Silkie unable to stand for a week.. PLS HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BCfarmerwannabe, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. BCfarmerwannabe

    BCfarmerwannabe New Egg

    Nov 1, 2010
    Hello all
    I have a very sick silkie on my hands and am not sure what to do. We have had chickens for 1.5 years now and have had little problems with them... they are a great flock and I love each and every one dearly. (I know... I know... I just cant help it) So I am quite stressed out by her sudden illness, my husband insists she needs to be culled but I remain a little hopeful, so I thought I'd pick your is some information

    1. My hen is a silkie, she is 1.5 years old, I am not sure of her weight... she's lost a ton this week, before she was average.
    2. Her symptoms are as follows... she cannot stand by herself, if I hold her body she can stand but when I let go she slowly falls foward then rolls to her side and her two feet stick out. Unless I help her she cannot walk or stand (this is why my husband wants to cull her, however I am hoping there is a cure) Its hard because she is actually quite perky and is so happy to see me when I help her get food and water and seems so mad when I leave... At first I thought mabye she was just tired not "mad" but if I come back right away she always wants to try to stand again. She has no visible injuries, and can kick her legs (if I am holding her...) and flap her wings. She has progessively gotten worse at first she seemed "off-balance" but now (as of Friday night) she cant even stand much less walk.
    3. She has been this way for 8 days
    4. The other chickens are all in perfect health... but one has taken to laying beside her (her health is fine but she's a polish so she has a hard to seeing, so some of the other chickens bug her... a lame silkie is a great companion)
    5. There doesnt seem to be any signs of trauma.
    6. I was away for the weekend, my hubby was looking after the chickens, when I came back she was sick. He simply says one night as he went out to close up the coop she was missing and her found her in the run laying down... but having a hard time walking.
    7.She has been eating layer pellets, veggie scraps, hen scratch and drinking water both before and since. Her appetite doesnt seem to be affected.
    8.Her poop is all stuck on her one side in her feathers... now that she only lays on the one side I guess it lands on her [​IMG] I dont know what it looks like... smeared poop on a chicken? sorry if thats too graphic.
    9.There hasnt been any treatment... I guess I hoped she'd get better but she has progressively gotten worse and the last couple days she just lays down and cant move without my help.
    10. I would like to take to a vet my hubby would like to cull her... this is why I am here... wondering if anyone else has faced this... if there's any hope... if it's contagious, etc.
    11. She live in a 14 x 12 coop. The floor is wooden and covered in sawdust. Her laying boxes are full of hay. We have done our best to keep both the laying boxes and the floor quite clean. During the day she has exposure to a run and on sunny days I let them wander the yard. She hasn't left the coop/run since this happened.
    Please respond... I am so sad... its hard to see her look so perky but her body be useless.
    Thank you

  2. tree13ag

    tree13ag Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 4, 2008
    have you checked for lice/mites? chickens can get very lethargic if infested. we lost a cochin earlier this year (she looked/acted fine, other than being lethargic, since she was so fluffy it was hard to tell that she had lost weight & had mites). we suspected that is what ultimately killed her, no one else seemed affected, but everyone was treated & all are lice/mite free.
    if there are no injuries, it could also be something neurological, but i don't have any experience with that.
    just a thought

    i hope you are able to determine what is wrong.
  3. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I had a Silkie hen who did that exact same thing - she just got more and more unsteady until she was streched out on her side with her legs sticking straight out. I kept her in quarantine incase it was something contaigous. She was very thin, but still had a good appetite if I put food and water w/ vitamins right by her head. I waited a long time for her to improve and she never did. I ended up culling her.

    I never could pinpoint exactly what was wrong with her and I chose to cull rather than take her to the vet.
  4. thereverend

    thereverend Out Of The Brooder

    May 15, 2010
    I am sorta new to this but.. Here is my thought process.

    If one is sick i take her/him right out of the coop until they either get better or
    well pass on to the big coop in the sky. There is no since keeping them with the others
    if they are sick, in some cases the others will kill the sick chicken and eat them..
    so this is what i do to prevent that.
  5. daddysgirlz

    daddysgirlz Out Of The Brooder

    May 15, 2010
    M, WI
    I have a silkie doing the same thing right now..exactly the same as you describe...It has happened to this silkie before and we thought she was pushed out of the hen house one night by the others who fight for the same seemed to happen over night and only affected one leg at the time...we wrapped the leg with vet wrap and after 14 days took it off and she was all good! that was in July this year...then last week it happened again and now it is both legs! Not sure what to do now....
  6. BCfarmerwannabe

    BCfarmerwannabe New Egg

    Nov 1, 2010
    Has anyone dealt with "Avian Encephalitis" ? It seems to be the closest in symptoms for what my silkie is experiencing.... or mabye she is suffering from something common to silkies?
    daddyzgirlz let me know if how your silkie is doing and if you find out anything... thanks [​IMG]
  7. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Try Vit B12/Vit E in her food. I had the same problem last week with a perfectly fine hen but suddenly unable to walk. I looked it up here and found info. on the Vit B 12 treatment. I also gave her electrolyte solution, she was able to stand in 3 days, started to walk a little by day 4-5 and is now just like new and back with the flock. Hope she gets better, my hen is also about 15 months old. I wonder if the molt is hard on them and some hens need more of these vitamins. I gave some extra B12 to the whole flock and electrolyte solution. Also, I gave her warm baths in a large bowl, she really liked it, I think it made her legs feel better. She comes up to me everyday to say thanks, so cute. Good luck
  8. daddysgirlz

    daddysgirlz Out Of The Brooder

    May 15, 2010
    M, WI
    My silkie is doing a little better today. I did not wrap her legs yet, I have been keeping her quiet and comfy in the hen house with the sun shining in on her and with water and food close by. I fed her cooked eggs this morning and set her in the sun in the green grass and she ate the whole time. I did add electolytes and vitamins to her water as well. She seems to be waddling close to the ground for now and if she wants something she won't hesitate to waddle after it!! She is not a quitter, that is for sure!How is your doing?
    tammye, where do you get those vitamins?? Are they the same as what people would take??
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Silkies sometimes get pecked on the head and since they have a soft spot like a baby, brain swelling and damage can ensue.

    Here are a couple of links:

    This link is GRAPHIC:

    I have no experience with this condition, but I do keep my silkies in a separate flock due to the risk (but LOTS of people keep their silkies in with their other chickens and don't have problems).

    Some of the Silkie breeders would probably be able to help you. If it were me I would try the vitamins like another poster said.
  10. BCfarmerwannabe

    BCfarmerwannabe New Egg

    Nov 1, 2010
    Thanks all... where do I get the vitamins? Can I use vitamins intended for humans? and approx how much? I would hate to poison her. She seems so "alive" (personality wise).
    I'll try the bathe I was thinking it would be a good idea anyway what with her not being able to move and "bathroom issues" and all.
    ChickensAreSweet... thanks for the info, I had no idea about the skull. We do have a rooster... it may have been him, he is really the only aggressive one of the bunch. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by