will walk sideways, backwards, then gets her balance and is fine and running all around. I read somewhere to give her baby vitamins, which I have been doing and it has helped. After I give them to her each morning, she is fine in about an hour. I also give her a few drops at night. Two weeks ago, she laid an egg with 2 yolks - it literally was the size of a goose egg. After she laid that egg, she was fine for a few days but then began walking funny again. Other than the walking funny in the morning, she is eating, gaining weight, and happy. I'm not certain she has laid another egg since I haven't seen her go in the nesting box. This has been going on for three weeks now. I've felt her tummy and the area in which she would lay an egg and I don't feel anything abnormal. I also checked her ears and do not see anything abnormal. Any thoughts? She is squatting for me - which is a sign of a layer.
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

This sounds like it could be neurological in nature. Generally when birds walk backwards or sideways, something is going on in the brain. How long as this been going on?

I don't know if this is similar to what your hen is doing, but I had a hen that would get really wobbly in the morning too. Not on a daily basis, but at least once or twice a week, at least what I could tell. After I turned on the light in the morning and she jumped down off the roost bar, within about 2 minutes of getting off the bar, she would get really weak in the legs and would just sink to the ground, and go into a trance like state. It then took her about 10 mins to recover and then she was off. Never did she have an episode during the day. She didn't live all that long and eventually passed on from heart failure. I am not sure if her morning weakness had anything to do with her heart, but it is possible waking up was hard on her heart.

I would say if your hen continues to get worse, it could be a lack of some vitamin giving her weakness or possibly some sort of brain inflammation...she could have hit her head or possibly has a bacterial inflammation.
Thank you for your reply. This has been going on for about three weeks. There are days that she does not do it at all - days that she only does it in the morning - and days where I do see a few episodes in the afternoon. My neighbor said the same thing - neurological. She is not weak at just takes a minute to get her whereabouts sometimes.
Give her some electrolytes and vitamin B12. With a vitamin deficiency hens can get neurological issues and walking problems. It will take a few weeks on supplements in the water.
It never hurts to add vitamins or a good supplement to the diet occasionally. Even one missing vitamin or mineral can cause all kinds of issues in the body.

I am a big fan of the Calf Manna Performance Pellets and add them once or twice a week to the feed. The birds eat them readily and they do seem healthier.

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