Older hen’s toes won’t uncurl

DotTheHen

Chirping
May 6, 2019
85
179
91
My 4/5 year old barred rock has gradually been slowing down over the years. She’s the last of my barred rocks and I noticed last night she was not in the coop, but instead laying on the ground in the run. Today, she was sitting down again, and I saw that her right foot looked weird. All the toes seemed to be limp or numb. She would have her back toe folded under her food and her front toes were bunched together.

She didn’t seem like it hurt her when I lightly squeezed the joint, but she looked in pain when she tried to stand up or walk. When she walks, she’s standing on the tops of her toes. Is this some type of disease or arthritis? Is there a cure?

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Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Apr 3, 2011
56,466
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southern Ohio
Have you added any new chickens to your flock in recent months? Was you hen vaccinated for Mareks disease? Do you think she could have injured her hip or leg in a fall? Riboflavin or B2 deficiency, nerve damage, or Mareks disease can cause curled under toes and lameness. I would get some human vitamin B complex tablets, and give her 1/2 tablet daily crushed into a little food or water. Cooked egg or canned cat food would be good to hide that in. I would separate her inna dog crate with food and water close enough to reach.
 

DotTheHen

Chirping
May 6, 2019
85
179
91
Our newest chickens were added in June at 6 weeks old. The person we buy our chickens from says she vaccinated them all. I have short roots and tall roosts and ramps especially for her since she’s the only chicken that acts elderly. All my chickens are on a 1:1 ratio of 7 grain scratch and layer pellets. I’m not sure if I’m able to separate her from the flock.
Thank you for your help!
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Apr 3, 2011
56,466
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southern Ohio
The problem with not separating, even if she is in a dog crate within the coop or run, is that she may not get enough food or water, or the others might turn on her and peck/attack her because she is not walking normally.
 

DotTheHen

Chirping
May 6, 2019
85
179
91
She’s not very interested in food. She pecks at it but doesn’t eat any. I’m gonna make a flip flop type contraption and tape her foot onto it with vet wrap and see if she can walk better with it.
 

RainbowHen

Make eggs, not war
Premium Feather Member
Jul 10, 2020
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Wisconsin
My Coop
A 1:1 ratio of layer and scratch? That's far too much scratch. In that ratio you are severely diluting the protein and vitamins in the layer feed. Scratch and treats should not make up more than 10% of their diet. Definitely get some vitamins in her. You can offer her wet feed made into a mash and scrambled eggs to perk her appetite.
 

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