Probable rickets...can anyone help?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kinnafinn35, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. kinnafinn35

    kinnafinn35 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2011
    We have a barred rock hen who has been unable to stand or walk much for nearly 2 weeks. We first noticed it 2 Saturday's ago. I did a ton of research and found that it is probably rickets. She squats down all of the time and seems to rest on her "elbows" or whatever you'd like to call them. Once we figured out what we thought it was we started her immediately on Poly-Vi-Sol and the rickets diet 1/2 egg white, honey, oatmeal and yogurt fed divided 3 times daily. At first she improved some to actually being able to stand and walk some. Now she's just plateaued.. She's not making any more progress and probably hasn't in about a week. She can't go more than a few feet without getting tired and having to squat back down. She's still eating like crazy and tries to make her way around, though. We put her in a cage on the roost at night and only let her out for some time during the day for fear she'll hurt herself more or get picked on too much. She gets into a nesting box to lay, but it takes her quite a bit of work. We have a log in front of some of the boxes for her to make it easier, but she doesn't always use it. Today I felt her toenails as some said with rickets they'd be soft, but they're not. I don't know if they were in the beginning or not. I can't find any information on how long it may take to get her better, or when we should see what type of improvement, or what else we can do... Any help any of you can provide would be wonderful.

    I am feeling very badly because we have 5 barred rocks and for probably several weeks now, we have had one that just wouldn't get up on the roost at night. I assumed maybe she was just too big and couldn't get herself up there (however, she's really not that big. No bigger than her sisters...) or that she just plain didn't want to. She would often roost on the edge of the nesting boxes so I thought maybe that's just where she liked to sleep. Every night I'd put her up there... I'm hoping that by doing that I haven't caused some irreparable damage.

    Now looking back, I'm sure it was her and it was warning signs of something we just didn't know was coming. We are brand new to chickens this spring..
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    This was an ongoing problem similar with my Barred Rocks. Most likely it's injuries sustained from jumping down from a high roost or other high location. I recommend that you lower roosts and nests, that will eliminate the foot/leg/thigh injuries. I recommend that you place her in a cage or crate for rest and relaxation. Letting her walk on a leg/thigh with an injured tendon or ligament could aggravate the injury and make it worse and healing times much longer. You can add vitamin B complex to her feed and hopefully it will help speed up the healing process. You can buy it any pharmacy, crush a few tablets into powder and sprinkle it over her feed. Let her out of the cage after 5 days and see if there's improvement. If not, return her to the cage for 1 week with the same treatment and then let her out again. If there isnt any improvement, stop the vitamin B complex. While caged, provide her with scrambled egg and buttermilk mixed in her feed to eat. Make sure she has freshwater available as well. Leg/thigh injuries take time to heal; sometimes a week, a month, several months or never. After long term treatment/care, a quality of life decision has to be made. I have been successful with my large fowl hens recuperating from these type injuries...not so successful with roosters.
     
  3. kinnafinn35

    kinnafinn35 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2011
    Thank you so much for your reply. We had her caged all day yesterday and will continue to do so for several days to see if this helps. Have not tried the Vitamin B thing yet though. I will have to do so and see what happens!
    We are going to lower at least one of the roosts (there are 2) and see what they do. At least they can jump down to the one and then to the ground. If we need to though, we will lower both.
     

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