Silkie that has Down Syndrom?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickens102403, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. chickens102403

    chickens102403 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This may sound like a stupid question, but I am wondering if it is possible that my hen has Down Syndrome or something similar. I have always thought that it was... "special", so I was just wondering. I have to carry into the coop at night and when it rains the other hens go inside but it just sits outside in the rain. I used to let them free range (before loosing several to coyotes) and when I went outside to close the gate at night (much after dark) and would find her in a pile of rocks or a bush. We just built a very large coop with a yard 3x the size of the old yard and although the other chickens adapted to it very well she still seems confused. When other chickens peck at her she just sits there. 2 times she has almost died because the hens peck at her all day and she just sits there. Also, she can not perch. Silkies can not fly well so I lift her onto the perch but she inches over to the counter connected to perches and sleeps there. But in the morning she can't figure out how to get down, even though it is probably only 3 feet tall. She is 3 1/2 years old and I have had her for almost 3 years. Does anyone know what is wrong with her? Thank you!

    -G[​IMG]
     
  2. yochickiemomma

    yochickiemomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Has she always been like this?
     
  3. chickens102403

    chickens102403 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, she always acted strange. When I first got her I was new to chickens (I had raised 9 chicks). I didn't know the breeder and don't get her contact information because I didn't think about it. Being new to chickens I didn't ask about vaccines, parents, age, or anything else. I just said, "I'll take the fluffy one sitting in the corner". I purchased her at a show that was a few hours from my house. I think of my chickens as pets and consider the egg laying (I have gotten 1 egg from her in almost 3 years) a bonus. So I don't mind her being "special".
     
  4. yochickiemomma

    yochickiemomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think chickens can get down syndrome but she might have suffered a brain injury as a chick. I'm fairly new to chickens as an adult. I had chickens when I was young though. So I'm not the most experienced person here.

    I have an EE that has her own condo b/c she's so passive and friendly she let's the other hens pull her feathers. My hubby and friends think I'm crazy because I keep her even though she's been exiled from the rest of the flock. I don't have kids so my dog and my 9 hens are spoiled.
     
  5. chickens102403

    chickens102403 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your input, yochickenmomma. An injury is a likely possibility. I read on line that any kind of animal can have a mental problem, but they don't give the chicken problems names. Does anyone know this to be true?

    My chickens are spoiled pets too. I keep them even if they don't lay and I have a little rooster that will follow me around like he is a dog. But he has to live separately because he will fight with his son. He gets so jealous if I pick up other chickens but not him. He even has a sweater...

    Silkies are broody, but it still suprises me that she has tryed to sit on eggs a few times. (They were non-fertile eggs in the nesting box that she didn't lay). I have never trusted her with fertile eggs because a few times she has given up on them after 1 week. Sometimes she will wait for 3 weeks to give up, but one time at 5 weeks I had to move her off. Sometimes she will sit next to the eggs instead of on top of them. It seems like she wants to be a mom but she don't remember how to sit on the eggs. I feel bad for her, but I am afraid that if I give her chicks she won't be able to help them. I feel that if she can't figure out how to take care of herself, then she can't take care of others. But the other side of me thinks that it might be good for her to have something to do. As it is she just sits in the corner looking at the other chickens, so would she benefit from having company and family? I need advice on that.

    Thanks!

    -G[​IMG]
     
  6. yochickiemomma

    yochickiemomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my hens has an apron/Sweater too. My husband thinks I'm nuts but she's molting and its cold in northern Michigan.
     
  7. chickens102403

    chickens102403 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]It keeps them warm and it is cute! What is your opinion on the chicks? If I get good feed back about it then the the spring chicks will be hers. Do you think that there is anything else that I can do to help her be more aware? Today there were hawks flying above the coop. A good distance up, but all of the chickens ran inside. But Fluffypants (the silkie) just sat out in the open in the yard. I picked her up and put her inside with the others for her own safety. She is just so oblivious to everything....
     
  8. Sutremaine

    Sutremaine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe she's perfectly fine with that. Maybe she's not, and she'd like another chicken to hang around with. Do you have any more Silkies?

    Three feet is kind of high for a non-flier. Also, how wide is the roost? She might like something at hop-up height, either a 2x4 or a more foot-sized perch with a generous butt hammock behind it.
     
  9. chickens102403

    chickens102403 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your impute, Sutremaine. I have given her shorter perches but she sits on the ground half inside half outside. And when she does go in she can't get back out. No, I do not have other silkies. At the moment I do not have any mean chickens, they all seem to be fine with her and don't block her out. It seems more like she doesn't know how to be with them. They will all scratch around the yard together and they all eat together, but she doesn't really scratch and I normally bring her to the food. She is kinda just socially clueless. She has 6 other chickens in her pen with her, she doesn't seem to notice them very much.

    -G
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Silkies are prone to brain injuries, especially the ones with a domed skull, because of the breeding to produce puffy crests sometimes they have either a domed skull or the skull doesn't close up properly and any pecking can cause brain trauma, I had such a silkie and had to help her daily, it is one of the reasons I am wary of getting more silkies, I had initially gotten six, only one was like this.
     

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