Pullet not walking!!! Please help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickenworld, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. chickenworld

    chickenworld Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 27, 2007
    My pullet had been very quiet for about a week (feathers puffed up, not coming down from perch normally, not eating much) and about three days ago when she flew down from her perch, she just stumbled around and couldn't walk properly. Her eyelids also looked a bit swollen. So we took her inside the barn, and a day or two later we saw that her legs would slide forward out from underneath her and she'd tip over. Then she would flap around trying to straighten up again until she would finally give up. She can't stand up at all now. We've wrapped her up so that her legs stay under her and she'll be a bit more comfortable. We are still feeding her as usual: cracked corn, layer pellets, scratch, tiny bits of chick started feed (it seems to be easier for her to eat) and treats (bread, spagetti, ect.). She has no trouble eating, but she is barely drinking. Her poo is normal as well. I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but she may also be missing her best friend, who disappeared around the time this all started.

    Does anyone know what she might have, and if we should consider putting her down?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I would take out everything extra from her diet like the corn, scratch, bread, and spagetti. That is just empty calories and will throw off the nutritional balance of the layer. You may see if you can find a pedalyte, chicken vitamin, or other bird vitamin supplement to give her to see if maybe her condition can be fixed nutritionally and so she can rebuild up her strength.

    It's possible she got depressed when her friend disappeared, and it set of a health cascade leading to her loss of motor control.

    Her legs sliding forward is a bit concerning, as it reminds me of Mericks disease. However, I am not sure of all the symptoms, so you may wish to look it up and see if it fits age and condition wise.

    The week of quiet, puffing, and not eating much reminds me of internal paracites. If you have any vet in the area, ask them to do a fecal float test on her poo to see if she has worms or cocci. If they can identify if there is any, they can tell you the type, and you can get an appropriate medication to treat for it.

    If you could provide some more info such as age, their normal diet, their living situation, bedding, weather in your area and all the little things that may have changed like visits from wild birds or new birds to a flock, that may help figure what the issue is.

    Good luck with her!
     
  3. chickenworld

    chickenworld Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 27, 2007
    Thank you for all your information and support silkiechicken, our girl's still holding on. She is around 5 months old, her normal diet is scratch, layer pellets, cracked corn and treats (eg.bread, rice, corn) and they don't have bedding because they are free-ranged. It is also very rainy, snowy and cold, but they have a nice coop with a heatlamp and the only new bird is a baby duckling that found its way to us from a nearby duck farm. Thank you again! We will try all of your suggestions.
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Another thing you may check for is lice/mites. If that duckling came by from a duck farm, it could have some mites/lice, and those things can move bird to bird, and in some cases, can cause a bird to become lethargic. You just lift up featheres on the back, sides, under wings, under the tail and quickly look to see if there are any creepy crawlies.

    At 5 months, she could be nearing point of lay, and sometimes they have kinks in their systems that show up with the maturity of the reproductive system. That is one thing you can't really fix or repair though.

    I don't know what else I can suggest for now. Best of luck.
     
  5. chickenworld

    chickenworld Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 27, 2007
    Thank you again silkiechicken. We are so ridiculously attached to our chickens, it's hard to see them when they are not feeling well. I have changed her food and I checked her for any obvious signs of lice and I haven't seen anthing so far. She seemed a little perkier today. We are also getting her some chicken vitamins.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Best of luck!

    Hoping for a full recovery!
     

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