Polish Chicken acting drunk ~she lost her fight today

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GopherBoyFarms, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. GopherBoyFarms

    GopherBoyFarms Songster

    Mar 18, 2008
    Vancouver WA
    One of my 20 week old polish chickens is acting almost as if it's drunk. I noticed 2-3 days ago she was just sitting back on her honches (I guess thats the term) and not really active. She went in to perch last night with the rest. Then today when it was time to come out she didnt come out. Just sitting on the floor. I brought her outside and she didnt move, just sat. I have her inside in the pet taxi and she moves backards. She will stretch her wings out and not close them back up to her. She will also fall over sideways. I took her our wrapped in a towel and fed her some scrambled eggs and dribbled some water with electolites and vitamins on her beak and she drank as much as I offered her. I checked her crop it doesnt feel full, and I dont see any injuries on her. She is back in the taxi now, and it's covered with a blanket to keep her resting.
    Does anyone have any ideas?? I told my family...who really love this chicken that until I know whats wrong with her I cant try to fix her. Does anyone have any ideas of anything else I can do for her aside from taking her to a vet?


    Last edited: Aug 24, 2008
  2. meloncholy88

    meloncholy88 In the Brooder

    Oct 28, 2007
    I am sorry about your Polish Hen. Is it possible she has Marek's disease and is experiencing muscle paralysis?
  3. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Various diseases or injury can cause that behavior.

    You can call a local vet to see if they can do a fecal test.

    The most important thing here is to watch the rest of your flock. If this starts
    spreading you will need to get professional help quick.

    As for the bird that is sick now it sounds like you are doing all you can.
  4. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    Sounds like a head injury that is common in crested birds (Polish, Silkies, etc) because often times, their skulls are not fused at the top.
    I believe you can give Vitamin E... but let me look around really quick to see if I can find more information. Put her by herself someplace where it is cool and quiet. See if she will eat scrambled egg and make sure she's drinking.
  5. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    Ok. Do you notice her tucking her head into her body, or does she look like her neck may be crooked?
    Here is a link to dhlunicorn's (Diana) website which has a ton of info. Read the first post, even though it is pretty long, and see if your bird shows some of the same problems. There is a list of what to treat her with.

    It could also be Marek's (sitting on the honches, falling over, looking confused) and I'm not sure there is a cure.
  6. There is a disorder of silkies and crested breeds called Seahorse Syndrome due to the neck problems which usually develop. It is also called cerebral hernia. It was just covered in Practical Poultry in February 2008. It ris caused by the elevated skull cavity in those breeds.

    The article detailed treatment of a Silkie with cortisone and an antibiotic called Baytril. Cortisone is injected and Baytril was added to the water at a dosage of 2 ml per liter for seven days.

    If this is the illness of your silkie you should know that the odds are not great without treatment, but that treatment sometimes works.

  7. I would try to keep the bird hydrated, get it to the vet, and then make a decision about whether or not euthanasia would be the humane choice if it is suffering too much, or if a week of treatment seems reasonable.

    Best wishes,
  8. GopherBoyFarms

    GopherBoyFarms Songster

    Mar 18, 2008
    Vancouver WA
    Quote:Our chicks where vaccinated for Marek's when we got them. Could they still get it?
  9. Yes, it's possible to get Marek's even with the vaccination-- it just boosts immunity but doesn't totally prevent.

    SInce these are crested birds I think the cerebral hernia is something you really have to think is more likely. Apparently just about everyone who raises silkies or polish will eventually run into the problem.

  10. FisherMOM

    FisherMOM Songster

    May 7, 2008
    Bergen, NY
    sorry about your chicken... I sure hope that she will be ok. They have SUCH a nice house to live in!!

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