need oppinions about potentially special needs hen


Pink Roses Farm
9 Years
Mar 14, 2010
Pearl River
It's been over a week since I noticed this chicken's strange behavior. It started the first day the heat index was 108. This chickens tail was down and she walked with a limp favoring the right leg. I immediately separated her from the others. At the time she was not eating and she only drank if I put her beak in the water. That night and the day after, it looked as though she had passed a broken egg. Based on advice from the forum members which suggested she could be egg bound, I examined the vent, provided a hot bath and a round of antibiotics and put an electrolyte/vitamin supplement in her water. Despite all this the chicken seems to be maintaining her current condition.

We have arranged for a few supervised no contact visits outside. She walks and runs with a limp and still keeps her tail down. She eats and drinks normally now, and her BMs are normal. Eyes and nose are clear and breathing is normal.

Dh thinks that she may have suffered a heat stroke that day, or that the fence that fell around the same time could have fallen on her. She does not seem to be in pain, and is alert and active upon going outside despite the limp and her tail being down. She has not laid an egg since I separated her.

Do you think she could go back outside with the others? If not, what would you do with a chicken like this?
I think I'd keep her separate for just a few more days and watch her for any signs of a relapse. Zahboo has a very good point about how the other chickens may react to her. They always seem to be able to tell when one of their flock is not quite right and will sometimes attack a weaker individual.

As for what you do with a chicken like that....speaking from love her just as you would any of your other birds! But you might have to make some allowances for her condition. Especially if seizures become a part of her list of disabilities.

My little LizzyBeth suffered seizures that were the direct result of a traumatic brain injury caused by an evil and malicious little boy at the feed store one day. That's a really long story and I won't go into it here. Suffice it to say that LizzyBeth always needed just a little extra consideration and attention in her all too short life.

Thankfully I had a buff orp at the time who took Lizzy under her wing and was her protector and surrogate mother throughout her 10 months on this Earth. In the absence of being fortunate enough to have another chicken around like that, the job may need to fall to you. But it doesn't take all that long to get the point across to your other chickens that this little lady is NOT to be messed with! Direct orders from the Food Goddess, from whom all meals flow!

If it were me, I might give her a few more days in isolation for observation. If she has anyone in the flock whom she considers her best friend, you might try reintroducing them to each other and see how each reacts. Beyond that, have you tried giving her a bit of pedialyte? It has electrolytes and such in it that may be beneficial to her at a time like this, what with the possibility of a heat stroke in the picture.

All in all, you'll just have to play it by ear. Though I do think she'll be fine in the long run. Several of my older girls walk with a limp all of the time. They're free range birds and as such they constantly twist something or get too rambunctious in their daily ramblings. Sometimes I think it's nothing more than a stone bruise to their feet. One minute they're walking across the gravel driveway just fine, the next they're limping. This may be the reason for your little girl's limp as well.

Hope she continues to improve and can get back to laying soon. Let us know how she does. Good luck!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom