rhode island red chicken walking strangely

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by iliamna, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. iliamna

    iliamna Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2008
    One of my Rhode Island Red chickens is walking in a strange manner; she crouches down to where you can't see her legs, takes a few steps and kind of wobbles when she stops. If I approach her, she will stand up straight, walk a ways quickly then crouches down again. It's almost like she can't support the weight of her body anymore. I've had another chicken do this very same thing and we finally put her down because I had no clue what was going on. This chicken will get off by herself too as they do when they're not feeling well and I always suspect they will die soon. Any ideas or does anyone know what is going on here? Thanks, Iliamna
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't know how old your birds are, but Encephalomalacia is caused by a nutrient deficiency of Vitamin E. Birds get uncoordinated due to swelling of the brain. Too much cod liver/soy oil, or rancid feed can cause it. Birds walk in circles, sometimes the head hangs over backward or side to side. Put poultry vitamins in the water and give the bird a vitamin E capsule. If you do this daily and symptoms cease, then that is what the problem was. I have a hen that blows all her feathers almost at once when she moults. She walks in an uncoordinated manner due to the sudden change, and I need to be sure she eats and drinks supplemented water every day to coddle her along. She always recovers with beautiful new feathers though.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    It sounds like your chicken is sitting on her hocks, and not walking because it hurts. Sitting on hocks can be from a vitamin deficiency (riboflavin or B2,) or could be from other diseases affecting the legs such as MS or mycoplasma synoviae, viral arthritis, internal laying/egg yolk peritonitis, or even Mareks disease. Poultry vitamins in the water would be a good first step until your figure out the cause. Is she an older hen that could have a reproductive issue such as internal laying?
     
  4. iliamna

    iliamna Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2008
    She's about 4 years old and had been laying o.k. up until mid summer & now she's not laying at all. I'll try the vitamins which sounds like good advise. She is moulting now too so we'll see how she responds. Thank you.
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    It sounds like a hard moult. Moulting is more stressful on some birds more than others. There are many moult supplements on the market, good and bad. I take 1 tablespoon of Wheat germ oil fortified with A,D &E and mix it well into 2 lbs of feed. I give them that in the morning once a week. I also use poultry vitamin-electrolyte-probiotic powder 3 times a week in waterers. Birds often go off feed during moult, so it is important to supplement. Some people even use a couple teaspoons of nutritional yeast and mix that in the oiled feed once a week. It contains a long list of amino acids and B vitamins.
     
  6. iliamna

    iliamna Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2008
    Thanks, where do you live in N. California?
     

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