Older Hen Is Extremely Weak and Walking Strangely! Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TwinsLoveChicks, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. TwinsLoveChicks

    TwinsLoveChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lily is a Black Austrolorp who is about 9yrs old. In the last week or so, she's started walking funny, almost waddling, and she's been acting way slower than usual, but she hasn't lost any weight. This morning she was worse, and although I have a heat lamp in my coop due to the recent cold, I brought her inside and got her warm. None of the other birds in my flock are showing any symptoms. She isn't bleeding either, nor does she have any injuries that I can see. She was getting a little more attention then usual from the boys last week, but not within the last several days. She hasn't been eating a lot lately, but she has been drinking, and I've been putting electrolytes in the water too. Her poop is kind of like guacamole, mostly just green and thick-ish. [​IMG] I'll post pictures of her as soon as I get the chance. Thank you in advance! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Nine years is pretty old for a chicken; she may just be slowing down with age. The male attention, as well as the cold, may have stressed her out and worsened any age-related problems.

    Greenish droppings are usually present when birds aren't eating enough and/or have liver problems. I would continue giving her electrolytes and encourage her to eat anything: moistened layer feed, scrambled eggs, various fruits, etc. Maybe with some supportive care she'll perk up.

    The waddling may mean she is weak in the legs, or be a sign of something like internal laying/ egg yolk peritonitis. Those egg-laying related problems are common in older hens, especially production type birds. Do you know if she is laying?
     
  3. chicken4prez

    chicken4prez Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree. Here is an article meant for old chickens: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/old-chickens-giving-them-a-comfortable-last-days
     
  4. TwinsLoveChicks

    TwinsLoveChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, she is now inside laying in a box in the sunshine, and I've gotten her to drink some water. I'll also start offering her some extra goodies to eat. She's a very calm hen and so sweet! I don't think that she's layed an egg in at least 8 months, so that can't be the problem, although I thought that too when I first saw her.
     
  5. TwinsLoveChicks

    TwinsLoveChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. chicken4prez

    chicken4prez Overrun With Chickens

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    No problem!
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It sounds like her liver may be failing. You say she has a waddling gait. When you view her from the rear as she walks, does it look like her belly is much lower to the ground than it used to be? Feel her belly in the space between her legs. Does it feel like a big water balloon? If the answers to these questions are yes, she likely has acites, pronounced ah-see-tees.

    This is a condition similar to cirrhosis of the liver in humans. It's not a disease in itself but a symptom that her liver is not functioning as it should.

    There's no cure. It's a sign your nine-year old hen is probably in her final months.
     
  8. TwinsLoveChicks

    TwinsLoveChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a hen with the same condition, so I checked almost immediately, and she doesn't have any symptoms. She does walk with her belly lower to the ground, though, and I agree that she is probably in her final months. However, she has been perking up a bit. Last night she roosted on the edge of her box, and she's been standing up a lot recently.
     

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