Very strange chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ariadia, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Ariadia

    Ariadia New Egg

    Apr 5, 2012
    So. We have a Very Strange Chicken.

    We rescued her from a random yard in the neighboring town last fall, where chickens were forbidden - she's been generally happy and healthy as far as we can tell, and integrated well with out other ladies.

    Until two weeks ago.

    See, she's never been very bright, and tended to try to roost on the windows, and fall down when trying to settle on the roost bars or the gazebo. (she would lean too far forward and overbalance!) A few weeks ago she stopped even trying to roost, and cuddled up in a deck chair in the evening instead. So we've been picking her up and putting her in the coop at night - I put a garden saucer in the floor of it just for her.

    Now she's stopped walking.

    There's no evidence of mites. Her feet grip fine when you offer her a hand to cling to. If you hold her, she can push back against your hand just as strongly as the other chickens. But - when she tries to walk, she loses her balance, and falls over, fluttering like mad. So she kind of scoots and flutters along the ground instead.

    She doesn't seem to be in pain, and she manages to get herself in the nestbox and give us eggs, and wander her slow way around the yard anyway. But.. it's wierd! And now her breast feathers are looking bedraggled, as well as her primaries.

    What the heck? What do I do? What is wrong with my chicken?
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I'm guessing she's had some head trauma. At first, I thought maybe she had vision problems, or sight only in one eye, causing depth perception problems. As your description went on, that made me think she's had a head injury. I am only guessing. It does seem like she's getting worse. Poor thing.

    I'm not sure what to tell you. Perhaps some rest in a crate, with nice fresh bedding, food and water will help. And maybe some vitamins, and electrolites in her drinking water.....

    I wish I had some better answers for you. Good luck and maybe another member will come along with better advice!

  3. wvgal61

    wvgal61 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2010
    Troutman, nc
    Oh! I can't offer any advice, but good luck with her
  4. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2007
    New England
    Very odd. Is she blind? It's something you can miss. I've seen birds eliminated at poultry shows because they were blind and the owners didn't know! I think that could be part of it, but something else could be going on. I once had a hen lose all strength in her legs and, basically sit for weeks. I believe she got into a toxic plant. You can read about it here:

    BTW, she recovered and is still here.

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