Video - Wobbly Hen - Is she hurt or sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nifty-Chicken, May 4, 2011.

  1. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Our hen is very wobbly and we're not sure if she is sick or hurt.

    Yesterday it seemed like she had a foot / leg problem, but now she's showing more signs of having a hard time balancing as though it might be something else. She's our oldest hen... about 6 years old.

    We've picked her up and done a rudimentary inspection and can't find any signs of injury. Unfortunately when it comes to diseases, etc. I'm not the expert.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Wish I knew the answer. Has she been laying? Does she seem to have an ear infection throwing off her balance?

    Funny coincidence is that I just posted a request for help myself with a video of my Reba, who is over 5 yrs old and can't stand up today. She squat walks. I'm sure my hen's is related to her recent cessation of laying and fluid in her abdomen.
  3. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks Cyn.

    We haven't been able to tell how she's doing with laying. We'll do another once-over and pay closer attention to her ears.

    In my research, most of the diseases that she could have also have other symptoms (nasal discharge, swollen eyes, etc.) but other than the wobbling and lack of balance she seems fine. I wonder if it could be a problem with her thigh / hip.

    She's an older bird and I would almost expect her to have some problems, but I just get super paranoid about having any kind of disease that could spread through the flock.
  4. CrookedFurrows

    CrookedFurrows Out Of The Brooder

    May 3, 2011
    Did you change anything at all from your normal routine?
  5. NC29mom

    NC29mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Scotland Neck, NC
    Oh my!!!! This looks like the same thing that's wrong with my japanese BTW bantam roo, Luther. Here's my thread about it, though I didn't get a lot of responses. There is also a video. Just watch the whole video, I had to really coax him to get up so I could video his balance issues.

    I took him to the vet. If you read my thread, you will get the whole story. He is eating & drinking like a champ, but I have to hold it in front of him at an angle, because if he tries to bend down to peck, he falls flat on his face. It's really strange, as none of my other 50+ chickens are sick. I did separate him, and even the hen I put with him is fine. They all graze in the yard (when he was well), and I GUESS he could have gotten into something.........just not sure. Dr did mention possible lead poisoning, but said Luther wouldn't have lasted this long if it was lead.

    I have felt soooooo helpless and distraught. I just don't understand. It's not Mareks, for sure. Dr said he's too old. I'm thinking about taking him back to vet.

    Please let me know if you find out anything about your hen.......

    here's the link to my thread:
  6. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Well, I just looked at your video and IMO, that looks way more like an injury than a neurological disease. He seems to really be limping and trying to keep weight off the leg vs. my hen that seems like she's kinda drunk and stumbling. I'm really wondering if my hen has an injury vs. a disease, but after looking at your video I'm leaning more toward disease since your guy looks way more like an injury to me.
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Like older people, older birds just seem to have things break down. It's the pits getting old.
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Ear mites can cause loss of balance. You might have to use a magnifying glass to look into the ear canal to see them, a few drops of vegetable oil in the ears for a few days should take care of them if that is what it is. If you see ear wax, that would indicate an ear infection. Flush the ears with hydrogen peroxide, carefully dry with a Q-tip or small piece of cotton, then pack the ears with neosporin, should clear up in no time.
  9. NC29mom

    NC29mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Scotland Neck, NC
    Quote:I thought it was a leg injury also, but as I stated in my post, I took him to a vet (Avian & Exotic Animal care), who said it WAS NOT A LEG/LIMB injury. I maybe should take another video of him that shows it a bit better. the vet is actually the one who said it was related to his nervous system. And, after watching him more closely, I agree. He does favor one leg, but at times, he can't even balance on the favorite leg.

    I wish you luck, as I have spent a lot of time researching my roo's symptoms online, with no real conclusion. I did read on another forum chickens could have strokes......who next step is taking him back to avian vet for blood work. (BTW, my vet checked his ears and said they were fine...and an ear infection shouldn't cause balance issues to this degree)
  10. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    That is exactly what my elderly Ameraucana was doing. I dewormed her and gave her Nutri-drench and within 2 days she was back to normal. That was about 2 weeks ago and she is still doing great. Maybe it could be as simple as that. Good luck.

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