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My hen stumbes backwards before each step.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lamanite Jim, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. Lamanite Jim

    Lamanite Jim Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 1, 2014
    One of our hens was attacked by a hawk last week. I scared it off before it killed her. My wife and I spent 3 hours cleaning the wounds and applying 40 stitches to Frankies' chest, back and neck. There were no muscle tears, only flesh torn apart. Fortunately there were no 'pieces' missing so we were able to close all wounds. There appeared to be no significant neck injuries since she holds her head up to eat and drink with no problems. She has even been laying eggs. My concern is with her walking. Before she can start walking forward she will take several awkward steps in 'reverse'. We will continue to keep her indoors until all visible injuries have cleared up. I wonder if this walking malady is indicative of neurological damage. Any suggestions? BTW, my son and I have spent the last week enclosing the chicken run so as to avoid any more predator attacks. In the past 11 months we have lost a total of 11 hens to foxes, possums and roaming dogs.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
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    Your hen could have suffered a head injury that has caused symptoms of wry neck. Symptoms can include a twisted neck, walking backwards or in circles. I would give her vitamins, especially vitamin B1 (thiamine,) Vitamin E, and the mineral selenium. Poultry vitamins in the water are easiest, and you can give a small amount of egg, chopped meat, tuna, salmon or nuts for selenium. Poultry NutriDrench and Poultry Cell vitamins contain all 3, and can be give 1-3 ml daily. Here is a bit to read:
    http://www.browneggblueegg.com/Article/Crookneck/Crookneck.html
     
  3. Lamanite Jim

    Lamanite Jim Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 1, 2014
    Thanks for the reply. "Frankie" started walking correctly immediately after I removed the stretch bandage I had around her to hold her dressing bandages in place. Now after 40 stitches and a couple weeks of TLC she is doing great. She is still laying eggs every other day, even after the trauma. I still have her confined to our screened back porch. She sleeps in a large dog cage with straw and a small space heater just outside the door. Once she grows replacement feather back on her chest I will return her to the flock outside. It is still cold at night and I am afraid the other chickens may see her as vulnerable and attack her. BTW, we affectionately call her Frankie for 'The Bride of Frankenstein'. Her poor chest and neck have so many scars.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It's good to bear that Frankie is doing much better. It will be good when you can slowly add her back into the flock.
     

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