Sick Chickens

Gma Leghorn

Hatching
Sep 10, 2019
3
2
4
I have two sick hens. My first question regards my mature laying Rhode Island Red hen. Last year I lost a RIR hen to cancer. Her symptom was a balloon like enlarged belly. It became so large she was unable to walk upright. Within three weeks she passed away. I took her to the Agri. Lab and they told me she was full of cancer. Now I have another RIR hen who started with a similar symptom however this has been going on for about two months. She has a great appetite and everything appears normal except this balloon feels like it is about to explode. It is warm, soft and squishy.

My second question is in regard to my now 11-week old pullet. I ordered 24 baby chicks this spring. Everything has been moving along nicely until about 9 days ago when I noticed one of my leghorns was sitting on her hocks and couldn't walk normally. I removed her from the pen and checked her out to see if I could tell something was wrong but I found nothing. She has a normal appetite, eats, drinks, & poops normally. She is able to walk short distances then starts having trouble and uses her wings to help stabilize her. When she is sitting on her hocks, her toes seem to retract or pull-up yet her feet seem fine. Sometimes she actually lays down and stretches her legs out straight and curls up her toes. Is this a disease or neurological disorder? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

coach723

Crowing
Feb 12, 2015
4,406
8,123
491
North Florida
When a bird has curled toes, or is hock sitting, that can be from a riboflavin (B2) deficiency. It is not uncommon. The deficiency can start while they are still developing inside the egg if the mother was low. Try supplementing riboflavin, a B complex human tablet ground up mixed in the food is one way. B vitamins are water soluble, extra will be excreted, so there is no risk of overdosing.
http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/curly-toed-paralysis
https://www.tillysnest.com/2014/03/vitamin-deficiencies-in-backyard-chicks-html/
 

Gma Leghorn

Hatching
Sep 10, 2019
3
2
4
When a bird has curled toes, or is hock sitting, that can be from a riboflavin (B2) deficiency. It is not uncommon. The deficiency can start while they are still developing inside the egg if the mother was low. Try supplementing riboflavin, a B complex human tablet ground up mixed in the food is one way. B vitamins are water soluble, extra will be excreted, so there is no risk of overdosing.
http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/curly-toed-paralysis
https://www.tillysnest.com/2014/03/vitamin-deficiencies-in-backyard-chicks-html/
Thank you for the info re my hen with curled toes. I immediately gave her a vit. B disolved in water and gave it to her with a dropper. She is still the same today so my question now is how often should I administer this vit. B to her and for how long? I certainly hope it brings her back to good health. Thanks again.
 

coach723

Crowing
Feb 12, 2015
4,406
8,123
491
North Florida
I would give it daily for at least a couple of weeks. If her issues are from a deficiency then sometimes improvement is quick, but it depends on how advanced it is. The longer it goes on, the less likely the damage is reversible. Since there is really no risk of overdosing, I would keep going, hopefully you will start to see improvement.
There are some other causes that are possible, but I would do the supplementing to see if that takes care of it, rather than assuming a worst case scenario first off. If you don't see any improvement after some time with supplementing then other causes would need to be considered. Marek's disease (typically symptoms show up between 12 and 25 weeks, there are exceptions), botulism or heavy metal poisoning can cause paralysis.
This link shows some of the causes that can have symptoms similar to and be mistaken for Marek's disease:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
If necessary you can use a chicken sling for periods to help her stay upright and reach food and water easier, some examples below, make sure she tolerates it and doesn't freak out and hurt herself:
0fc3977125679ff97e41196d94cdfb6b--broken-leg-recovery.jpg

5d900e5646be3ce5eb1e6f1645a6ed14.jpg

7205_bird_chairsling.jpg

e0342c9d342cb3f8f72cf353724e56d4--broken-leg-crazy-bird.jpg
 

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