Really weird walking trouble in barred rock

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by seamouse, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. seamouse

    seamouse In the Brooder

    May 23, 2009
    1. Four days ago I discovered the 5 year old barred rock had some kind of serious skin abrasion all around vent. Quite raw. Some necrotic skin, if that's the word. Also a wound just above her "hip" that actually had fly larvae in it. Don't know how it escaped me before it got this far. She genuinely wasn't acting "off."

    2. Maybe a couple weeks before this, I'd picked up eggs out of a nest that had lots of blood on their shells. Took a look at everyone, and couldn't find a problem. Maybe it was this hen?

    3. Wounds healed up quite well with epson salt bath, hyd peroxide, yarrow hydrosol and antiobiotic ointment. Also isolated and rest. No other symptoms. Normal poo. No known or likely predator attacks. If there was pecking or extreme feather pulling, it wasn't apparent in the daily flock behavior I saw. Eyes look good. Comb was a bit pail and floppy when I discovered her problems, but looks improved now-- four days later. Can't detect mites or lice. No sores on feet.

    4. Her appetite has been great the whole time. Gave her some extra protein but didn't otherwise need to alter her diet or coax her to eat or drink. Once she was cleaned up and rested one night, she was quite perky, as much as she was able to be considering she couldn't yet move around too well. She would take about 12 inches worth of little scooting steps, and then stop and lay back down.

    5. For four days, I'd been able to bring her in the house for couple times a day meals and doctoring and then set her back in the coop in a cleanly lined cardboard box on the floor with water and a little grain. She stayed in the box and the other hens just "assumed" she was nesting and paid her no attention.

    6. Today, she started to really try to walk, and that cardboard box thing came to an end because the hens now know something is wrong with her. This morning, she came "running" (I'll get to that in a minute) out the pop door with everyone else. This walking issue is her main symptom. She's walking, and even trying to run, in a totally prone position. Picture a hen lying down fully, covering her feet with her body, on a roost. That's the position she's in when she tries to walk and run. She isn't moving anything but her feet. And she gets them going pretty fast. They thump pretty loud; it's audible even. If it weren't such a concern, it would be hysterically funny. She gets a pretty good run in, then starts to understandably lose her balance and stops for a rest.

    7. She ran at a quick clip (pound, pound, pounding her little feet) out the door this morning, took a little effort to "fall over" the door jam that leads into the yard. Stopped at the first pile of grain I'd dropped, laid down and began to eat. A couple other hens came after her pretty soon, as she started moving around again and was clearly "not right." Real hen posturing, jumping, attacking. With her little non-working legs, she tried to dish it right back. Fluffing her feathers and jumping right back at them with impressive vigor, even if not so much coordination. I stopped it immediately, and isolated her.

    I wish I had a video of her walk. This isn't a squat walk, it's not a penguin walk. Concerned about the original almost scalded appearing rear end "wound" and the larger wound on her hip, I didn't originally explore for leg problems. Now that she's had another day of rest and her wounds look so good, and she's increasingly chipper, I'll do some leg checking tomorrow. Anything in particular come to mind? Anything I should look for? If her legs don't unfold easily when I try to check them out, should I just stop? I'm clueless. This is the weirdest hen walk I've ever seen. Thanks for reading. -Rochelle

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: