URGENT: Hen with Shaky Legs, Diarrhoea, Not Eating


7 Years
Dec 2, 2012
My Coop
My Coop
Hi all. One of my hens has had really shaky legs all day and I don't know why. She can't walk properly and as it's getting dark now she is sleeping on the ground under the roost. She's also had heavy diarrhea. They did have a slight change in feed but I don't think that would have had such a dramatic effect on digestion! Thank you in advance!
How old is the chicken. If young or on new soil, she may have coccidiosis. Amprollium treats that. Enteritis is also a possibility in a grown hen, and amoxicillin would treat that. Extreme heat can cause watery diarrhea. Can you describe if she is haing trouble standing, or if one or both legs are weak or paralyzed? Can you get or make your own electrolytes for her? Here is a recipe for electrolytes:

1/2 teaspoon salt substitute*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 gallon water
*Salt substitute is readily available in most stores in the spice aisle near the salt, but if you do not have it, don't worry, the solution will still have most of the benefits intended to combat heat stress.
She can use both legs, but they are weak and unsteady. My first thought was egg binding but I've never seen such strange symptoms before. She's at least 3.5 years old and it's been quite a while since there was any new soil. I've given her electrolytes -she's very weak but hasn't lost the will to live!
Check your feed for any mold which can cause poisoning. Look around the ranging area for any possible poison, such as chemicals or even old pieces of metal or paint that could contain lead. Have you added any new birds in the last few months? You can feel inside her vent an inch or so, aiming upward, for a stuck egg. A warm soak up to her wings would help if she is egg bound.
I haven't added to the flock in years - in fact I lost a hen while I was away a few weeks ago. Any ideas for cleaning her backside feathers so I can actually investigate?
I would just soak her bottom in a bucket of warm soapy water, and wash off the poop, then dry her. If she seems to weak, hold off until she is stronger sinc you don't want to stress her too much. A rubber glove would come in handy.
I had an egg bound hen once that when I'd stand her up, she would fall on her face. Neck stretched out, just deep distress and almost completely immobilized. I helped her get an egg out and she was fine. Symptoms were sudden too. Can't say this is typical.
Thanks for the advice. I don't know if she's going to pull through because she's lost about 90% of her mobility. I've given her a syringe of electrolytes, calcium and tissue salts because that has always helped with egg bound hens in the past. Any other advice would be appreciated.

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