Sick chicken: stands like a penguin

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shawniechick, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. shawniechick

    shawniechick New Egg

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    We have 5 hens, all about 10 mths old. Had them all since last summer. 4 are beautiful and healthy, and one, is not, as of about 3 - 4 weeks ago. Up till then though, she'd been beautiful and healthy as well. She is a white "supposedly" EO.

    When she first started looking off, she just had slowed down. Wasn't keeping up with the others. It progressively got worse, to the point she wasn't able to get down the ramp in the morning when we let them out. She's tippy, seems to have horrible balance.
    She stands completely upright like a penguin. Tail down, wings often down.
    I've had her isolated for the past week+. Found lots of bugs (I'm assuming lice) on her, but none of the other hens have any. (I've treated them as well though.)
    We bathed sick chicken and dried her thoroughly. Doused her and her hospital box with Dusting powder. Thankfully all the bugs are gone now.

    She doesn't move around much. When we let her outside now, she just stands. Sometimes sits. If she does walk, she highsteps like she's walking on broken glass, it's very odd.
    She's still eating well, she gets pellets and I've been making her cooked egg yolk, oatmeal, shredded apple, and bits of other kitchen scraps twice a day and she eats it all up. I've put Poul-vite in her water and she's still drinking. Gave her a bit of ivermectin. She seems skinny though. She hasn't layed for the past two days, but had been laying nearly every day prior.
    And, she's very hard to pick up now, and never used to be. We can't touch her wings at all or she flaps as though she's in pain. So I need to gently scoop her up from underneath and cradle her without touching her wings. I don't often pick her up anymore though, because she'll then stand with her mouth open, as though she's just been very stressed out. Poor little love.
    Our other hens, bless their hearts, are so gentle and kind to her. Before I had isolated her, they were so kind to her, never bothered or pecked at her. Since she's been isolated, I've been letting her out every couple days with the others in the big yard, and still, they are so kind to her.

    My question is though: what is wrong with her? This has been about a month now. I won't be able to re-integrate her back into the coop like this, she's too weak and wobbly, and can't get up onto the roost to sleep with the others.
    Thoughts? I"m thinking her time's likely up, but want to be very sure first. Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. shawniechick

    shawniechick New Egg

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    Apr 4, 2012
    No ideas what could be wrong with my poor Sugar?
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Standing/walking like a penguin is a sign of being egg bound. Have you felt around her abdomen for an egg?
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It could also be acites, fluid build-up in the abdomen caused by liver disease. It affects walking and balance since the swollen abdomen throws off the hip alignment. They will also lose weight, notably a skinny breastbone in spite of appearing fat in their lower parts.

    If she's egg bound, try giving her warm water soaks. If it's acites, it's a terminal condition. You can treat for it, but the outcome will be iffy.

    If she has progressed to egg peritonitis, you could try giving her antibiotics, but this usually has a poor outcome, too.

    This is heart-breaking, I know. I recently tried to treat a hen for acites, and she died anyway.
     
  5. Wigggy

    Wigggy Out Of The Brooder

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    Does she have a broken leg because one of my chooks has :/a broken leg and is a bit slow
     
  6. shawniechick

    shawniechick New Egg

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    Apr 4, 2012
    No broken leg. Didn't feel an egg before, but I will feel around again. She's still laying though. Her eggs are slightly longer than usual and a little not-so-perfectly shaped.
    Just talked to someone who said it's likely sterile peritonitis. I read it's best to leave alone if that's what it is, or, possibly to try to drain it, but it would likely be a re-occuring problem.
    Sigh... poor chicken. Not sure what we'll do.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If you do get up the courage to try to drain it, to improve her comfort level if nothing else, make sure you give her a round of antibiotic before and after. I think that was my big mistake when I drained my hen's acites. She quickly developed bright red skin at the site of the needle puncture and probably died from it.
     

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