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Severe molt and balance issues

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nan4848, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. nan4848

    nan4848 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Des Moines, IA
    I have a 2 yr old Australorp hen that is going through a severe molt. I'm talking nearly naked!. She is also having what I think are balance problems. She tends to walk to one side as she's moving forward and appears to lose her balance at times and will just sit down.

    I have separated her in a large dog crate as she was being picked on by the other hens. She is eating and drinking normally. Seems okay otherwise.

    I'm worried about the walking sideways? Is balance an issue with a severe molt?
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    I'm not sure why she is walking strange, so I can't help you much there. It may be because she feels strange because of the molting. Look at her eyes-- are they cloudy, greyish, or unresponsive to light? Strange walking can be a symptoms of blindness.

    As for the severe molt, it sounds like she may not be getting enough protein. You may want to change the feed to a higher protein feed, like game bird grower. Give her some scrambled eggs, wet cat food, or mealworms, too.
  3. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    I've had hens that have gone through a severe molt and sometimes they do walk funny. I think it is because of the pin feathers on their legs. I had one that would take a step and tuck a leg under her and stand a bit and then take another step and tuck the other leg up.

    Look under molting and extra protein. It will help you to know what foods have extra protein to help her through. I saw a thread scrolling across the top of this sight this morning and it is very informative.
  4. nan4848

    nan4848 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Des Moines, IA
    Thank you for your replies.

    I knew that she needed extra protein and I have been feeding her a good quality wet cat food since this started. She went through a hard molt last year and was quite miserable then, but this one is worse. I've been searching on the net trying to figure this out and the closest I can figure is this molt is just sapping her and I began sprinkling a little crushed vitamin B12 in her water and added a little raw honey to her small ration of cat food. She also has no wing feathers or tail feathers at the moment and didn't know if that was playing a part in her balance issues.

    Guess I'll have to see how this plays out.

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