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Old hen couldn't stand up

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by oldhen2, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. oldhen2

    oldhen2 Just Hatched

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    My pet six or seven-year old wyandotte hen, Cleo, has trouble walking. She stopped scratching a while ago, I haven't seen her dust bath recently, and started getting wobbly slowly. She laid less than a dozen eggs last spring. Recently when we let her out in the morning she would run out as usual but stumble and fall, and in the last couple of weeks she'd need help getting up again.

    Yesterday she couldn't walk at all and rolled onto her back or side after being helped up, so we put her in a nest box for the night-- she's the last of three chickens we have left so there no need to separate her. Her feet aren't curled and her head is always pointing up. Her wattles and comb are a bit pale, probably because it is winter, her eyes seem fine and her feathers are as good as ever. Her recent droppings looked good, firm and green-brown with white caps, though now they are small and runny, probably because she couldn't eat much. She has a good appetite otherwise, but isn't eating as much of her pellets as I'd like, mainly some scratch and things from around the yard. She is making a lot of cheerful noises, too, and flicking her tail, which makes me think she's fairly happy.

    This morning she was on the floor of the coop on her back, with her head up and alert. I rolled her on her feet and she stood, tried to eat a bit, but fell again. I rolled her over again and when I came back a few minutes later she was walking all over the place and eating and drinking, even stepping up and down a 6" ledge without falling. It all seems normal except for when she can't get up at all, which makes me think something serious might be going on.

    Does this sound like just old age, or something treatable? How can I make it easier for her/ what signs should I look for?
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  2. Nancy112

    Nancy112 Out Of The Brooder

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    Just was reading a health book for my own chickens and saw something about arthritis. It makes sense if it is arthritis. My chicken had a pale comb but it died a few days later. Very sad. Try to deworm. I think it is just old age. I feel really sorry for you. I'll pray for her tonight.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seems like she is getting old, seven years is a lot for a chicken.No need to deworm.Balance issues happen with old hens.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. oldhen2

    oldhen2 Just Hatched

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    Thank you Nancy112 and MasterofClucker for your advice, seems like it's old age then... Cleo seems happy for now. I guess I'll just keep an eye on her and make sure she's comfortable (I dusted her with diatomaceous earth since she's not dust bathing anymore) and I'll keep you posted.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  6. Nancy112

    Nancy112 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    Same my chickens only live to about four years. My favorite chicken, HennyPenny, was my best friend. In her last days she couldn't stand, she laid on her side in the run. I've seen a picture that might help you with this. I feel like Cleo is already everyone's friend. Try this picture. It might be hard, but a chicken is man's best friend, right? I think she has arthritis. Also, can you give me tips on what you did to keep a chicken for that long. I'll pray for Cleo again.
     
  7. oldhen2

    oldhen2 Just Hatched

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    Cleo seems to have gained some strength since my last post and is walking around as usual, for now. [​IMG] As for her age, I couldn't say! Probably in her genes more than anything else, but maybe she likes the small flock size and free range of the garden. I'm definitely not one to lecture about what the ideal chicken setup is.
     

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