Need advice on disabled hen........

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by crzychickenlady, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. crzychickenlady

    crzychickenlady Songster

    Jan 31, 2007
    Ok, I duno if this goes here or not...

    I have a disabled hen that lives in the house. She has been this way for some time now and I am wondering about her quality of life.

    She got stuck in the pen between one of their dog houses and the pen one day, I have no clue how long she was there.
    I brought her in and she couldn't walk at all. I made a sling in a carrier for her and she got better as far as walking.
    She can get around ok, but she is wobble and tips over alot. She also has what I call seizures.... it looks like one.
    Something, I dont know what, sets her off and she will tumble over on her back and shake her head, sometimes tucking her head under her wing. In recent weeks these have become more and more common.

    She still eats and drinks fine and has been laying eggs up until about a month ago.

    Mu question here is.....what kind of quality of life does she have in this state? She cannot go out with the others as they attack her when she goes down. She seems content to live in the house, but I feel so bad for her....

    Is it time for me to let go and put her down??

    Someone please give me some advice here..I don't know what to do..
    Has anyone had a hen that was this way, and is there ANY way to treat her and get her back to normal???

    Ohh, I need to add that she has seen the vet multiple times and they have no clue what is wrong with her or how to treat her.

  2. banter

    banter Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    What can YOU deal with?. Is she making a shambles of your life? If not, and your ok with her, and she's not in pain, take it day by day. I've kept a multitude of challenged animals of all types. Only you can make the final decision.
  3. chiknwhisperer

    chiknwhisperer Songster

    May 9, 2008
    Lowell, IN
    Personally, I would probably keep her. I would just keep a very close eye on her to see if she got a lack of appetite or anything. I have a big soft spot for disabled animals of any kind. I had a rabbit that was unable to use his back legs. The vet said he wouldn't be able to walk because he had a ruptured disc and his foot was broken as well. Well I took him to work with me for 2 or 3 weeks and helped get where ever he wanted. He now runs extremly fast and is just as healthy as a horse.
  4. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Oh Amber I know it's hard. If she is not making things difficult for you and she seems healthy otherwise, I would keep her. I had a hen and a roo that have been having issues for a while. The hen finally passed away, but the little roo seems to be getting better every day.
  5. crzychickenlady

    crzychickenlady Songster

    Jan 31, 2007
    She's not a bother to me being in the house, she does make a pretty nasty mess with her poo.

    She's been in the house almost a year now I think....., she seems to be getting worse and I really don't want her to suffer.

    I need to get batteries in my camera so I can take video, that may be more helpful....
  6. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Sounds like you feel she really is at that point...If you feel that way, it is okay--put her down or have some one do it for you. A year is a long time to have taken care of her, you've put a lot into it, and I'm sure she had as good a life as she could.
  7. soonerdog

    soonerdog Songster

    I had a pure ameruacana bantam rooster several years ago showing some symptoms that you're describing. This all started just about at maturity age. Even after, I discovered something was bad wrong with this rooster he could still eat and drink just fine. He sometimes could walk just fine and stand alone okay. Then at other times, when he attempted to change his position or walk, he would just start turning and rolling flips constantly. Sometimes he would seem completely normal and other times he was "completely out of control of himself." I too had him inside trying to see if there was anything that I could do to help him get better. At first, I thought it might be Merecks disease. But as I monitored the situation daily, working with the bird, helping him to eat became much more difficult. It dawned on me that his actions seemed more seizure like than any other chicken illness that I'd experienced. Over time, he began to loose weight. On good days he could eat okay, and then when the condition was at its worse he missed getting to eat. I could tell that he was "slowly" getting worse.
    I finally decided for the "good of my flock" I must know what is wrong! I decided to take this bird to the North Georgia Poultry Laboratory for an evaluation. The poultry veterinarian there kept the bird for a week to evaluate his condition. He performed all routine tests for poultry diseases and came up empty handed. He contacted me about putting the bird down for internal findings through an autopsy. I gave permission. He and the other poultry scientists could not find any abnormalities at all with my bird. BUT...there was definately something wrong with him! They reasoned the condition to have been some sort of inherited neurological condition.
    I wish you the very best!

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