Strange, stiff, almost paralyzed Ameraucana hen.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shinomaster, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. shinomaster

    shinomaster New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Feb 16, 2014
    Greetings,

    So my three year old hen has always been a bit odd. She started out normally, but over the last year she seemed to walk very little, and would just sit and peck what's around her. I thought she was just really lazy. Recently though, she started limping, and couldn't hop up stairs the way a chicken should, and she started walking very upright almost like a person. I'm not even sure of how she was getting in the coop. She stopped roosting and would just sleep in the nest box, or on the floor of the coop, due to what I think was a leg or hip problem of some sort. I never saw her sustain an injury. Her appetite has been good and she still eats like a piglet - that is until I found her this morning. She was huddled in a corner upright and puffed up, seemingly unable to move. I washed her off and brought her inside and now she looks like this.[​IMG]

    She looks to be in pain and I don't really know what to do? Any thoughts would be of great help. I think she may be past the point of medical treatment. I can't really afford to take her to a vet.

    Thanks,

    John
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,839
    4,076
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. That is very strange how she is sitting upright leaning backward against the box. Some things to explore would be Mareks disease, mycoplasma synoviae, and viral arthritis (also called tenosynovitis.) Does she have a blister or bare spot on her breast bone? Is there any swelling of the feet or leg joints up to the hips? Did she have a Mareks vaccine? A baby aspirin twice a day (or 1/4 an adult aspirin) would be good for pain. She will probably need her food and water close, so the box is good. Here is some info on the diseases listed above:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/99/mycoplasma-synoviae-infection-ms-infectious-synovitis
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/164/viral-arthritis
    http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
     
  3. shinomaster

    shinomaster New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Feb 16, 2014
    Thanks so much for the reply. I'll check her out. I know she's really in a bad way, as normally (two days ago) she'd run over and immediately start eating when I brought food out. She'd even knock it out of my hands. Today, I can't get her to eat or move. She seems to not be able to move forward, she fell over backwards into that position, [​IMG]

    and he feathers are all puffed up. She's just pooping on herself. I'm worried I might have to put her out of her misery, and of course this is my most favorite, sweetest little hen. :(
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,839
    4,076
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,839
    4,076
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Yes she seems to have stargazing or wry neck from your description. What type of feed has she been on? Poultry cell, which is a brand of vitamins, has all of the vitamins plus selenium that are needed for treatment. Nutridrench for poultry also contains selenium. Here is a link about wry neck (aslo called star gazing): http://www.browneggblueegg.com/Article/Crookneck/Crookneck.html
     
  6. shinomaster

    shinomaster New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Feb 16, 2014
    Until today, she would sleep on her face. She would just walk over to a spot and just sit on her belly and then plop her face down. She went from roosting in the coop to sleeping in the nest boxes. For a while I just thought she was depressed.. These pictures are a few weeks old. Notice her standing. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. shinomaster

    shinomaster New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Feb 16, 2014
    My girlfriend just told me our hens were vaccinated for Mereks as chicks, and they have mostly eaten Payback layer feed... She's been in this awful contorted pose all day without moving. I tried dipping her beak in water, but she won't even respond. Thanks for trying to help!
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,839
    4,076
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    So sorry about your hen. It's too bad that nothing seems to help. Will she relax if you try to lay her down? I would probably consider putting her down at this point.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  9. shinomaster

    shinomaster New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Feb 16, 2014
    Thanks. I feel terrible... wish I did something sooner. I'm trying to figure out how to end her little life without it traumatizing both myself and her.. If there is no improvement tomorrow I'll have to give her a long, dirt nap.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,839
    4,076
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Don't beat yourself up. It's not easy to put them down, but it needs to be done when they are suffering. She may not last too much longer, but I would help her out if she is miserable.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by