my hens are unable to stand and are lethargic HELP!!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tulips4evr, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. tulips4evr

    tulips4evr Hatching

    Oct 5, 2008
    2 days ago my daughter noticed one of the hens (we have 3hens, 2 roosters around 22-24wks) crouching and not moving as much. she was able to make it into the house at night on her own and back outside the next morning. Yesterday she was found lying on her side, eyes closed but still alive. Her comb was pale and shrunken, no drainage from her eyes or nose, stool was loose brown, no signs of any respiratory distress. When i sat her down on the ground, she slowly fell to her side. The only other symptom that i noticed was shaking of her neck and head, kinda like seizure activity.
    We ended up putting her down. Today another hen is exibiting the same signs, my kids noticed some darkening on her feet and both feet are cold to touch, just like the previous hen. The hens don't move on their own when picked up, their feet are drawn up when held and put back on the ground I have segregated her from the others now. she will eat when food place in front of her, but she isn't moving on her own. We have been feeding them laying feed for about the last 2week, plenty of water. The stay outside in a 10x15 pen and go inside the chicken house at night where i have 7 laying boxes and a roost. These chickens haven't been treated for anything and I don't know what is going on or if i need to be worried about the kids being around them. If anyone can help me i would greatly appreciate it [​IMG]
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Chances are your kids will be fine. Very few things transfer between them and us.

    However... what are they eating, what have they been fed, what type of bedding are they on, any treats lately, could they have gotten into something, and how is their weight?

    If they were bone thin, perhaps they have worms or cocci. However, with the shaking and seizure activity you describe, sounds neurological. Could they have gotten into something poisonous? Could they have been poisoned? Or if they are crested types, could they have been pecked on the head or injured by the roosters fighting over them/maiting with them. At about the age you say yours are, you really need to get one of the roos out if you only have 3 hens. They are at that maturity stage where they can do damage to each other and the girls if they are fighting over them when you aren't looking. Try getting at least 4-6 for the roo you choose to keep. Don't forget to quarantine anyone new for at least 30 days if not a chick born in a brooder.

    Doesn't sound bacterial so antibiotics won't help anything here. If they are going under fast, I suggest finding an avian vet if you can afford it, or at least sending the dead bird to a state lab for necroposy so you can find the root of the problem. It is such a sudden onset as an adult, I doubt it is Mericks, which is common in some areas.

    Good luck and welcome to the board.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    My first thought was poison, however, how about their crops? Do they feel gassy, sort of like a half filled water balloon or hard like they are impacted?
  4. tulips4evr

    tulips4evr Hatching

    Oct 5, 2008
    Thanks for the input. I am feeding them regular laying feed, don't know the kind right off. i have hay in their laying boxes. The only treats they have gotten lately are concord grapes that i didn't use in canning, apples and broccoli. I guess it could be possible that someone got in to poison, but i would have thought the dog would have alerted us..The dog has no way to get into the chickens, lol
  5. ZepChick

    ZepChick Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    coos bay OR
    Sounds kind of like what happened to our Cleo-bear. I am so sorry. I wish I knew what to do. We tried feeding her with a syringe and then she passed a couple days later. It might be worms. I would treat all your hens for worms but then you can't eat the eggs for about a week. Also you should try some antibiotics as whatever it is sounds contagious. If you treat worms early enough they should be fine. I hope she gets better!
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2008
  6. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    Just a stab in the dark but what I would do is open a new bag of feed and thoroughly clean out the coop, wash all down ... let air out well and replace the bedding with shavings. Sometimes mycotoxin
    can get into hay as well as occur in feed (and you cant always see it) .
  7. I'm betting with's from mold. That is a neurotoxin that is deadly. Moldy feed or mold in the bedding most likely.

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